fbpx

Cover Reveal – PLAY BY MY RULES by Michelle Karise

 

Welcome to the cover reveal for PLAY BY MY RULES, a standalone adult contemporary romance by Michelle Karise, releasing February 28, 2023

Welcome to the cover reveal for PLAY BY MY RULES, a standalone adult contemporary romance by Michelle Karise, releasing February 28, 2023. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

PLAY BY MY RULES, a standalone adult contemporary romance by Michelle Karise

PLAY BY MY RULES by Michelle Karise

About the Book – Preorder Now!
Title:
PLAY BY MY RULES
Author: Michelle Karise
Release Date: February 28, 2023
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
All I wanted was a cup of tea, but I got early morning shenanigans.

Stolen beverage order? ✔️
Furious confrontation? ✔️
Asked out by a thieving, sexy, tall drink of . . . ✔️

It wasn’t the best start to my day, but it had to go up from there. Right?

Wrong.

It was my first day at my new job, and I wanted to make the best impression. I arrived at the office with minutes to spare, and who did I bump into again? The gorgeous thief. Harrison Cooper was the president of my company and my boss.

It was fine. Really. Resisting the heated flirtations and stormy kisses designed to bring me to my knees would be no problem.

Office romance? ✔️
My past exposed? ✔️
Shattered world? ✔️

Now how do I pick up the pieces?

Play By My Rules is a standalone, BWWM romance novel.

 ————————————————————————————–

Teaser from PLAY BY MY RULES, a standalone adult contemporary romance by Michelle Karise

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Michelle Karise

Author Michelle Karise

About the Author
Michelle Karise is a type-A romance author of stories featuring black female leads and the men who love them. She spends her days organizing, planning, and executing corporate initiatives. When she’s done with her workday, she spends her evenings crafting titillating tales of infatuation, passion, and pleasure. Michelle makes her home in Missouri with her overprotective dog, Rooney.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Melissa Cassera
Goodreads | Website Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | BookBub

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – PRETTY EVIL by Zoe Rosi

 

Welcome to the blog tour for PRETTY EVIL, a standalone adult thriller by Zoe Rosi

Welcome to the blog tour for PRETTY EVIL, a standalone adult thriller by Zoe Rosi. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

PRETTY EVIL, a standalone adult thriller by Zoe Rosi

PRETTY EVIL by Zoe Rosi

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: PRETTY EVIL
Author: Zoe Rosi
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: January 17, 2023
Genre: Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | Blackwells

Synopsis
You’ve done a bad thing. She has you in her sights. Now you’re going to pay.

Meet Camilla Black: an affluent, respected, influential fashion magazine editor, who lives it up in her beautiful Mayfair apartment. But Camilla’s glamorous life is a lie. Behind her poised exterior beats the cold dark heart of a vigilante killer, a murderer hell-bent on wreaking vengeance upon bad men.

Camilla expects to get away with murder. She’s careful. And anyway, it’s worth the risk. She’s making the world a better place with each predator she kills. But when one of her victims’ bodies is unexpectedly found, his gruesome death is splashed all over the papers.

To make matters worse, she’s now being pursued by Detective Wheelan, a new addition to the Met with laser-sharp focus and a worrying habit of solving impossible crimes…

She knows she should stop, but she can’t. Some men just deserve to die. Will Camilla’s insatiable appetite for justice be her downfall, or can she outsmart the police?

Revised edition: Previously published as Predator, this edition of Pretty Evil includes editorial revisions.

 

 —————————————————————————————

Excerpt #3
Julian and I shuffle along, one step at a time, until finally we arrive at a row of garages. The ninth one along, with the peeling burgundy door, is mine. Julian looks around, perplexed. He mumbles something but I ignore it. We walk towards my garage. I reach into my jacket pocket and retrieve my key. I changed my outfit during our date, swapping the Chloé dress I was wearing for a pair of leggings, a hoodie, a puffer jacket – all black, all from H&M. I’ll dispose of them later. Julian didn’t notice my outfit change either. He was probably too busy picturing me naked to have even remembered what I was wearing in the first place.

‘Wha . . . ?’ he slurs as I insert the key into the garage door and unlock it.

‘Just sit down. I need to get something. Some sex toys,’ I explain, trying not to smile.

Julian flops down on to the tarmac as I pull up the creaking garage door.

