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Book Review – RUSTY NAIL (Jack Daniels Mysteries) by J.A. Konrath

RUSTY NAIL (Jack Daniels Mysteries #3 ) by J.A. Konrath

RUSTY NAIL (Jack Daniels Mysteries #3 ) by J.A. Konrath

4.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Lee Child, David Morrell, and M.J. Rose all agree: Jack Daniels is the one to watch! Anthony Award finalist J.A. Konrath’s latest novel featuring the feisty female police detective serves up another thriller

Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels of the Chicago Police Department is back, and once again she’s up to her Armani in murder. Someone is sending Jack snuff videos. The victims are people she knows, and they share a common trait — all were involved in one of Jack’s previous cases. With her stalwart partner hospitalized and unable to help, Jack follows a trail of death throughout the Midwest, on a collision course with the smartest and deadliest adversary she’s ever known.

During the chase, Jack jeopardizes her career, her love life, and her closest friends. She also comes to a startling realization — serial killers have families, and blood runs thick.

Rusty Nail features more of the laugh-out-loud humor and crazy characters that saturated Whiskey Sour and Bloody Mary, without sacrificing the nail-biting thrills.

This is Jack Daniels third, and most exciting, adventure yet!

 

 

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My Review
RUSTY NAIL is my first book by J.A. Konrath, and I now consider myself a fan. This is the third book in a series, and it builds upon characters and events in the first two books, but the author weaves in just enough information that I wasn’t lost without recapping everything. Part thriller, part mystery, Detective Jacqueline (Jack) Daniels is faced with a cruel serial killer who has ties to previous cases of hers. As she attempts to track down this new killer, she must determine if it was an accomplice or a copycat of the original. She works with her partner, Herb, a handful of FBI agents, and a collection of officers in various jurisdictions. Interspersed with this is the marriage of her former partner, Harry, a romance with an ex, and coping with her feelings surrounding her mother who is in a coma in a skilled nursing facility.

Plot
The main plot is the mystery, told in first-person POV from Jack’s perspective, as well as various third-person POVs, including the killer. The story moves at a steady pace, building to a pulse-pounding climax. Humor is woven throughout to keep it from getting too dark, and this really helps an otherwise gruesome story from getting too morbid. I prided myself on figuring out who the killer was only to be floored when I was wrong. But in retrospect, everything I needed to know was skillfully placed throughout the story.

Characters
I had some difficulty connecting with Jack at first. She’s rough, tough, and really hard around the edges, but as the story unfolded, I saw softer sides of her, including her visits with her unconscious mother, the way she cares for her mother’s cat, who clearly can’t stand Jack, and even her broken heart. Herb, Harry, and even Harry’s fiancee, Holly, were all fascinating characters that helped make Jack that much more human when she tried her best to be inhuman.

What I Enjoyed About RUSTY NAIL
1. Plotting.
 Great plot with lots of twists and unexpected surprises.

2. The Ending. I love the way the author wound up the story in a way I didn’t expect.

3. Jack. It took me a bit to warm up to her, but once I did, I loved her more than just about any detective I’ve read in a long time.

4. Harry. Jack’s former partner, Harry McGlade, is a soft, pasty, gross mess of a man, but he has some of the best lines in the book.

5. Evil. The villains on Criminal Minds ain’t got nothin on Konrath’s bad guys.

Bottom Line
Gripping thriller/mystery with great characters and a plot that never lets up.

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: RUSTY NAIL
Series: Jack Daniels Mysteries #3
Author: J.A. Konrath
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: July 1, 2006
Pages: 288
Genre: Adult Thriller/Mystery
Rating:
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author J.A. Konrath

Author J.A. Konrath

About the Author
J.A. Konrath is the author of eleven novels in the Jack Daniels thriller series. They do not have to be read in chronologically to be enjoyed, but the order is: Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary, Rusty Nail, Dirty Martini, Fuzzy Navel, Cherry Bomb, Shaken, Stirred, Rum Runner, Last Call, and White Russian. More coming soon.

Jack Daniels also appears in the novels Dead On My Feet, Dying Breath, Everybody Dies, Shot of Tequila, Flee, Spree, Three, Timecaster Supersymmetry, Banana Hammock, Lady 52, and Serial Killers Uncut. She’s also in the novellas Floaters, Burners, Planter’s Punch, Babe On Board, Racked, Straight Up, October Dark, Jacked Up!, Beat Down, Cheese Wrestling, Abductions, Watched Too Long, and Babysitting Money, and the collection Jack Daniels Stories.

Wow, that’s a lot of Jack.

Other novels include the thrillers Origin, The List, Disturb, Timecaster, Afraid, Trapped, Endurance, Haunted House, Webcam, Grandma?, Holes In The Ground, and Draculas. Other novellas include Fix, Hit, Naughty, Exposed, Rescue, and Wild Night is Calling.

He also writes the Stop A Murder mystery puzzle series, where you become the sleuth and solve brain teasers to try and catch a killer.

And, finally, he writes erotica under the pen name Melinda DuChamp.

Joe writes a lot. You should probably read everything.

Where to Find J.A. Konrath
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

 

Cover Reveal – THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Andrea Bills

THE FORGOTTEN ONES Cover Reveal

Author Andrea Bills is revealing the cover to THE FORGOTTEN ONES, a stand-alone adult romantic suspense/thriller/mystery, releasing May 6, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book, and preorder links

THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Andrea Bills

THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Andrea Bills

About the Book
Title:
THE FORGOTTEN ONES
Author: Andrea Bills
Release Date: May 6, 2019
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
From the iBooks Bestselling Author of Hardwired comes…

One small town.
One lost love.
One killer.

Agent Caitlin Cade is called back to her hometown by a serial killer. She’s avoided the town for six years, trying to create a new life away from the painful memories of the sudden passing of her father and a love lost.

Dean Campbell was given a mission that forced him to walk away from the only woman he had ever loved. Just as his mission is over and he can return to her news reaches him that a serial killer has Caitlin caught in a deadly game.

Can Dean handle not being the one in control in order to show Caitlin he’s back for good? Can Caitlin not only face her past but also a killer who always seems two steps ahead of her? As a game of chess plays out using human bodies, secrets and lies come to see the light of day for the first time.

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Author Andrea Bills

Author Andrea Bills

About the Author
Andrea is a wife, mother and writer from small town West Virginia. She spends her time while she’s not dreaming up lovers and villains alike chasing after her two kids and husband.

Her overactive imagination and her husband’s wacky dreams attribute to her love of the written word. Guilty pleasures include reading all night and Reese Cups.

 

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Where to find Andrea Bills
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | InstagramAmazon

 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – UNBREAK ME (Savage Beast MC) by Hayley Faiman

UNBREAK ME Cover Reveal

Author Hayley Faiman is unveiling the cover to UNBREAK ME, the second book in her adult romantic suspense series, Savage Beast MC, releasing March 14, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, pre-order links, and details on her giveaway.

UNBREAK ME (Savage Beast MC #2) by Hayley Faiman

UNBREAK ME (Savage Beast MC #2) by Hayley Faiman

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: UNBREAK ME
Series: Savage Beast MC #2
Author: Hayley Faiman
Release Date: March 14, 2019
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Esther has only craved to be loved by one man, the Wolfe who hides behind his broken ice blue eyes.

Unfortunately, the wild man she craves has desires that she doesn’t feel able to fill. These desires will destroy her if she allows them.   

Wolfe, the road captain for the Savage Beast MC, is known for his ruthlessness. The forty-year-old has demons that haunt the beast inside of him.   

He cannot be the man who deserves to love her. He knows it’s wrong. He knows it will break her, but he cannot help himself. She wants a wild man. He is as wild as they come.

Two souls searching for a way to find acceptance, love, and healing in physical pleasures. Both lost. One the devil. One a fallen angel. When they finally give in to their lust, their love blossoms like neither imagined possible.

 

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UNBREAK ME (Savage Beast MC #2) by Hayley Faiman (Full Cover)

UNBREAK ME (Savage Beast MC #2) by Hayley Faiman (Full Cover)

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Excerpt
It feels like this is a make or break moment. If I take his hand, I’ll be following him toward something that I can never take back. This isn’t just some wild oat sowing. This isn’t some one-time experiment. I can see it in his hungry gaze, this is something he wants, something he will always want. This isn’t just a birthday gift, this is going to open the door and I’m not sure I want what’s waiting on the other side.

I reach for him, my fingers touching his and I take one step toward him before my legs lock, refusing to move any farther. He frowns slightly, tugging me gently toward him, but I don’t budge, I can’t. I shake my head, almost violently.

“Esther,” Raff growls. “Don’t do this. I won’t do anything you won’t like,” he promises.

My eyes focus on his and I shake my head. “I love you, Raff.”

Turning from him, I run back to my car. With tears streaming down my face I shift the car into reverse and I drive away from him.

He doesn’t follow.

He doesn’t chase after me or try to bring me back to the party.

He lets me go.

He just lets me drive away.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: UNSCREW ME
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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UNBREAK ME

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Author Hayley Faiman

Author Hayley Faiman

About the Author
I was born and raised in a small farming town in California. I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 19. We married four years later and have two little boys! We lived in Oregon for a few years while he served in the US Coast Guard.

Texas is now where we call home, where our boots rest, and where we’re raising our two little boys and a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime.

 

 

 

Where to Find Hayley Faiman
Goodreads Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Amazon | BookBub

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Giveaway
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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – TRIPLICITY by J. Mercer

TRIPLICITY Blog Tour

TRIPLICITY by J. Mercer

TRIPLICITY by J. Mercer

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
One week on an Alaskan cruise, three teens, and an endless trail of lies.

Enter a series of thefts on board and they all fall under scrutiny. Though Navy acts a proper preacher’s daughter, she did end up with someone else’s purse in her hands, and Jesse knows way more than he should about what’s gone missing. Isaiah, however, is the one with motive—enough money and he could get back to his ranch. Each holds a piece of the truth, but exposing the thief could damn them all. They must navigate through the lies they’ve told, choose between standing together or saving themselves, and decide if innocence is worth facing their ugliest secrets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
 A teen cozy mystery at sea. When three strangers meet on an Alaskan cruise, the only thing they have in common is their relative ages. But when passengers’ property begins to disappear, they find themselves caught up in the mystery, first as suspects, then as amateur detectives, trying to figure out who really did it to deflect suspicion from themselves. Each of the main characters have their own goals for the trip: germaphobe Navy wants to experience her first kiss, cowboy Isaiah wants to convince his grandmother he’s NOT gay so he can go back to the ranch he feels completes him, and tattooed Jesse wants to keep himself and his father together after having just been left by his mother. The weaving of lies, truths, and desires creates a complex web that threatens to destroy the tenuous bonds of friendship they forge. Told in three alternating points of view, the chapters are short, which keeps the story moving from start to finish.

Plot
Primarily, this is a young adult romance. Navy is torn between Isaiah and Jesse for her first kiss. Both boys are more than interested, but each has withheld important information about themselves, making Navy wary of both. Subplotting is both rich and deep, with each of the main character’s goals driving the main plot and the underlying mystery creating enough conflict to move this story at a decent pace. I’m not opposed to love triangles, but I wasn’t expecting it based on the book’s synopsis. So if this is not your thing, be forewarned. However, the author does a great job and it’s never too much. Because we get all three kids’ points of view, it’s clear how everyone feels throughout the story.

The Characters
Each character is so unique and distinct in who they are and what they want, making reading the three points of view interesting. There were times I loved each character and times I couldn’t stand them, but at no time did they seem inauthentic. With revolving first-person narratives, we get to spend a lot of time with each of the three main characters, understand their thoughts and desires, and what makes them tick. And while they did become annoying at times, what teen doesn’t? It didn’t make me care any less for them, it just made them that much more realistic.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About TRIPLICITY
1. The setting. An Alaskan cruise is on my bucket list so I loved the setting. The author’s vivid descriptions of the sites was awe-inspiring.

2. The mystery. The added element of a lighthearted mystery set this apart from other teen romances.

3. The characters. Richly drawn and interesting, the characters made me care about what happened next.

4. Difficult subjects. The book touches on a number of difficult subjects, including drinking, abandonment, parental death, depression, and more. And while those topics could create a darker mood, the author does a good job of keeping the story light without making light of the issues.

5. Jesse. Okay, I said I wasn’t going to pick a favorite, but I did anyway. His outgoing personality endeared him to me. Most young adult fiction is filled with introverted protagonists, so it was a breath of fresh air to get inside an unapologetic extrovert.

Bottom Line
A wonderful, fun young adult cozy mystery aboard an Alaskan cruise ship.

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

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: TRIPLICITY
Author: J. Mercer
Publisher: Bare Ink
Release Date: January 6, 2019
Pages: 301
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance/Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author J. Mercer

Author J. Mercer

About The Author
J Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to UW Madison for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband—though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases.

For updates and news, you can find her on Facebook, but she’s more often on Instagram, talking about what she’s reading and other bookish things. Go there for book recommendations, reading-inspired writing tips, or even to read along. If you prefer everything delivered directly to your inbox, click here to get on the email list.

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Where to Find J. Mercer
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Release Blitz + Giveaway – WE TOLD SIX LIES by Victoria Scott

WE TOLD SIX LIES Release Blitz

Welcome to the release blitz for WE TOLD SIX LIES, a stand-alone young adult mystery/romantic suspense, by Victoria Scott. See below for information on the book, buy links, and details on her giveaway.

WE TOLD SIX LIES by Victoria Scott

WE TOLD SIX LIES by Victoria Scott

About the Book
Title: WE TOLD SIX LIES
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone.

But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names.

The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly.

And that’s yours truly.

 

 

 

 

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Author Victoria Scott

Author Victoria Scott

About the Author
Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at VictoriaScott.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Victoria Scott
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter 

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – EVO by Diane May

EVO Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for EVO, a stand-alone adult thriller by Diane May. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $2.99.

EVO by Diane May

EVO by Diane May

About the Book
Title:
EVO
Author: Diane May
Release Date: July 23, 2018
Genre: Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
A covert CIA operation that involves genetic engineering.
A serial killer nicknamed “The Hypnotist”.
And the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.

What if someone could take complete control over your mind?
And what if that someone was a serial killer?

Discover EVO, a gripping crime thriller that reviewers and readers describe as “spellbinding”, “high-energy” and “impossible to put down”.

Langley, Virginia, twenty years earlier:
John Blake, a CIA special agent, stumbles upon an illegal genetic experiment within the agency, conducted on unborn babies and officially presented as a fertility program designed to help couples get pregnant. When he realizes that his very own daughter is a product of this sinister plot and that she is in grave danger, he vows to do everything it takes to make sure Maya will be safe and the people behind the experiment will all pay. With their lives.

Verona, Italy, present time:
Livio Marchiori, a homicide detective with the highest rate of solved cases in Verona, is faced with The Hypnotist, a serial killer the likes of which he’s never seen before. He never touches his victims and he leaves no evidence behind, except for the detailed videos of his murders. And what Marchiori and his team see on those videos is more disturbing than all their other cases combined. Because this one is different. This one defies all rational thinking and borders the impossible.

Then The Hypnotist gets personal and threatens to kill Dr. Abby Jones, the chief medical examiner and the woman Marchiori is in love with. Caught in a cat-and-mouse game with the elusive killer, Marchiori knows he is quickly running out of time.

So when Captain Victor Miller from Interpol walks into town, Marchiori is more than happy to partner again with the man who two years ago helped him put an entire mafia clan behind bars. But Miller has his own agenda, and Marchiori soon discovers that there is more to these crimes than meets the eye, an entire thread of things way beyond his pay grade – illegal experiments, secret agencies, and the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.

A gripping serial killer thriller with a “hit-the-brakes-with-both-feet plot twist that may leave even the most jaded among us feeling good about humanity.”

“He stripped down, threw his clothes in the blue hamper behind the door, and got in the shower. He turned his body away from the faucet and placed his hands on the wall, letting the hot water beat down his back. Doing this usually relaxed him, but now it somehow amplified this weird restlessness, this foreboding feeling he couldn’t shake off. Annoyed at himself, he quickly washed his body, turned off the faucet and reached for the brown towel on the hook.

A heavy silence filled his apartment. A few drops of water from the shower head splashed onto the ceramic tiles below, the sound deafening to his ears. His heart started beating faster. All of a sudden he wanted to hear human voices, his neighbours yelling at each other, their baby crying, anything but this dead silence and the rhythmic tapping of the water drops.

An icy shiver rippled down his spine and his body started shaking. Unseen walls were sliding down around him, trapping him. Suffocating him.”

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Chapter 3
Marchiori took his gun, a 9mm Beretta 92FS – perfect for his hands because of its ample grip – from his shoulder holster, put it on the brown wooden desk in front of him, and then sat down. The big swivel chair squeaked under his weight. Not that he was fat. But he was tall and muscular, the body of a man who exercised regularly, just not in the perfect conditions of a gym. He strongly believed that if you wanted a hard body and a tough mind you needed to go hand-to-hand with Mother Nature. He ran and exercised in the forest and up the hills behind his house, and he did it in all weather conditions. Rain, ice, or the fires of hell, it made no difference to him. He rolled out of bed and into his training gear every morning, never past six am, no matter how late he had hit the sack the night before. The only exception to this rule was when he slept in his office. The police headquarters had an underground space where there were two gyms, showers and locker rooms, and he had no choice then but to train there. Because no exercise was just unacceptable. He had made a pact with himself. The day he was out of breath while chasing a perp would be his last day as a police officer. And he sure as hell did everything in his power to keep that day in the very distant future.

He loved his job more than anything in the world, which was why at thirty-seven he’d already been divorced for more than five years. The fighting had started shortly after they got married. You’re never at home when I go to bed, his wife used to yell at him, we don’t even have breakfast together because you always go to that lousy police bar. Sleepy hellos and good-byes didn’t qualify as communication apparently. And then came the ultimatum. Me or your job, she calmly announced one night, you have one week to decide. He could have given her the answer straight away. It wasn’t that he didn’t love her. Because he did. But his job was an integral part of his being, encoded in his DNA and impossible to live without. Of course he never actually told her this, but she was a smart woman, and by the end of that week she had packed her bags and wished him and his job a happy life together.

While sitting in his chair with one hour until midnight, Marchiori realized he had no idea what he was supposed to do the next day. His first day off in years. A whole day off.

The nice old lady in the Personnel Office had threatened to make him take two weeks off at a time if he didn’t reduce the obscene amount of paid holiday he had accumulated over the years. And Colonel Sanese, chief of The Homicide and Burglary Division of the Verona Police Department, had been on her side. Marchiori had muttered something about how bullying employees was illegal, but realised he had no choice in the matter. So unless he wanted to die of boredom two weeks at a time, he had agreed to take one or two days off every now and then.

And the first one was tomorrow.

He switched off his computer and was about to stand up, when he heard a soft knock on the door. He sighed loudly. There was only one person in the entire building who did that. His new partner. A young man who had no business being a police officer. But whether he liked it or not, the guy had been forced down his throat and he had to work with him. Because the young man’s father was a well-connected, well-known general in Rome.

The door opened slowly.

“Sir…?”

“Giusto, how many times do I have to tell you not to act like a girl on her first date when you come into my office?”

A red patch stretched up from under the lieutenant’s shirt collar and quickly reached his cheeks. He cleared his voice. “Sorry, Sir.”

“So, what is it then?”

“We’ve just received a 112 call reporting a murder.”

For a few moments Marchiori was quiet. He couldn’t believe his luck. If one could call the killing of another human being luck. But Sanese had made it loud and clear that unless someone got killed, he was to stay at home tomorrow, or do whatever the bloody hell he wanted to, but under no circumstances show his face inside the police headquarters.

And someone had been killed.

He pushed his chair back and stood up. “Let’s go then,” he said, as he grabbed his crumpled suit jacket off the back of his chair and slipped it on.

The nice old lady in the Personnel Office would not have her wish come true today. And through no fault of his own.

He put his gun back in the shoulder holster and marched out of his office, quickly followed by Giusto.

Twenty minutes later, Marchiori parked the unmarked black Alfa Romeo between two Carabinieri cruisers next to the kerb on Via Delle Argonne, right outside a posh and elegant building painted in warm shades of café-au-lait. An apartment here must cost more than he could ever afford on a public servant’s salary.

A Croce Rossa ambulance was parked not far from where they were, its blue lights piercing the moonless night. Two carabinieri and one paramedic stood at the back of the red and white van.

He and Giusto got out of the car and were about to head towards the ambulance, when one of the carabinieri saw them and sauntered in their direction.

“Captain, lieutenant,” the man greeted them.

“What do we have here, sergeant?” Marchiori asked him.

“Victim’s name is Niccolò Pasetto, and from what the paramedics have been saying, he was one of the finest virologists at Borgo Trento Hospital.”

“Who called it in?”

“Anonymous, but the call was made from the victim’s mobile phone.”

Which meant it may have very well been the killer himself.

“ID every single person entering or leaving the building, ask them to give you their contact details and start knocking on doors and see if anyone’s seen or heard anything suspicious this evening.”

“Some of the folks living here won’t like it. From what I’ve seen it’s full of doctors, lawyers and such. I think I might’ve recognised a judge’s name on the intercom outside.”

“I don’t care if the Pope himself lives here. This is a police investigation and until further indication we’re treating this as reported. Murder.”

“Yes, sir.”

Marchiori turned on his heels and marched towards the building. A police officer posted in the lobby let him in.

“First floor, door on the left,” the man informed him.

“Thanks,” he said and climbed the steps two at a time, Giusto in tow.

A young policeman he’d never seen before stood guard outside the door and asked them to ID themselves.

“I’m Captain Livio Marchiori, the detective in charge of this case and this is my partner Lieutenant Giusto,” Marchiori answered and flashed his badge.

“Yes, sir, you can go in. The crime scene guys have just arrived as well.”

“Really?” Marchiori arched his eyebrows. “How the hell did they get here so quickly?”

The policeman shrugged and opened the apartment door for them.

“What the fuck!?” Marchiori cursed when a wave of stinking hot air hit him.

“It’s the heating, sir,” Lieutenant Bernini, one of the CSU techs, said and handed both him and Giusto a pair of blue shoe covers and gloves.

“No kidding! And here I was, thinking it was the AC… Well, turn the damn thing off then!”

He took off his jacket, loosened his tie knot and undid the first two buttons on his shirt. He was already drenched in sweat and hadn’t even seen the crime scene yet.

“The body’s in what appears to be the victim’s office, the second door on your right,” Bernini added, his face strained, his jaw set tight.