This garage is where the real me lives. It’s where I keep everything I need for my dark pastimes: a wide selection of the sharpest knives and cleavers, a few choice tools I keep as torture implements (a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a mini saw, rusty nails, a corkscrew), an axe, a vat of acid, latex gloves, cable ties, a hammer, rope, drugs, bin bags, a few more wigs, a few more hats. Stuff like that. I have a bunch of ill-fitting men’s shoes I picked up in Primark and a load of socks that I layer on when I wear them. Better that the footprints I leave at crime scenes resemble those of a size ten or eleven man than a size six woman.

I’ve also got a bin bag full of bits and pieces I’ve stolen from various rapists, wife beaters and paedophiles who’ve been on my radar for a while. According to forensic science theory – Locard’s exchange principle – the perpetrator of a crime will always bring something to a crime scene and leave with something from it, and both can be used as evidence. But what if the perpetrator leaves a ton of red herrings? What if the perpetrator leaves five people’s DNA? Then what? Then who’s the perpetrator? I like thinking of the police, following a million different pointless leads, spinning their wheels, getting nowhere. Or, best-case scenario, they bang up a paedophile rapist piece of shit for my crimes, while I slip through the net, undetected. It makes me smile.

I like fucking with people, if you hadn’t guessed already.

The only furniture in my garage is an old armchair that smells of damp, and a cheap, nasty chest of drawers. The top drawer contains my burner phones. Ones with pay-as-you-go SIMs that I use for getting up to no good, like ordering roofies online or going Tinder-hunting. The middle drawer’s full of random crap – crime novels, newspaper clippings, a few notebooks where I jot down thoughts and add to my hit list.

The bottom drawer is my favourite. Like every serial killer, it’s where I keep a box of trinkets, souvenirs from my kills. I know, I’m that clichéd. Like something from a movie. I always thought I’d be tough enough to resist that particular trope – after all, I do hate clutter – but I couldn’t help myself. I guess I’m just a sentimental old schmuck like all the rest. I wanted tokens too. Mementoes. I keep them inside an old aluminium box sealed with a padlock, the combination of which is the one I used for my bike lock back when I was eleven. Imagine if that girl could see me now. God no, she’d have nightmares.

I look over at Julian, passed out on the ground. Perfect. I hook my forearms under his armpits and pull him inside. He slumps on to the floor. I yank the garage door shut and flick on a camping lamp.

I feel like having a little meander down memory lane. I find my box of mementoes and kick off my trainers before settling, cross-legged, in my skanky old armchair. I place it on my lap and click through the dials of the lock, entering the combination: three, eight, two, four. The padlock springs open. I slide it off and open the box.

 —————————————————————————————

Author Zoe Rosi

Author Zoe Rosi

About the AuthorZoe Rosi has a background in journalism and copywriting. She worked as a reporter for local and national newspapers before moving into the fashion industry as a copywriter. Zoe had four romantic comedies published before writing her debut thriller, Pretty Evil. Working in fashion sparked the idea for the book, which Zoe describes as ‘The Devil Wears Prada meets American Psycho’. Someone’s Watching Me is Zoe’s second thriller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Zoe Rosi
GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter | Amazon

 —————————————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – DEFY THE STARS by Cathrina Constantine

 

Welcome to the book blitz for DEFY THE STARS, a standalone young adult fantasy by Cathrina Constantine

Welcome to the book blitz for DEFY THE STARS, a standalone young adult fantasy by Cathrina Constantine. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

DEFY THE STARS, a standalone young adult fantasy by Cathrina Constantine

DEFY THE STARS by Cathrina Constantine

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: DEFY THE STARS
Author: Cathrina Constantine
Release Date: January 13, 2023
Genre:
Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Circus grunt. Charmer. Fire wrangler.

Growing up within the grind of the enchanted Circus Faire, Crew’s unique talents have blossomed. Though, he’s been warned that the King of Hawkswing is determined to eradicate a certain species, and for his own sake Crew must keep his formidable gifts under wraps.

Relations between interspecies caused an imbalance of power and now are strictly forbidden. Dolorans, like Sage and her sister, are being hunted and persecuted because of their intense powers, leaving them no choice but to run to escape the genocide of their kind.

She possesses a forceful energy for good and evil.

His untapped powers are growing stronger by the day.

Survival will demand they rely on each other.

When Crew learns a dark wizard is holding his brother captive, he enters into a deal with him in hopes of getting close enough to free those he has imprisoned. Yet, what he uncovers is far more sinister than Crew could ever imagine. Can Crew harness the strength within him to save his brother and Sage and all those in the wizard’s clutches? Or will he be trapped by the wizard’s wicked plan?