“That bad, huh?” Marchiori muttered and headed in that direction.

The rancid smell of decaying flesh was getting stronger now. He fished out a handkerchief from the pocket of his trousers and covered his nose, then focused on the room in front of him. A floor-to-ceiling bookcase covered the wall to the left, and right across from it a big cherry wood desk took up almost half the space, standing on a thick green rug covering a portion of the polished wooden floor. A pile of folders, haphazardly stacked, a room thermometer on one corner of the desk and a telephone were the only items on it.

Then his gaze settled on the body in the centre of the room. The victim was dressed in a pair of boxers and looked like he had been dipped in boiling water before sitting in the big black leather armchair where he was now.

But it was the man’s face that made Marchiori’s mouth go dry. His eyes were wide open and sunk deep into his skull, and looked so terrifyingly empty as if the man’s very soul had wrenched itself free from that tortured body without leaving any trace of its presence there. A mask of unseen horrors, his face was red like blood, his mouth twisted in a silent scream.

Marchiori took a few steps closer to the body.

Who did this to you?

“The medical examiner is here,” he heard Bernini’s voice in the hallway.

“Send him in.”

“Her. Send her in,” a feminine voice chimed from behind him.

Marchiori turned around. A woman somewhere in her mid-thirties stood in the doorway and looked at him, her eyes a deep blue, her lips wearing a polite smile.

“You’re not Gianluca Farinati,” he blurted, and as soon as the words were out he wanted to kick himself.

It was plainly obvious she was a woman and not a sixty-year old balding man.

“Dr. Abbigail Jones,” she said and extended her hand, “but you can call me Abby, captain.”

He almost felt more shocked by her presence here than by the victim in the armchair. Without a word, he shook her hand, feeling her firm hold and smooth skin.

Aw, crap.

This was one complication he didn’t need in his life.

“I’m the new chief medical examiner in Verona,” she added, “just transferred from Milan. Dr. Farinati grew tired of always being among the dead and decided to take early retirement and live a little.”

“Can’t say I blame him,” Marchiori said, thinking of the body behind him.

He had a flash about a memo he’d received about a month ago regarding Farinati’s retirement and the arrival of a new medical examiner.

He should pay closer attention to his memos.

“You’re not Italian, Dr. Jones,” Marchiori tried to fill the silence.

He hated small talk. And whenever he had to work with a woman he felt compelled to engage in some sort of conversation. If she’d been a man, after they had finished with the introductions they would have focused on the body.

“And… is that a problem, detective?”

“No, of course not, Dr. Jones, just curiosity.”

“First of all, it’s Abby. Dr. Jones is my father. And second, yes, my name’s not Italian. I’m Italian-American, mother from Sicily, father from Atlanta, USA.”

“Interesting… Well, welcome on board, Dr. Jones,” he said with an emphasis on the words Dr. Jones.

Why would anyone request a transfer from Milan to Verona? It was usually the other way around.

A slight frown had appeared on the woman’s face and her lips weren’t smiling anymore. He chose to ignore that.

“All yours,” he added and stepped aside so she could get a full view of the decaying corpse.

For about a minute she just looked at the dead body without saying a word. She didn’t appear scared or sick or anything. Her face was a mask of detached professionalism, and her hands didn’t hesitate or tremble when she took a camera from her bag and started clicking away.

“Could you tell me the estimated time of death, Dr. Jones?”

The camera stopped clicking and she turned to him. “Either you have problems with your short-term memory detective, or you’re trying to annoy me. But let me make one thing clear: I’m not going anywhere. So the way I see it we only have two options here. We could play nice, or…”

“Or…what, doctor?”

“You know,” she said and shrugged her shoulders, “medical examiners are so busy sometimes, that the results you need could get delayed, or even lost on their way to you. Shit happens, right?”

She then took a few steps closer to the body as if nothing had happened and she hadn’t just threatened him. He couldn’t even see a bead of sweat on her face or neck for fuck’s sake and it was boiling hot in the room. Not to mention the stink. But she seemed oblivious to all of that.

He looked at her closely. She wore elegant clothes and by the look of them he bet they were from the same rack as Gucci or Dolce & Gabbana. Black slim trousers and pumps, and a double breasted trench coat of the same colour, with a belt that flattered her figure, and a pale pink scarf and lip-gloss to add some light to her look. Professional. That would be the correct word to describe her appearance. But there was more to her than met the eye. The way she had threatened him, without any qualms or hesitation, and the way she was now examining the body… well, he got the message loud and clear: Don’t mess with me. Or something to that effect.

He cleared his throat. “So… er, Abby, what can you tell me about the time and cause of death?”

She smiled. “Not so sure about why and when, but I do know who he was having a date with last night.”

“You do?”

“A goddam oven, that’s who.”

He couldn’t help it. The corners of his mouth curled upward. If his colleagues had seen this, they would have teased him about it for a month. The grizzly bear smiled, hell must have frozen over. He could practically hear all the jokes.

Abby started clicking her camera again, taking pictures from all possible angles.

“I don’t know how you did things in Milan, but here we have full time employees who do this.”

“Don’t worry, I’m not trying to steal their job. Got enough on my plate as it is,” she said, without even pausing to look at him, “and I’m not trying to say they aren’t fine professionals either. But I like taking my own photos. It helps me to remember details more easily and concentrate better.”

Well, at least it showed she was thorough, if nothing else, Marchiori thought.

“Hm… It’s strange,” she muttered to herself.

“What is?”

“He seemed to have died of heat stroke.” She put the camera back inside her handbag.

“Well, if you don’t open a window soon, I might die of a heat stroke, too.”

Abby rolled her eyes. “Don’t worry, that’s not gonna happen. Not in this temperature anyway.”

“What do you know?” he muttered. “I bet you sip your afternoon tea with the devil himself. And he’s the one doing the sweating.”

She whipped her head in his direction. “Pardon?”

“Just asking how could the vic have died of a heat stroke if—”

“Sir,” Giusto’s voice interrupted him, “you might wanna come and see this.” He then seemed to realize Marchiori wasn’t alone in the room. “You too, Dr. Jones.”

“What is it?”

“We found a pen drive inserted in the victim’s laptop and there’s a video on it,” the lieutenant said without giving further details. He looked at the body and didn’t even flinch or try to avert his eyes.

Every now and again the young man managed to surprise Marchiori.

“What’s the video about?”

“You need to come and see for yourself, sir.”

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Author Diane May

Author Diane May

About the Authors
Diane May is a crime thriller writer and she lives in Verona, Italy, with her husband. When she’s not in her office writing, she can usually be found curled up on the sofa with a good book in her lap and a cup of green tea next to her.

The only daughter of an army colonel, she grew up on military bases where she learnt about weapons, discipline and the sacrifices of military life. She also worked for many years as a translator and interpreter for the Court of Law on mostly criminal cases.

EVO is her debut novel and she is currently working on her second crime thriller, Till Death Do Us Part, scheduled to be released in 2019.

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Where to Diane May
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Playlist + Giveaway – PIGGYBACKER (Vessel of Lost Souls) by Mikki Noble

PIGGYBACKER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for PIGGYBACKER, the first book in the young adult urban fantasy/thriller series, Vessel of Lost Souls, by Mikki Noble. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive peek at the character’s favorite songs, and details on her giveaway.

PIGGYBACKER (Vessel of Lost Souls #1) by Mikki Noble

PIGGYBACKER (Vessel of Lost Souls #1) by Mikki Noble

About the Book
Title: PIGGYBACKER
Series: Vessel of Lost Souls #1)
Author: Mikki Noble
Release Date: January 28, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
TOO LATE TO SAVE HIS LIFE. NOT TOO LATE TO BRING HIM BACK.

Everyone thinks Marley tried to take her own life, that is, except Marley. After her mother sends her to a youth center for troubled teens, she starts hearing the voice of a boy who claims he was murdered and begins questioning her own sanity. The voice is Gavin, a seventeen-year-old boy who promises Marley he can help her find the truth about what happened the day she supposedly tried to kill herself—if she completes a resurrection spell in the next four days.

Upon discovering Gavin’s death in the newspaper, Marley realizes she’s not hallucinating, and that she has a chance to save Gavin’s soul and clear her name. The task seems simple: complete the spell, then she and Gavin are free, right? But a powerful, unseen force is determined to stop her, and soon Marley finds herself following clues from the universe to find ingredients for the ritual to save herself and her newfound friend, and most of all, to find the truth about what really happened that day.

Piggybacker is the first in Mikki Noble’s spell-binding Vessel of Lost Souls trilogy, and promises a thrilling mystery with powerful enemies, broken relationships, captivating magic, and two souls both caught up in a plot beyond any they could ever imagine.

 

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Piggybacker Character’s Favorite Songs

Marley: Stronger by Britney Spears and Fighter by Christina

Gavin: Immortals by Fall Out Boy

Kimmy: used to be Stitches, but now it’s Treat You Better by Shawn Mendes

Circe: anything, but especially OneRepublic

Crystal: Chicago by Benny Goodman

Taylor: anything by her girl Beyoncé

Shawn: he tells everyone it’s Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5, but it’s really True Colors by Phil Collins

Sammy: Insensitive by Jann Arden

Melissa: Express Yourself by Madonna

Len: Keep Talking by Pink Floyd

Genie: California Gurls by Katy Perry because she was born in California

Noah: The Death of Romance by Zeromancer because the cd is the last thing his father bought him before he passed away

Uncle Sam: Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts

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PIGGYBACKER Teaser

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Author Mikki Noble

Author Mikki Noble

About the Author
As far back as she can remember, Mikki was creating characters and stories in her head. It wasn’t until fate brushed the tip of its wings over her eyes that she began to see that writing was what she was born to do. She loves animals, reading, everything supernatural related, and enjoys spending her free time on social media whenever she can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find Mikki Noble
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN (Aliens, Tequila and Us) by Michael Herman

GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN, the third book in the young adult science fiction thriller series, Aliens, Tequila & Us, by Michael Herman. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN (Aliens, Tequila & Us #3) by Michael Herman

GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN (Aliens, Tequila & Us #3) by Michael Herman

About the Book
Title: GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN
Series: Aliens, Tequila & Us #3
Author: Michael Herman
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Sometimes an ugly duckling becomes more than just a swan.

In the streets of Santiago, Chile, a young homeless girl named Isabel screams a scream of rage that is the last sound the gang tormenting her ever hears.

Deep within the city, a family feels her cry and sets out to find her for their sake as well as hers.

Never straying far from Isabel, Skunk Mountain, a homeless pile of walking filth, visible to only the neighborhood kids, maintains a guardian presence that is key to her survival in a world where, beneath the very ground they walk, a dark ancient intelligent entity prepares to unleash forces that will devastate Chile.

Sometimes that swan has claws and teeth.

 

 

 

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GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN Teaser

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Excerpt
When the woman strokes Isabel’s black fur, Isabel purrs loudly and makes clicking sounds. She knows she rests between friends who will not allow the ones below the base of the statue to harm her. The woman looks down at Isabel and says, “At long last, I have found you. You have not been forgotten. You and your people will return. We will end your long-suffering. You will no longer be alone.”

Isabel looks up at her with her black cat yellow eyes, and purrs. But below her feet, the ground trembles with the might of her enemy. The woman acknowledges the terrible presence beneath them and stoops to Isabel and says, “Only you can restore order. Only you can save them. Only you can end this. When your knowledge of yourself matures and you flower to your destiny, you will fulfill yourself and your time will be complete. We will join you and make it happen. Do you understand?”

Isabel snarls in response and lets out a mighty roar.

Then she is back on the daylight street holding hands with the mirror version of herself. She looks into the mirror self’s eyes and a shudder ripples through her body. The mirror version releases her hands, smiles, looks to Ángel and says, “All is well.”

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GIRL WITH ALL THE PAIN Teaser

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Author Michael Herman

Author Michael Herman

About the Author
When he isn’t doing construction or creating 3D simulations for the AEC industry, Michael Herman writes from his small urban hillside farm in California where he types away to the sounds of chickens, coyotes, the occasional fox and his household pets.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Michael Herman
Goodreads Website | FacebookTwitter

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – TRIPLICITY by J. Mercer

TRIPLICITY Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for TRIPLICITY, a stand-alone young contemporary romantic thriller, by J. Mercer. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

TRIPLICITY by J. Mercer

TRIPLICITY by J. Mercer

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: TRIPLICITY
Author: J. Mercer
Publisher: Bare Ink
Release Date: January 6, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
One week on an Alaskan cruise, three teens, and an endless trail of lies.

Enter a series of thefts on board and they all fall under scrutiny. Though Navy acts a proper preacher’s daughter, she did end up with someone else’s purse in her hands, and Jesse knows way more than he should about what’s gone missing. Isaiah, however, is the one with motive—enough money and he could get back to his ranch. Each holds a piece of the truth, but exposing the thief could damn them all. They must navigate through the lies they’ve told, choose between standing together or saving themselves, and decide if innocence is worth facing their ugliest secrets.

 

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt #3
Meet Isaiah:

The ship was so big. As big as a mountain. But I was used to twenty people on a mountain, not a million people inside one.

I craned my neck to get a better look at the girl ten or so people ahead of us. Of course, Gram thought I was watching the pretty boy with the sparkling teeth and preppy outfit.

“Keep your eyes in your head, Zay,” she muttered.

It didn’t matter how many times I told her I liked girls. She couldn’t imagine why else I’d want to work with an all-male ranch staff in the middle of nowhere, Montana.

The girl’s blonde hair was a shiny mane, and her outfit—dark skinny jeans, a white tee, and huge turquoise earrings—was perfect: no frills, no bullshit.

Gram swatted me with her purse. I glared at her.

“Nice to have a week off, Zay?” My great-aunt Ethel asked.

We were here on her dime, bought company for an old woman, so I muttered out a response and went back to the hair. My fingers twitched to feel it. Not in a creepy way, but brushing out horses was the most relaxing part of my day.

“He’s got more ‘an a week,” Gram said. “I’m not sendin’ him back.”

My throat dried up. She couldn’t be serious.

“I mean it too.” Nodding, she grabbed her suitcase. Marched forward a few paces.

I hurried after her. “I can’t quit in the middle of a summer with no notice. Ike needs me.”

“I gave Ike your notice the day you left. He knows.”

“Why would you do that?”

Hands on her hips. “You had a girlfriend yet?”

“Yes!”

“Yeah, right. I know how many of them’re up at that ranch.”

“Gram, I’m watching that blonde girl, okay?” I pointed over her head. The boy who was way too preppy for me turned. He put up a few fingers and waved.

“That prissy one with the frown?” Ethel asked. “She looks mean.”

“Oh, he’s just tellin’ me what he knows I wanna hear. Tellin’ time’s over, Zay. You need to get your life together.”

“What’s wrong with my life?” What I had was what I wanted. All I’d ever want. My fist clenched. I couldn’t lose the ranch, not after I’d lost everything else.

“Them boys aren’t gonna make you a family, and that ranch ain’t gonna make you a future.” She shuffled her feet forward.

I pulled my cowboy hat down. The blonde was slipping inside the ship anyway. “They are my family, and if being a grunt ranch hand is my future, I’m happy with that.”

“I’m your family,” she snapped. “And you’re happy with it because you’re seventeen and you don’t know no better.”

“Gram, please?” It was a desperate whisper.

“It’s all the poor boy has left,” Aunt Ethel pointed out, not looking at me. Not even for a second. As if I might miss that I was the poor boy she was talking about.

Gram crossed her arms. “Building his future is more important than what he does or does not have left.”

“Other people we know have been gay,” Aunt Ethel said. “Jeannie from the corner, for example, and you never worried about her future.”

Gram glared at her. “Jeannie wasn’t my grandson.”

“Then make me a deal,” I said, because this was something we did.

“Yes.” Aunt Ethel smiled before turning back to Gram. “He gets a girlfriend, you let him go back.”

Gram looked like she was face-to-face with a skunk. “What’s a girlfriend gonna prove?”

“For one, it’ll prove he likes girls.”

“He can right fake that. Anyway, there’s more ‘an one reason I don’t want him at that ranch.”

“Give the boy some hope, Liza. He’s only seventeen. He’s still got time to work his life out.”

Gram eyed me for a full two minutes. I counted the ticks in my head while studying the wooden decking, how it barely moved beneath my feet. Hope was suddenly the color of that girl’s hair, and I talked myself into wanting the rest of her too, no matter what she ended up being. Because now, with Gram’s curt nod, it seemed she was the only way I’d get back home.

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Author J. Mercer

Author J. Mercer

About The Author
J Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to UW Madison for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband—though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases.

For updates and news, you can find her on Facebook, but she’s more often on Instagram, talking about what she’s reading and other bookish things. Go there for book recommendations, reading-inspired writing tips, or even to read along. If you prefer everything delivered directly to your inbox, click here to get on the email list.

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Where to Find J. Mercer
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Instagram

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – YOU WON’T SEE ME COMING (The Black Angel Chronicles) by Kristen Orlando

YOU WON'T SEE ME COMING Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for YOU WON’T SEE ME COMING, the third book in the young contemporary thriller series, The Black Angel Chronicles, by Kristen Orlando. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

YOU WON'T SEE ME COMING (The Black Angel Chronicles #3) by Kristen Orlando

YOU WON’T SEE ME COMING (The Black Angel Chronicles #3) by Kristen Orlando

About the Book
Title: YOU WON’T SEE ME COMING
Series: The Black Angel Chronicles #3
Author: Kristen Orlando
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis

After finally taking down Torres, her mother’s merciless killer, Reagan and Luke have two targets on their backs and are forced into hiding. With new names, looks, and cover stories, they’re living quiet, “safe” lives, but revenge comes at a steep price. Reagan’s actions continue to haunt the pair and put the people they love in danger.

When Reagan discovers her best friend Harper is on the verge of being kidnapped, she and Luke defy Black Angel orders and risk blowing their cover to save their friend. After the rescue attempt goes wrong, the three friends must go on the run with an army of assassins hot on their trail and the list of trust-worthy Black Angels getting smaller and smaller. Will they make it out alive? And at what cost?

Fast-paced and suspenseful, this is the explosive finale of Kristen Orlando’s Black Angel Chronicles series. 

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Excerpt
I’ve come to hate my hands. I used to just think they were ugly. My palms, too big. My fingers, too short. My skin, too wrinkly. Freak hands, I used to joke. I don’t make jokes about my hands now. When I stare down at them, I still see his blood. Blazing red ovals with tiny tails on my fingernails, knuckles, and wrists. The rational side of me knows it’s gone. Washed away in a tiny bathroom sink at thirty thousand feet, Santino Torres’s DNA circling the drain somewhere over the Indian Ocean. Still, if the light is right, I see it, freckling my skin.

The bell at the front door of the bookshop jingles, breaking my zombie-like trance. I shake my head, clearing my mind, and my hands begin to move again, searching for a book Bird Lady asked us to order. She has a name: Dorothy. But she has one singular passion in life: birds. She loves birds so much that she wears broaches with pictures of her pet birds on them. Her purse is covered in colorfully stitched birds. Her winter scarf, again: birds. I’ve been living here for only a few weeks, but in a town as small as Manchester, Vermont, you get to know the locals pretty fast. I’m told Manchester is packed with New Yorkers and Bostonians with vacation houses in the summer and tourists for the leaves in the autumn. But come winter, as the temperatures dip and snow begins to fall, the volume of visitors fades and we’re left alone with the bitter cold and the townsfolk.

“Olivia, did you find it yet?” Bird Lady’s coarse voice asks from behind me. My shoulders tense, still uneasy with the sound of my new name.

I’ve been a dozen different Reagans. Reagan Bailey. Reagan Schultz. Reagan MacMillan. But with Fernando searching for me, eager to put a bullet in my skull, the Black Angels said keeping my first name was no longer an option. Staying any version of my former self was far too dangerous. Before, I would have kicked and screamed over losing my name. But now, I just don’t care. With each new identity and cover story, I used to keep pieces of Reagan Elizabeth Hillis behind the pretender mask. I weaved my true self into the girl I was instructed to become. But not now. The girl I was before is disappearing. And I doubt she’s ever coming back.

“Just about,” I answer and clear my throat. I lift the lid of one more box and flip through all our recent orders. Finally, I find it. I pull out the latest edition of the Field Guide to North American Birds and turn back around to face Bird Lady.

“I certainly hope the shop didn’t give my copy away,” Bird Lady says playfully, her wrinkles deepening around her mouth.

“Of course not, Dorothy,” I reply with a small smile and hand her the book. “We didn’t even put it out on the shelves. We saved it especially for you.”

“Well, it’s not really for me,” she answers and pulls open her wallet. It has birds all over it. Of course. “It’s for my youngest granddaughter for Christmas. She’s ten. I hope she’ll like it.”

“I’m sure she’ll just love it,” I reply as sweetly as possible and plaster a fake smile on my face (my cheeks ache at the end of a shift from all the forced glee) as I scan the book and begin to ring her up. “That will be twenty-three dollars and forty-nine cents.”

“Here you go, dear.” Bird Lady hands me her credit card, which I swipe and hand back to her. The printer whines and spits out a receipt.

“I hope you have a great evening,” I say and hand her a plastic green-and-white Manchester Book Loft bag with the present for her granddaughter tucked inside.

“You too,” Bird Lady replies and wags her bony finger at me. “Now don’t work too hard.”

“I’ll try,” I answer with an artificial laugh and watch as Bird Lady slowly walks across the store, out the front door, and into the snowy, dark night.

I glance down at my mother’s watch ticking away on my wrist: 9:57. Nearly closing time. I scan the lower floor of the bookstore. It’s empty. “O Tannenbaum” from A Charlie Brown Christmas plays over the speakers; each cheerful strike of the piano keys makes my heart heavier, my mood darker. Christmas used to be my favorite time of year. Not just because of the carols and presents and lights, the general merriness that comes with the holiday season. I used to love Christmas because it meant my parents were home. With their seniority, they were able to request the days around Christmas off and, unless it was a true emergency, they were almost never called away.