 ————————————————————————————–

Teaser from DEFY THE STARS, a standalone young adult fantasy by Cathrina Constantine

 ————————————————————————————–

Excerpt #3
Crew spun at the sound of her voice. The hag in all her ungodly glory, a decrepit example of a woman, materialized a mere yard from him. Short in stature, her hunchbacked-frame leaned on the staff for support, and up close, her cat-eyes glared at him. Folds of wrinkles poured down her face, but what drew his sight was a cambered bone piercing the septum of her nose. “I’m too tired to play your games, woman.” He fingered the ring on his pinkie.

“No!” Her robed arm shot out, hands gaunt. “I know your ancestry. Intrigued, are you not? I feel it, in the racing of your heart, the flow of your blood.”

He left the ring on, turning it.

“Boy—I am your grandmother.” Her smile looked painful on her face. “Many generations removed.” Attempting a snicker, it came out as a wheeze. “I am Queen Esta. Sovereign Ruler of Misbegottens. Souls conceived by the mightiest, indomitable beings of creation. Our kinfolks were feared and revered by everyone, great and small.” With each spoken word the hag’s stooped vertebrae realigned. Chink by chink, her backbone straightened.

“This is your world, then.” Crew took a gander at Griggan, who was trimming his clawed nails with the tip of his sword. “You are a witch, a sorcerer—a deceiver? Am I supposed to be impressed, reverent even, to be in your presence? This is my ancestry, my inheritance? Well I think I’ll go back to being a grunt in the—”

“You profane, insolent shit.” The planes of her face changed, as if a potter’s fingers were molding, reshaping her skin. Stretching and tightening it over the bones of her face. The hood slipped off her head, bunching on her shoulders. Bedraggled locks were replenished with a growth of satiny snow-white hair. Her cat eyes flashed him a silvery wink. “Don’t trifle with me, boy.”

 ————————————————————————————–

Teaser from DEFY THE STARS, a standalone young adult fantasy by Cathrina Constantine

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Cathrina Constantine

Author Cathrina Constantine

About the Author
I am blessed with a loving family and forever friends. My world revolves around them.

I grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where I married my sweetheart. I’m devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now my grandchildren.

I love to immerse myself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps me to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at my computer you can find me in the woods taking long walks with my dog.

 

 

 

 

Where to find Cathrina Constantine
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

 ————————————————————————————–

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ANNIHILATION ARCHETYPES (Annihilation Archetypes Series) by M.M. Gargiulo

 

Welcome to the book blitz for ANNIHILATION ARCHETYPES, the first book in the adult fantasy series, Annihilation Archetypes, by M.M. Gargiulo

Welcome to the book blitz for ANNIHILATION ARCHETYPES, the first book in the adult fantasy series, Annihilation Archetypes, by M.M. GargiuloSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ANNIHILATION ARCHETYPES, the first book in the adult fantasy series, Annihilation Archetypes, by M.M. Gargiulo

ANNIHILATION ARCHETYPES (Annihilation Archetypes Series #1) by M.M. Gargiulo

About the Book – Read for free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: ANNIHILATION ARCHETYPES
Series: Annihilation Archetypes Series #1
Author: M.M. Gargiulo
Publisher: Sommelier Stories Press
Release Date: January 13, 2023
Genre:
Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Born to siren humans to their watery graves, Nefertiti feels trapped in her life of violence. She leaves her home to venture on shore and falls in love with humans. Her duty brings her back to the sea, and fate tightens its hold on her from an unexpected source.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 —————————————————————————————

Excerpt:
The next day Evgenís was eager to talk about my training. I was evasive, trying not to make eye contact with her. I thought the details of my night were too embarrassing to share with my proud sister, and I had no wish to relive them. I did not know if other huntresses took so long to learn how to walk, but Diana made it seem like they did not.

“Okay, you do not want to talk about it,” she sighed after a few minutes of this ensued. “Tell me this, did you learn something?”

I looked up into her beautiful blue eyes and found myself both comforted and sad. I wished I was better at walking, but Evgenís would still love me even if I was a terrible huntress.

“Yes, I absolutely learned lots of things yesterday.” I smiled at her, forcing myself to look excited and happy.

“Interesting,” she murmured under her breath. “I am glad,” she said at full volume.