We had our little traditions for that week. We’d make Christmas cookies using twenty-year-old cookie cutters, and Dad would make fun of the crooked candy canes and the blobs that were supposed to be Santa Claus. Then Mom would yell at him for licking red and green dyed icing off of his fingers before touching other cookies, spreading his germs everywhere. Aunt Sam would come over to try to put together gingerbread houses, but they were always disasters, falling down or having the candy picked off of cookie rooftops within the first twenty-four hours of construction. Mom would make us string popcorn for the Christmas tree and I’d always whine and say we should just buy strings of little gold beads and call it a day. “You’ll miss these moments when you’re grown up,” my mother used to say. I’d roll my eyes when she’d turn her back and think yeah right. But I’d do just about anything to have those moments back. This will be my second Christmas without my mother. My first without Dad. He’s still so angry with me, I doubt I’ll even get a phone call. Even if he wasn’t so irate with me, the Black Angels would never allow him to visit me for the holiday. I must stay hidden. I must remain a ghost.

I clear my throat, lost memories stinging at my eyes. I try to push back the sorrow that’s crept out of its little box, flooding my bloodstream and leaving my layered body cold. I shove my hands into the pockets of my jeans and dig my fingers into my hipbones, redirecting the ache. The threatening gloom retreats, tucking itself back where it belongs. I don’t deserve to feel sad.

I did this myself.

“Olivia, you ready to go?” my manager, Adam, calls to me as he emerges from behind a row of cookbooks. He’s twenty-six with a law degree from Columbia but opted out of taking the bar exam. He gave up an almost guaranteed partnership at his dad’s prestigious Manhattan law firm to move to Vermont and start a very different life. I feel like there’s a lot of that up here. People who leave behind lives of privilege to make cheese or blow glass or something. Smaller paychecks but a simpler, happy life. And with its sweeping mountain views and postcard-worthy quaintness, I can see why so many give up everything for peace in the Green Mountain State.

“Yeah, let me just close out,” I say and punch a few buttons into the register, locking it with a key for the night.

“Ben’s waiting for you,” Adam says, and my shoulders flinch beneath my thick sweater once again. I’ll never get used to his new name either.

“Okay. Your key, good sir,” I say and hand over the key to the downstairs register. For being in a small town, the Manchester Book Loft is quite expansive, with two floors, a large café that serves delicious goodies, and lots of quirky nooks where customers can hide out and get lost in a good book.

“Let’s get out of here before the snow really starts coming down,” Adam says, flipping off the light behind me. With a curly mop of blond hair and an easy smile, Adam looks like a cherub. I’m kind of surprised he doesn’t have wings coming out of his flannel button-down shirts. That baby face is the current catch of Manchester that every single girl (and divorced cougar) has her eye on.

I follow Adam through the store, turning out lights one by one. When I reach the Young Adult section, I catch my distorted reflection, the light inside creating an imperfect mirror against the dark window. It takes all my energy to repress the shiver crawling up my vertebrae. I barely recognize myself. My long dark hair has been chopped into a bob and dyed honey blond. I’m a horrible-looking blond, and I hate maintaining this modern Barbie hairstyle. The worst part is bleaching my dark eyebrows, trying to make this new me look somewhat natural. I avoid mirrors. The acid in my stomach roils every time I see myself. Just another reminder of why I’m here. What I’ve lost.

What I’ve done.

“Liv,” Adam’s voice calls out to me from the last dark room.

“Coming,” I say and flip off the light. My ghostly reflection disappears.

I walk past the magazine display, past a pair of comfy, worn couches, and up three small steps that lead into the café.

“Hello, love,” a voice says once I reach the top. I look up to see the new version of Luke smiling at me. His beautiful blond hair has been trimmed short and dyed a dark brown (lots of hair dye under our bathroom sink). He’s even started wearing colored contacts, turning his two pools of cornflower blue a muddy brown. The only pieces that remain of the Ohio boy I fell for are his dimples.

“Hi, babe,” I reply and lean in for a quick kiss, the scruff of his threatening five o’clock shadow (which he has to shave daily since it’s so much lighter than his hair) scratching my face. “You make out okay?”

“Sold out of all my apple crumb bars,” he responds sweetly and pulls my body in for a side hug. I wrap my arms around his waist and take in his scent. He smells like coffee and powdered sugar from a twelve-hour shift working in the bakery and café section of the bookstore. I never learned to cook. I thought I’d never need to. I was supposed to be a Black Angel: my days spent rescuing hostages, taking down terrorists, and arresting drug kingpins. But Luke is a master in the kitchen. His mother is an amazing baker. He spent hours with her, melting chocolate for triple-chocolate-chip cookies and kneading dough for pies. So when it came to finding a real job, he was easy. But I didn’t have much to offer the real world. I mean, if someone needs a swift kick to the face or a quick and clean execution, I’m your girl. But starting a hit man business while trying to hide out is probably not the best-laid plan in the world.

“Here, let me help you with your coat,” Luke says as I slip my arms through my camel-colored peacoat.

“Ben, you guys working tomorrow?” asks Imogene as she throws on her blue puffy winter jacket. She pulls her long, dark hair out of the neck of her coat and zips it up over her petite frame. She’s one of the baristas in the Book Loft café and makes one hell of a cappuccino, complete with decorative foam hearts or leaves or flowers.

“Yeah, we’re both on for tomorrow,” Luke responds and pulls me into his body again, giving me a kiss on the forehead as the four of us walk out of the warm bookstore and into a chilly December night.

“You two have a great evening,” Adam says as he locks the front door of the now dark Manchester Book Loft. “Shit, I forgot to turn off the Christmas music.”

“That’s okay. The books love A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Imogene says with a throaty laugh.

“Screw it,” Adam says and puts the key in his pocket. “See you guys tomorrow.”

“Have a good one,” Luke says cheerfully as he takes my gloved hand into his own. We walk in silence to our car, parked two blocks away, and I relish these quiet minutes. Fat snowflakes cascade down from a black sky, like falling stars, filling the dark trees and carpeting the sidewalk with their brightness. The spruce trees near the bookstore are wrapped in old-fashioned Christmas lights. Bright bulbs blink red, yellow, green, and blue. Garland is wrapped around store windows and a wreath hangs on nearly every door. Twinkle lights hug thin parkway trees and thick felt red ribbons are tied into perfect bows on every light post. It’s like walking onto the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie, but without the hollow buildings and paper snow.

We approach Charlie’s, a popular bar with the locals, and my stomach begins to knot with what’s next. Our turn is coming up. In ten seconds, we’ll be out of sight of Imogene and Adam.

In ten seconds, the show’s over.

I breathe in the cold night air and it stings against the delicate flesh of my lungs like a warning. We pass by Charlie’s front door. It opens and the sound of clinking glasses and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” fills the quiet. We turn the corner, off the main street, and like clockwork, Luke drops my hand. No, doesn’t drop. More like heaves it back to me. The boy from the bookstore disappears, his smile replaced by a scowl. His eyes angry, lips tight, and dimples gone until the next day when he has to throw a phony smile my way while we work. Pretend we’re a couple. Make believe that we’re happy.

I look up at him with wounded eyes, missing his hand in mine. Even if it’s all for show. He can feel my eyes on him. I know it. He shoves his hands into the pockets of his heavy coat and stares straight ahead, his face far icier than Vermont’s below freezing temperatures. I thread my rejected fingers through my other hand, filling the space where his palm used to be. I take in a bottomless breath, preparing myself for another evening of tense silence. And I deserve it. I deserve his anger, his borderline-hatred. Because I didn’t ruin just one life. I’ve ruined two. Without consideration. And without his permission.

I lie in bed at night, trying to come up with things to say to him. I run through apologies, scenarios where I beg for his forgiveness. But I have yet to say those words out loud. I’m too afraid of what he’ll say. Because I know what I’ve done is unforgivable.

The Reagan I was before may be fading, evaporating into the air, piece by broken piece. But the beautiful boy I fell for is truly gone.

For good.

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Author Kristen Orlando

Author Kristen Orlando

About The Author
Writing is one of the great loves of Kristen Orlando’s life and she has been lucky enough to make it her living, first as a television producer, then as a marketer and now as a novelist. Kristen graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Kenyon College. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with the other great love of her life, Michael. You Don’t Know My Name is her debut novel.

 

 

 

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Where to Find Kristen Orlando
Goodreads Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – DERRICK (Gavin Nolan’s Biography) by Russell

DERRICK Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for DERRICK, the second book in the adult thriller series, Gavin Nolan’s Biography, by Russell. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

DERRICK (Gavin Nolan's Biography #2) by Russell

DERRICK (Gavin Nolan’s Biography #2) by Russell

About the Book
Title: DERRICK
Series: Gavin Nolan’s Biography #1
Author: Russell
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Genre: Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.

It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities—but one of the victims is most peculiar…

Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.

Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.

Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection.

However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.

In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a killer. But will he make it in time?

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.

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Excerpt #1
Alarmed, the woman’s eyes opened. Her nerves twitched slightly, as if an electric shock rattled her body.

Instantly, an eerie darkness consumed her, and an unusual stillness blanketed her surroundings.

Where am I? the woman wondered.

With her instinctual medical training, she began immediately diagnosing her own condition: blurry vision, raspy breath, citrus acidic taste at the back of her throat, and weak muscles. The signs were a tell-all. She had been drugged. Most likely either clonazepam or estazolam.

As her thick braids fell in front of her eyes, she realized that her body was hanging in midair. Above her, a rope bound her hands. The burning strain in her deltoids ached deep into her lower back.

The air was unusually frigid. Her entire body was trembling. She looked down and realized she was completely naked.

Who took off my clothes? she thought, her mind racing with a fresh wave of panic.

All she could remember was getting home from a run in the cold rain of a late November day that had chilled her to the core. Since the presentation of her dissertation was only days away, she relieved the building stress with those exhilarating runs. They were especially liberating knowing that she had to head back to the university lab. Entering the darkened house, she had sworn she’d left the light on. She recalled a quick shadow slipping just behind her in her peripheral vision. She’d felt a sudden blow to head, had fallen against the wooden banister—

What day is it? The presentation was on Saturday. Did she miss it? A sense of dread engulfed her, then fear. All the seemingly endless months and years of planning her project, all the meetings with that arrogant, dimwitted professor, all those countless hours in the lab…it would all be for nothing. Most importantly, all the sacrifices she’d made with her family, spending so much time away from her daughter—and well, her husband too— would be just a waste.

In the inky darkness, a slight shift of movement awakened her senses.

She was not alone. Attempting to say something, nothing came out except a low groan from her lips. The large figure—a man, no doubt—stopped for a moment. Did he hear her? See her?

Tilting her head slightly, more of her thick dark braids fell to the right side of her face. As her eyes were adjusting to the murkiness, she detected a figure near a square object. A red light blinked incessantly, and with her cloudy vision, it seemed like a floating, pulsating blob. Turning away, a sudden surge of vertigo overwhelmed her and she forced her eyes shut.

As she opened her eyes again, the woman saw a faint light seeping from under the cracks of a doorway on the other side of the space. It looked like long skeletal fingers creeping closer to her.

Footsteps approached her. Suddenly, a smooth gloved hand aggressively grabbed her ankle.

“Hey,” she attempted weakly. Instead it sounded more like “Haammph.”

Below her, the figure worked quickly, tying a rope tightly around first her left ankle, then the right. She wanted nothing more than to kick him as hard as she could, but the drug inhibited her, and her noodle-like legs hung uselessly. As the man worked rapidly, his broad shoulders made him look bulky next to her thin legs. His jerking movements triggered the scent of sour urine that rose from her own skin and stung her nose, and a tear dripped from her eye. Once he finished, he scooted back and moved his head to and fro. Was he on his knees? She couldn’t tell from her angle.

The sound of stone scraped along the floor.

The woman concluded that escape was improbable, and her heart began to race despite the coma-inducing toxin pumping through her bloodstream. A mumbled whimper came to her lips.

Standing up, the man straightened to his full height. His dark clothing constricted tighter against his fit frame, and she could feel his gaze upon her. Was he admiring her? Shaking a braid out of her left eye, she saw that his face seemed unusually dark, but his white skin was visible around the perimeter of his oval face. His chin was rough, scruffy with hair. Was that a beard? Either way, his face was covered in…makeup? She wasn’t sure. Suddenly, he turned away from her and disappeared farther into the shadows.

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Get Caught Up on the Series:

Book 1: GAVIN
Goodreads | Amazon | PaperbackAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Russel

Author Russel

About the Author
Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Last year, he published a second edition of his freshman novel, The Tale of Old Man Fischer. Slipping into alternative universes allows Russell to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Most importantly, inspiration is a continuous piece of his work and results from the world around him. Currently, he lives in Up State New York with his wife, two children, and several cats.

 

 

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Where to Find Russell
Goodreads | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Amazon

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE WATCHERS (The Blood Dagger) by Misty Hayes

THE WATCHERS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE WATCHERS, the second book in the young adult paranormal thriller series, The Blood Dagger, by Misty Hayes. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE WATCHERS (The Blood Dagger #2) by Misty Hayes

THE WATCHERS (The Blood Dagger #2) by Misty Hayes

About the Book
Title: THE WATCHERS
Series: The Blood Dagger #2
Author: Misty Hayes
Release Date: December 15, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Eighteen-year-old Corinth Taylor didn’t sign up to become a Watcher—an elite warrior destined to restore balance to the human race—he was chosen.

Corinth can barely control his own hormones… much less the deadly blade. And to make matters worse, his best friend, Larna, just so happens to be the very thing he’s supposed to eliminate.

But when vampires and slayer find a common enemy, Corinth knows it’s his innate calling to hunt evil down. And evil has a name: Gabriel Stanton. The enigmatic vampire who escaped their capture, has plans for Corinth, Larna, and Alastair… and it’s a threat they’ll never see coming.

When the line between good and evil gets crossed, devastating consequences start to happen. As Watcher and vampire worlds collide, Corinth must decide where to place his trust: with his old allies or his killer instincts. An upstart slayer. A clan of vampires.

What could go wrong?

It’s only the end of the world.

The Watchers is the second book in The Blood Dagger series, a high-octane paranormal YA thriller.

If you like witty heroines, unconventional relationships, and friendships that can withstand the grave, then you’ll love Misty Hayes’ high-stakes story.

Sink your teeth into a fun, fierce vampire series today.

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THE WATCHERS

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Excerpt #2
The state Corinth was in wasn’t helping his case. His cheekbones looked gaunt and contoured in shadow; his muddy T-shirt was stained in dried blood and caked-on mud, and damp, dark hair hung down in clumps over storm-riddled sockets pooled with silvery lightning.

The red tops of his Converse were surprisingly the only clean thing on him. He was grinning wickedly, as if he enjoyed a new challenge. I took note that fiery silver sparks crackled out of his fingertips, bouncing onto the blade he had pointed at the swarm of terrified guards. I wouldn’t want to go toe to toe with him, that’s for sure. The look he was giving them said it all. He wanted blood on his hands.

None of them seemed excited to be the first to take him down. They kept giving each other worried glances over who would be the brave soul to approach him first.

I inched closer to a woman with ebony skin. Her long dreads were combed into a tight ponytail, and as soon as I was close enough, her hard eyes met mine.

I held my hands out in front of me to show her I was unarmed. “Let me through,” I said slowly. “I can talk him down. That display of power you just saw—it will get much worse if I don’t.”

One side of her face corkscrewed up into what I interpreted as a grimace. “Worse than those eyes?”

I nodded. “Much worse.”

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: THE OUTCASTS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

 —————————————————————————-

THE WATCHERS

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Author Misty Hayes

Author Misty Hayes

About the Author
Misty has always called Texas home but has a passion for world travel.

Before taking up writing, she has had a long career in law enforcement. Besides the self-torture of writing books, she also loves the self-torture of running. Misty is currently working on book three of her young adult trilogy in ‘The Blood Dagger’ series. The Watchers – Volume 2 will be released in December 2018.

When not writing, Misty enjoys reading any books by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Joe Hill (Owen King), and J.K. Rowling. A lot of author’s write about pets on their bio’s… Misty has a rescue parakeet named Peeta (As in the Hunger Games).

 

 

 

Where to Find Misty Hayes
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Teaser + Giveaway – KILLER AMONG (Killer Instinct) by S.E. Green

KILLER AMONG Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for KILLER AMONG, the third book in the young adult thriller series, Killer Instinct, by bestselling author S.E. Green. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, a couple of exclusive teasers, and details on her giveaway.

KILLER AMONG (Killer Instinct #3) by S.E. Green

KILLER AMONG (Killer Instinct #3) by S.E. Green

About the Book
Title:
KILLER AMONG
Series: Killer Instinct #3
Author: S.E. Green
Release Date: October 19, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Lane swore never to be like her late mother. But now she too is a killer. One difference remains—Lane only stalks and punishes the guilty.

But while trailing a new killer of teenage girls dubbed “The Strangler”, Lane makes a terrible miscalculation and kills the wrong man.

Now the family of the man she accidentally murdered is hunting the killer, and Lane is forced to cover her tracks by befriending them. Because everyone knows you keep your enemies close.

But are they really enemies? Lane isn’t so sure.

As the plot surrounding “The Strangler” tightens around her like a noose, for the first time Lane is tempted to trust someone with her darkest secrets. But will breaking down her boundaries bring salvation, or doom?

 

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KILLER AMONG Teaser 1

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: KILLER INSTINCT
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book 2: KILLER WITHIN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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KILLER AMONG Teaser 3

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Author S.E. Green

Author S.E. Green

About the Author
S. E. Green is an award willing, bestselling author who writes dark and twisty novels like Killer Instinct, dubbed “Dexter for teens”; Ultimate Sacrifice, a satanic cult novel of suspense; and Vanquished, a gritty survival thriller. She also writes under Shannon Greenland and there you’ll find young adult novels of action, romance, and suspense.

Shannon lives in a small Florida beach town, has one very grouchy dog, and loves to travel. She’s also up for any adventure you might throw her way.

 

 

Where to find S.E. Green
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Wattpad

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – SINISTER LEGENDS (Witching Hour Anthologies) by Various Authors

SINISTER LEGENDS Cover Reveal

The collective authors of the Witching Hours Anthologies are releasing the cover to SINISTER LEGENDS, a set of adult paranormal/horror thrillers, releasing October 23, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and preorder links.

SINISTER LEGENDS (Witching Hour Anthologies) by Various Authors

SINISTER LEGENDS (Witching Hour Anthologies) by Various Authors

About the Book
Title:
SINISTER LEGENDS
Series: Witching Hour Anthologies]
Author: Various Authors
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Genre: Adult Paranormal/Horror/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Bloody Mary…

Bloody Mary…

Bloody…maybe we shouldn’t test that just yet.

Urban legends, fact or fiction, at the end of the day they’re all stories. We know not to spin around the room in the dark whispering her name. We’ve heard about the man with the hook and the terror that stalks the babysitter while she’s home alone.

But there are other tales told around the fire at night. The man finding the steps into hell and sanity flickering away. Mind control experiments by governments, big and small. The woman married to the man of peculiar tastes. There are the haunted hospitals, sleep trials in Russia and more.

Slenderman and Bigfoot are nowhere within these stories; these are only the unusual and dark ones, slanted into truth.

In every legend, there is a seed of truth. Welcome to the Witching Hour.

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Authors
Jenniefer Andersson
Alyssa Brocker
Angie Brocker
JM Butler
Lenore Cheairs
Wendy Cheairs
Alana Delacroix
Charlotte Dhark
Trinity Hanrahan
Sienna Haslam
Morgan Heyward
Kristin Jacques

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – ISLAND ON FIRE by Sophie Schiller

ISLAND ON FIRE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog Tour for ISLAND ON FIRE, a stand-alone adult historical thriller, by Sophie Schiller. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ISLAND ON FIRE by Sophie Schiller

ISLAND ON FIRE by Sophie Schiller

About the Prequel – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
ISLAND ON FIRE
Author: Sophie Schiller
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Genre: Adult Historical Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
In the lush, tropical world of Martinique where slavery is a distant memory and voodoo holds sway, Emilie Dujon discovers that her fiancé, a rich sugar planter, has been unfaithful. Desperate to leave him, she elicits the aid of a voodoo witch doctor and is lured into a shadowy world of black magic and extortion. When the volcano known as Mount Pelée begins to rumble and spew ash, she joins a scientific committee sent to investigate the crater. During the journey she meets Lt. Denis Rémy, an army officer with a mysterious past.

At the summit, the explorers discover that a second crater has formed and the volcano appears to be on the verge of eruption. But when they try to warn the governor, he orders them to bury the evidence for fear of upsetting the upcoming election. As the pressure builds, a deadly mudslide inundates Emilie’s plantation and she disappears. With ash and cinders raining down, chaos ensues. Left with no choice, Lt. Rémy deserts his post and sets off on a desperate quest to rescue Emilie. But with all roads blocked, can they escape the doomed city of St. Pierre before it’s too late?

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Excerpt #2
Rémy turned to face his adversary.

It was a beautiful mulâtresse with exotic eyes, fiery lips, and a long and graceful neck. She wore a muslin dress lined with expensive lace and a yellow turban that accentuated her high cheekbones and bronze skin. Around her neck she wore a necklace of gold beads that glinted in the candlelight. She regarded him with smoldering eyes, and in her hand she held a Browning semiautomatic pistol. She chambered a round with expert precision, flipped the safety catch, and pointed the pistol at Rémy’s chest.

“Don’t move, Lieutenant,” said the Grand Zamy. “She’s trained to shoot robbers and looters and is an expert marksman. Unlike me, Alphonsine is not interested in healing people.” His mouth twisted in a cunning smile.

“That’s a fancy pistol for a lady,” said Rémy.

“Quite necessary when you engage in a dangerous business such as ours,” said the Grand Zamy. “Jealous boyfriends, enraged husbands, swindled business partners, vengeful neighbors. We get all kinds.”

“Yes, I’m starting to get the picture,” said Rémy, keeping his eyes on the pistol. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, and his heart pounded. Somehow he had to get the pistol from her. He had to disarm her. “Still, I’m not used to seeing a beautiful lady brandishing a weapon such as this. For a soldier, a woman with a gun is quite alluring.”

He inched closer to the woman and, in an instant, grabbed her hand and pointed the pistol up. She pulled the trigger and a blast rang out, sending plaster showering from the ceiling. The woman screamed, and Rémy twisted her arm, forcing her to drop the weapon. Then he gave her a forceful knock that sent her hurtling to the floor. Before Rémy could retrieve his own weapon, the Grand Zamy brandished a cutlass and lunged at him.