“Okay, well do you have anything you would like to do today?” she asked me, her voice bright and cheerful.

“I think I am to meet with someone today.” Guilt washed over me again. Evgenís had given up living with me to come and live here, in isolation.

“Oh, no matter, I am sure I can find something to do while you are busy. Perhaps we can pick a night soon and go to our favorite wreck?” Her hopeful tone had me agreeing before I thought it over.

“I’d love to!” The wreck was a smallish fishing boat that had sunk off the coast of a tropical island. Many species of fish lived inside it, and coral grew off the outside of it. I was particularly in love with the spot because of the bright white sand. It seemed to be made of thousands and thousands of tiny corals, smashed and rounded by the tide and the wind. It was one of our favorite places to go. Evgenís always found it difficult to find fish while we were there. I had many happy memories of the two of us laughing and relaxing in the sand.
Evgenís smiled at my enthusiasm and kissed me on the cheek, excited at our prospective time together.

We ate some kelp together that apparently someone had dropped off in excessive amount while we slept. Things almost felt back to normal, despite our vastly different surroundings. I felt as though removing my tail somehow made me less of a mermaid than Evgenís.

When we were done eating, I bid Evgenís farewell and started to swim through the caverns and tunnels toward the surface to an area similar to the one where I met Diana. If my new teacher was anything like Diana, she would show up near the surface. I watched the moon move in the sky for hours, feeling my anxiety rise. Maybe I was supposed to go somewhere specific, but Diana forgot to mention it.

I was just starting to swim back and forth when I heard a voice.

“Nefertiti! How are you?” Santiago was swimming by, with two others.

“I am well, thank you.” My eyes drifted to the two others with him. One was a beautiful fair blonde female, the other a dark-complexioned male.

“Oh, this is Kane,” he said, gesturing toward the male merman. “And this is Danica.”

“Pleasure to meet the both of you.” I nodded my head in their direction. Kane bent at the waist in my direction.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Huntress.” His deep dark eyes met mine.

“Lovely to meet you as well,” Danica said.

“We were going to visit a reef down in the tropics,” Santiago said. “Would you care to join us?”

“Thank you, but I am supposed to be meeting someone,” I said. I took note of Kane’s and Santiago’s eyes that seemed to linger, and Danica’s, which seemed full of contempt.

“Next time, perhaps.” Kane’s eyes were still locked on me.

“I would love to.” I smiled at Kane, and could feel Santiago stir slightly next to him.

“Farewell then, Nefertiti.” Santiago nodded his head, and the three of them turned and began to swim away. I watched them go with a pang of loneliness and wondered if there would ever be a time where I did not feel so isolated from my own kind. My thoughts turned to Evgenís, who probably had an even harder time with it than I did. Guilt flashed through me at the idea of Evgenís leaving everyone she knew to raise me on her own.

I watched the stars turn in the sky and thought about their stark and naked beauty. Not unlike our people, but less dangerous. I imagined the answers to all of my questions were up there, winking at me in some code I could not understand. I wished I could speak their language of light. I wondered if the Gods were there, Evgenís had told me they lived up in the clouds.

When the sky began to lighten, I gave up my quest. Perhaps my next mentor had forgotten about the time. Maybe Diana gave her the wrong name. I started to swim toward the castle, taking one last look back at the sky. Suddenly a massive hammerhead shark emerged from the haze in the distance. I paused on my journey back home to watch the magnificent creature swim. His gait was the most elegant thing I had ever seen. The way he swam back and forth was reminiscent of how the sea seemed to part for the king himself. I loved the movement of his tail fin.

The shark seemed to notice me as soon as I noticed him. He adjusted his path slightly so he was headed straight toward me. I reached my hand forward, not in the slightest bit frightened of him. He was the hunter equivalent to myself. Even his skin was made of the tiniest teeth. I would probably grow to be more dangerous than he was. At the last second he turned his giant head, swimming by me to allow my outreached arm to pet the length of him as he swam by.

I felt my heart stir at the scars that decorated his side. He was a beautiful creature, full of an ancient sadness. I wondered how anyone could ever hurt such a creature. My hand ran the length of him, ten times my own size, and I felt the rough, textured body under my delicate soft hand.