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Author Sophie Schiller

Author Sophie Schiller

About the Author
Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer”. Her latest novel is Island on Fire, a thriller about the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. She was educated at American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Sophie Schiller
Goodreads | Website Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – CASINO GIRL (Baxter and Holt) by Leslie Wolfe

CASINO GIRL Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for CASINO GIRL, the second book in the adult mystery/thriller series Baxter and Holt, by bestselling author Leslie Wolfe. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

CASINO GIRL (Baxter and Holt #2) by Leslie Wolfe

CASINO GIRL (Baxter and Holt #2) by Leslie Wolfe

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: CASINO GIRL
Series: Baxter and Holt #2
Author: Leslie Wolfe
Release Date: August 31, 2018
Genre:
 Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
In Las Vegas, secrets are deadly.

Detectives Laura Baxter and Jack Holt are members of the elite: Las Vegas Metro PD, one of the toughest and most respected law enforcement agencies in the United States. In the middle of a city with two million residents and 43 million annual visitors, they’re hunting for a killer. 

The girl

When a beautiful, young girl is killed in the high-roller Pleasure Pit of the exclusive Scala Casino, the news reverberates for hours among the ritzy clientele. Before taking the stage where she found her death, Crystal was last seen boarding an unmarked helicopter for a late-night flight to an unknown destination.

The money

The stakes are high at the roulette table, and the players are hot-blooded. Among them, a stone-cold killer watches, waits, and kills without leaving a single trace of evidence. Rien ne va plus but death.

The game

The name of the game is murder, and it doesn’t stop with Crystal’s demise. Anyone who threatens to expose the killer’s identity will soon find they’re being targeted.

In Las Vegas, secrets can kill. 

Two mavericks make an intriguing team. Baxter and Holt trust each other with their lives, only not with their darkest secrets. 

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CASINO GIRL Teaser

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Excerpt – Chapter One: Odds
They’re called quasi-strippers.

They don’t really bare it all, like real strippers do behind the darkened glass doors of specialty adult clubs, but they aren’t exactly fully dressed either while they perform.

Crystal preferred the term exotic dancer. Five nights a week she took the small stage at the center of the high-limit blackjack tables, in the glamorous Scala Casino. Five nights a week she danced and smiled and undulated her perfect body to the rhythm of sultry songs, carefully chosen to lure the gamblers’ attention away from the cards and the ever-diminishing stacks of their chips. In the background, nothing is more Vegas than the Scala Casino floor, filled with a million noises, dazzling lights, and excess adrenaline. Nothing is more alive.

That’s where she belonged, among the glitter and the gold, the glitzy and the rich.

She wore strappy lingerie with black and gold lace accents on beige silk, designed to trick the mind’s eye into believing she was naked. Black, knee-high stiletto boots completed her attire, her black, garter-belt straps attached to them, sexy and kinky and fun. The appreciative looks she basked in that night told her she’d chosen her ensemble well. It was going to be a profitable evening.

The familiar music seemed a bit too loud, making her wince, a little dizzy. She grabbed the pole tighter, aware she was dancing out of rhythm, but knowing the customers were too far gone to notice. It was almost four in the morning, and by that time, most of them were pleasantly inebriated, high on their own excitement and maybe more, living the Vegas dream.

The only danger was that asshole, Farley, a fat, lewd pig who liked to scream at the girls, giving them a hard time for everything they did, right or wrong regardless. Two minutes of being late or changing clothes mid-shift and she’d get pulled inside the pit manager’s office for another scolding session.

But she held her head up during those moments, aware they were going to pass and even more aware they were meant to intimidate her into offering sexual favors in return for a privileged work atmosphere.

Oh, hell, no.

Not ever. Not even if the prick turned blue in the face from too much screaming, or his waiting-to-happen stroke knocked him dead right before her eyes.

But even Stan Farley was looking away that moment, focused on a newly arrived high roller who’d taken a seat at one of the blackjack tables with a view of the stage. She didn’t know that one, but judging by the way Farley fawned over him, he must’ve been someone important.

Someone rich.

Someone who didn’t care that the odds at his blackjack table were stacked higher against him, just because the table came with a view of full inviting cleavage and tight little buns.

Hers.

She felt beads of sweat bursting at the roots of her hair and forced some stale air into her lungs. Maybe the air conditioning was off, or something. The cigar smoke made it almost unbreathable, but it was an acceptable tradeoff for being allowed to work the high roller pit, not some fifty-cents-minimum roulette floor, where the tips were always Washingtons, never a Franklin and rarely a Lincoln, and not a whole lot of them to count at the end of a shift anyway.

No, she’d been lucky, and her luck had started to play in her favor about a month after she’d been hired. For that she probably had Devine to thank.

Her sweaty palms made it difficult for her to get a good grip on the shiny, chrome pole, but she managed a back hook spin and landed facing Devine. Her best friend danced some 30 feet away, on a small, elevated stage set among four, high-limit, roulette tables.

She waited until she could make eye contact with Devine and waved discreetly at her best friend. Just seeing her smile back made her feel less lonely, less vulnerable. Maybe she was going to be okay. Maybe things would work out after all.

Without realizing, she put her palm on her belly in a soft, caressing gesture, aimed to comfort the tiny sparkle of life growing inside her. She wasn’t showing a baby bump yet, but soon that would change, and with it, her entire life as she knew it.

She skipped out of rhythm again, but soon snapped out of her trance, motivated by Farley’s mean glare. She focused on her customers for a while and, within a few minutes of smiling provocatively and wiggling her rear, a crisp fifty-dollar bill landed under the thin strap of her thong, delivered by long, hairy fingers that reached lower and lingered longer than was necessary.

Sometimes she was happy the payout was 6:5 instead of 3:2 on a blackjack at the tables facing her; those jerks deserved to pay.

But she smiled at the man who’d delivered the tip and mocked a reverence without letting go of the pole. Then she let herself fall into a back bend and frowned when she saw Farley was approaching.

“What the hell is wrong with you, huh?” he snapped, after grabbing her arm and pulling her close. The music was loud, and no one could hear his words; not that anyone would care if they did. “Could you be bothered to do your job tonight? A deaf penguin has more rhythm than you.”

“I’m working it, Stan, what the hell? I haven’t taken a break in two hours.”

“The hell you are, bitch. You see those bozos? If they’re looking at their cards instead of your ass, you ain’t earning your keep.”

He let go of her arm and disappeared before she could say anything. He was a two-faced creep; with her and the other girls he showed his real charm. For all the patrons and the rest of the Scala staff, he was a perfect gentleman, always dressed in an impeccable suit and starched, white shirts, pleasantly smiling and accommodating.

She knew better than to let him get under her skin.

But her head was spinning, and she held on tight to the pole, not as part of her routine, but for much-needed balance. The music changed, and she welcomed the new beat, one of her favorites. She knew the playlist by heart; the casino had a limited supply of premixed tracks, but the customers didn’t seem to care.

Cheers erupted at the table in front of her, and one of the players lifted his arms in the air, beaming. The croupier pushed an impressive pile of chips in front of the man, and she quickly flashed her megawatt smile and made lingering eye contact. He didn’t disappoint; he picked one of the chips and sent it flying her way. She caught it gracefully, then placed it on the floor, next to the pole. Her barely-there panties weren’t made to hold casino chips.

When she looked up, she startled.

It was him. It was Paul, and he was furious, by the angle of his eyebrows, by the deep ridges flanking his mouth.

He stood right there, next to her stage, glaring at her with a loaded gaze filled with such hatred that her breath caught. He beckoned her to come closer without making a single gesture. She approached him hesitantly and crouched to bring their eyes on the same level, aware not even Farley would dare say a word. She shot a quick glance toward Devine’s stage, but she was gone, nowhere in sight.

His eyes drilled into hers, close enough she could see his dilated pupils. Without a word, he shoved a purple and white chip deep inside her bra, then grabbed the thin strap, pulling her closer to him. He said something, keeping his voice low and menacing. She couldn’t make out his words but didn’t dare to ask. She wanted to explain herself, wanted him to understand her motives, but she couldn’t find her words.

She didn’t want his money, and she didn’t deserve his anger.

When he finally let go of her strap and pushed her away, she almost fell. Her knees were shaking, and she felt the urge to sit for a moment, to catch her breath. She grabbed the pole tightly and did a clumsy back slide against the shiny surface, landing hard on her butt, then folded her legs to the side. She let her head hang low, and her long, wavy hair covered her face, hiding the fear in her eyes until it subsided a little.

Then she wrapped her hands around the pole again, planning to stand and do a pirouette, but her arms and legs felt numb, listless. She tried to breathe, but air refused to enter her lungs. Frantic, she looked around, searching for someone, anyone, who could help. Only one man was looking at her, but her desperate and silent plea was misunderstood.

The man licked his lips, arranged his crotch with a quick gesture, then looked away at another dancer.

She gasped for air a couple of times, then the bright lights of the casino seemed to dim, inviting darkness to engulf her view of the lively floor. Silence came, heavy, palpable. Against it, not even her own heart beats could be heard.

Defeated, she let go. Her body landed on the stage floor with a loud thump that no one heard. Unnoticed, a white and purple casino chip fell out of her top and rolled onto the floor, stopping under a table.

For a long moment, Farley thought the immobile pose was part of Crystal’s routine, some new dance move that she was trying. Customers really enjoyed seeing girls crawling on the stage; it made the viewers feel powerful, superior, in control. By the time Farley realized he’d been wrong, she was already gone. His chubby fingers felt for a pulse and found nothing.

Now he’d have to call the cops and close the pit. His worst nightmare.

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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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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Dream Cast + Giveaway – PROJECT PROMETHEUS (Assassin Fall) by Aden Polydoros

PROJECT PROMETHEUS Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for PROJECT PROMETHEUS, the second book in the young adult thriller series, Assassin Fall, by Aden Polydoros. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, a look at who he’d like to see cast if his series is ever made into a movie, and details on his giveaway.

PROJECT PROMETHEUS (Assassin Fall #2) by Aden Polydoros

PROJECT PROMETHEUS (Assassin Fall #2) by Aden Polydoros

About the Book
Title: PROJECT PROMETHEUS
Series: Assassin Fall #2
Author: Aden Polydoros
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass…

 

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PROJECT PROMETHEUS Teaser 1

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Dream Cast
I don’t usually think about my dream cast while I’m writing, so in my head, my characters usually end up looking like collages of actors and actresses, models, and people in my life. I had to give this one some thought, and this was what I came up with:

Shannon: Shailene Woodley or Olivia Cooke

Tyler: Alexander Ludwig

Hades: Aaron Johnson (without facial hair. Not 100% satisfied with this one.)

Dr. Miller: Vera Farmiga or Carla Gugino

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PROJECT PROMETHEUS Teaser 2

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 0.5: HADES RISING
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Book 1: PROJECT PANDORA
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

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Author Aden Polydoros

Author Aden Polydoros

About the Author
Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, and now lives in Arizona. He is a writer of young adult fiction. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading and going on hikes in the mountains. Aden Polydoros is a 2015 Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and has published two short stories in Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2015. PROJECT PANDORA (Entangled, 2017) is his debut novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Aden Polydoros
Goodreads | Website | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt – IMPOSTOR’S LURE (Sharpe and Donovan) by Carla Neggers

IMPOSTOR’S LURE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for IMPOSTOR’S LURE, the eighth book in the adult thriller/romantic mystery series, Sharpe & Donovan, by New York Times bestselling author, Carla Neggers.  See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

IMPOSTOR’S LURE (Sharpe & Donovan #8) by Carla Neggers

IMPOSTOR’S LURE (Sharpe & Donovan #8) by Carla Neggers

About the Book
Title: IMPOSTOR’S LURE
Series: Sharpe & Donovan #8
Author: Carla Neggers
Publisher: Mira Books
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Genre: Adult Thriller/Romantic Suspense
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | BAM! | IndieBound | Audible

Synopsis
Newlyweds Emma and Colin are suspicious when prosecutor Tamara McDermott is a no-show at a Boston dinner party. Matt Yankowski, head of HIT, Emma and Colin’s small, elite Boston-based team, is a friend of Tamara’s, and he needs them to find her.

In London, a woman who was supposed to meet Emma’s art-detective grandfather to talk about forgeries is discovered near death. Her husband, who stayed behind in Boston, has vanished. The couple’s connection to Tamara adds to the puzzle.

As the search for Tamara intensifies, a seemingly unrelated murder leads Emma, Colin and HIT deep into a maze of misdirection created by a clever, lethal criminal who stays one step ahead of them.

As Emma draws on her expertise in art crimes and Colin on his experience as a deep-cover agent, the investigation takes a devastating turn that tests the strengths of their families and friendships as well as their FBI colleagues as never before.

Impostor’s Lure is full of clever twists that will keep readers guessing right to the stunning conclusion!

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Excerpt #1
An antique Maine lobster boat was bound to draw attention at a Boston Harbor marina, but Emma Sharpe hadn’t recognized any of the onlookers until now. She pulled off her work gloves and peered out the window of her apartment, located on the ground floor of a former produce warehouse that shared the wharf with the marina.

What was Tamara McDermott doing here?

Emma tossed her gloves into the sink. She’d been cleaning since midmorning. It was after lunch now—she’d grabbed a chickpea salad out of the fridge—but she was almost finished. Kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom. All in four hundred square feet. Plenty of space when it’d been just her, but now she shared the apartment with her husband. Emma smiled at the thought. She and Colin Donovan, also an FBI agent, had been married ten weeks. She hoped she felt this way in ten years. Twenty. Fifty. He was and always would be the love of her life.

But he hated chickpea salad, and he’d been mystified when she’d opted to stay home and clean instead of join him and his three brothers, down from Maine, at their annual Red Sox game.

She took her keys and exited the apartment, ignoring the blast of mid-August heat. Tamara McDermott was in her late forties, a prominent federal prosecutor based in Washington, DC. Emma hadn’t worked directly with her but definitely recognized her. It was Sunday, and Tamara hadn’t called ahead to meet. She wore a casual marine-blue knit dress with diamond stud earrings, a simple gold watch and sturdy sandals. Little or no makeup, sweat dripping down her temples and matting her gray-streaked dark hair at her nape. She must have walked at least a couple of blocks. She wouldn’t be sweating this much if she’d been dropped off by a cab. It was, though, a stiflingly hot day. Emma had on a shapeless linen sundress that didn’t do her any favors, flip-flops, no makeup. She’d pinned up her hair haphazardly, thinking she wouldn’t be seeing anyone until she’d had a shower and put on fresh clothes.

“Hello, Emma.” Tamara squinted in the early-afternoon sun. “This is Colin’s boat, isn’t it?”

“It’s his younger brother Andy’s boat. He’s a lobsterman in Maine.”

“Who’s Julianne?”

Julianne was the name of the classic wooden boat. “Andy’s fiancée. She’s a marine biologist. It was her grandfather’s boat, and he named it after her.”

“But it’s Andy’s boat now?”

Emma smiled. As a prosecutor, Tamara was known for her thoroughness, solid preparation and relentless focus. Of course she’d pick up on the nuances of the lobster boat’s history. “Andy bought it from Julianne’s grandfather. She objected. It was a source of tension.”

“All worked out now, one can assume. Well, it’s a beautiful boat—not that I know anything about boats.”

“I didn’t realize you were in Boston,” Emma said.

“My daughter turned twenty-one yesterday. We’re celebrating tonight. She’s a student here in town. She’s studying archives preservation. I came up for the weekend. I start vacation tomorrow. Unless I get cold feet,” she added with a wry smile.

“It’s been a while, has it?”

“It’s been several years since I took a proper break, yes. I’m scheduled to be away for three weeks. I get clammy hands thinking about it.” She laughed, glancing again at the Julianne, which bobbed in the quiet harbor water between two recreational powerboats. Few working boats used the marina. “I wonder what it’d be like to jump on a gorgeous old lobster boat and take off, see where I ended up.” She turned back to Emma and smiled. “Drowned, probably.”

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IMPOSTOR’S LURE Teaser

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Author Carla Neggers

Author Carla Neggers

About the Author
Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sharpe & Donovan series featuring Boston-based FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, and the popular Swift River Valley series set in the small, fictional New England town of Knights Bridge. With many bestsellers to her credit, Carla loves to write now as much as she did when she climbed a tree at age eleven with pad and pen. A native New Englander, Carla and her husband divide their time between their hilltop home in Vermont, a sofa bed at their kids’ places in Boston and various inns, hotels and hideaways on their travels, frequently to Ireland. Learn more and sign up for Carla’s newsletter at CarlaNeggers.com. Follow Carla at facebook.com/carlaneggers and twitter.com/carlaneggers.

 

 

Where to Find Carla Neggers
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestHarlequin

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON (Shameless) by Meli Raine

A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book Blitz for A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON, the first book in the new adult romantic suspense/political thriller series, Shameless, by USA Today bestselling author, Meli Raine. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can now pick up the eBook for free!

A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON (Shameless #1) by Meli Raine

A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON (Shameless #1) by Meli Raine

About the Book – NOW FREE!!
Title:
A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON
Series: Shameless #1
Author: Meli Raine
Release Date:  January 30, 2018
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense/Political Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

Synopsis
I didn’t do it. I never betrayed my friend.

Last year, I was kidnapped along with presidential candidate’s daughter Lindsay Bosworth, forced to help her assailants, my mother implicated in one of the biggest political scandals in American history. I’ve been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that doesn’t matter. Once you’re tried by the media, you’re guilty as sin. The truth doesn’t get the public’s attention.

But shame? Shame sells. And everyone assumes you’re tainted. Now I have my own personal security team, courtesy of the United States government. Not the one you learned about in civics class, though.

I’m being tracked by the deep state. The shadow government. They’ve assigned Silas Gentian to be with me twenty-four seven. He thinks he knows everything about me – all of it bad — and he does. On paper.

Like everyone else, he assumes I’m a traitor. A backstabber. A betrayer. Someone who helped a group of violent psychopaths, puppets of powerful men in Washington who made me into a tool. Yet I see how he looks at me. True desire can’t be faked. Or hidden.

And that goes both ways. He assumes I’m trying to fool him. And he might be right. But not for the reasons he thinks.

A Shameless Little Con is the first book in the Shameless trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.

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A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON Teaser

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Excerpt #2
“You used to be nice,” I spit out, hating my hurt tone.

“And you used to be decent. Or at least you fooled everyone into thinking you were.”

“I am decent!”

He makes that sound again. The one that feels like a knife against my heart. Disgust radiates off him. Maybe that’s what I really smell in the SUV. The scent of my own rejection.

My phone buzzes again. I ignore it. I’m being monitored by every government agency you can imagine, and my mother’s dead. Most of my texts are from sleazy newspapers offering me money for insider info. For nude pictures. Being falsely accused and turned into the villain in the biggest government scandal since Watergate means people offer you seven figures to take off your clothes.

If I were as indecent as Silas thinks I am, I’d take the deal.

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A SHAMELESS LITTLE CON Free

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Don’t Miss the Rest of the Series:

Book 2: A SHAMELESS LITTLE LIE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

Book 3: A SHAMELESS LITTLE BET
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

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Author Meli Raine

Author Meli Raine

About the Author
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.

Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

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Where to Find Meli Raine
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – ECHOES by Alice Reeds

ECHOES Blog Tour

ECHOES by Alice Reeds

ECHOES by Alice Reeds

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
“Fast-paced and thrilling. ECHOES is a heart-pounding and addictive love story.” —Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait

They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.

Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.

Something that won’t let them leave alive.

Echoes is a thrilling adventure about confronting the impossible, discovering love in the most unexpected places, and, above all, finding hope in the face of the unknown.

 

 

 

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My Review
Two parts LOST, one part THE HUNGER GAMES, ECHOES is intriguing, complex, at times confusing, but a fast, fun, satisfying read. The story opens with a plane crash on a deserted island before flashing back to a trip to Germany seventeen hours earlier. At first, it seems like two separate storylines, and I wasn’t sure which one was real, but it ultimately resolves clearly, so stick with it. High school students Fiona and Miles are recipients of a swanky internship for tech-giant, Briola, in Germany. They’re flown on a private jet and set up in an expensive hotel, but it all falls apart when they take a cab to Briola only to find an empty warehouse with every physical and online trace of Briola wiped from existence.

On the island, Fiona and Miles struggle to survive. Their own relationship is fraught with distrust and animosity. Miles is a trust-fund kid and Fiona is a scholarship recipient at his private academy. They have nothing in common except this internship, which doesn’t make sense to Fiona since she doesn’t see herself as being nearly as qualified as Miles. While the two of them work to remain alive, they have to first learn to trust each other. Surprises and mysteries lurk around every corner, and the more they learn, the more dire their situation becomes.

Plot
The plotting is flawless, with heart-pounding tension, plenty of twists and turns, and unexpected surprises. The relationship development between the two characters is woven through the story so that it’s an extension of the plot rather than the main focus. The author kept me guessing until just the right moment.

The Characters
Both Fiona and Miles are complex characters. Told only from Fiona’s point of view, we see Miles evolve through her eyes. Their assumptions about each other fall away as they’re forced to work together to live another day and get off the island. Fiona is a tough-as-nails kickboxer with a string of trophies to show for it. Miles is a spoiled rich boy with far more to him than just that. Both will learn there is more to themselves and each other than what’s on the surface.

Top Five Things I Loved About ECHOES
1. Twists and turns. I love when I reach the end of a chapter and NEED to turn the page to find out what happens next. Alice Reeds ended nearly every chapter with something that made me not only want, but need, to read on.

2. LOST-ness. The similarities to LOST were an homage to the groundbreaking television show. It both grounded me in the story as well as intrigued me. The parallels begin and end at the setting, though. ECHOES is very much its own story.

3. Fiona. She’s determined and brave, but with a believable vulnerability that suits her character.

4. Miles. He defies stereotype and is a swoonworthy romantic lead.

5. The writing. Author Alice Reeds does  phenomenal job of pulling the reader into the world she’s created so you can breathe in the humid ar, taste the salty air, feel the grit of sand on your skin.

Bottom Line
A perfect blend of terrifyingly thriller elements mixed with a swoony teen romance.

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

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ECHOES Teaser

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About the Book
Title: ECHOES
Author: Alice Reeds
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | Entangled

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Author Alice Reeds

Author Alice Reeds

About the Author
Alice Reeds was born in a small town in Germany but spent her first eight years in Florida, USA. Later on, she moved back to Europe, where her family moved around a lot. She was raised trilingual and has a basic understanding of Russian, read and spoken. After getting her International Baccalaureate Diploma, Alice is studying English Language and Literature at University. In her free time Alice mostly writes, reads, figure and/or roller skates, or watches countless let’s plays and figure skating videos.

 

 

 

Where to Find Alice Reeds
Goodreads | WebsiteTwitter | Instagram | Amazon | Entangled

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Giveaway
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