He circled me once, clearly as eager as I was to remain closely connected, even if it was for a short while. When he came by me a second time, I grabbed onto his dorsal fin and let the length of me rest on top of his body. He seemed pleased by the attention and slowed his pace, allowing me to feel the gentle sway of the giant beast as he moved his tail back and forth. My own body swayed with his movements, and I felt as though we were one. I traced the deep gashes of scars on his back with my fingers, wondering what had caused them. I rode atop him for longer than I should have, the sun starting to really shine on the top of the sea.

He circled back after quite some time of me lying on top of him and swam with dignity back to where he had first found me. I turned my head to kiss the top of his back, my hair swirling around my face.

“Goodbye friend, I hope to see you again soon.” I watched him turn and be swallowed up by the dark sea. Maybe I would never get to play with the other merpeople, but at least I would have shark friends. I turned tail, and made my way back to the cave, exhausted from lack of sleep the previous night. Just before I approached the entrance to the first tunnel, I was startled by a stunning woman waiting by the entrance to the hall.

She had waist length red and silver hair (I gathered she was a huntress), a green tail fin, and a fair complexion. Her giant blue eyes were staring, unblinkingly, at me. I assumed she was older due to the streaks of silver in her bright red hair, but it was difficult to tell, there were no lines on her face.

“Nefertiti.” It was not a question, and I tried to figure out if I had met this woman before.

“Yes, that is I.” I smiled at her, hoping she was less crass than Diana. “I apologize, have we met?”

“We have not, although I have heard tell of you.”

“Well it is truly a pleasure to be acquainted with you.” I nodded my head in her direction.

“Yes, it is, but there is no need to be so formal with me.” She tossed back her hair, and it shimmered out behind her with such finesse I felt a ping of envy. I wondered if I would grow up to be so beautiful. “I am Arianna.”

“Arianna.” Her name sounded like a story I had long forgotten.

“Come, let us go for a swim.” She smiled at me, and I noticed her teeth were not sharpened, but similar to Evgenís’s. Maybe she wasn’t a huntress after all. She reached out her tiny soft hand, and I put mine into hers.

“I am here to teach you the ways of those on land,” Arianna stated. “Much has changed since I walked up there, but I have the best understanding of humankind. I am one of those who brought the best of the land back to the sea.”

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from ANNIHILATION ARCHETYPES, the first book in the adult fantasy series, Annihilation Archetypes, by M.M. Gargiulo

 —————————————————————————————

Author M.M. Gargiulo

Author M.M. Gargiulo

About the Author

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find M.M. Gargiulo
Goodreads 

 —————————————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – DOC SHOWMANCE (Muse Chronicles) by Zoe Forward

 

Welcome to the blog tour for DOC SHOWMANCE, a standalone adult contemporary romance by USA Today bestselling author Zoe Forward

Welcome to the blog tour for DOC SHOWMANCE, a standalone adult contemporary romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Zoe Forward. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

DOC SHOWMANCE, a standalone adult contemporary romance by USA Today bestselling author Zoe Forward

DOC SHOWMANCE by Zoe Forward

About the Book
Title: DOC SHOWMANCE
Author: Zoe Forward
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
From USA Today bestselling author Zoe Forward comes a new enemies-to-lovers veterinary RomCom.

I would say Dr. Ian Todd is my archenemy. But that would require us acknowledging each other, which we haven’t done since we graduated veterinary school.

He’s famous. As in, he’s the world’s “Sexiest Veterinarian Alive” with his own wildlife TV show and a string of glamorous girlfriends.

I’m infamous as a reality TV emergency veterinarian with a snark mouth, take-no-crap attitude, and zero dating life.

When asked to fake a romance with him on TV to boost my ER show’s ratings, I want to say no-way, but the extra money will pay off my brother’s loan shark debt. Even though Ian broke my heart, playing his love interest shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means getting to watch him squirm.

Lines get blurred when the TV setups stop feeling fake. Can I chance this might be real love?

 —————————————————————————————

Excerpt #3
“Amber,” I said slow. “I’ve been giving you space, but I’m not giving up this time. I know we weren’t good for each other in the past.”

She dropped her head. “Don’t do this, Ian.”

I stepped in front of her so we were facing each other. I brushed a knuckle over her cheek and pulled her hair back behind her shoulder. “I’m not at this clinic for the job. I’m here for you. To have a second chance. Or, really, a first chance since we never gave ourselves a chance before.”

Would she see my words as real or bullshit for the camera? This wasn’t rehearsed. This wasn’t something I was told to say. I meant it. I could’ve walked away from the baloney of this show at any time. Sure, I wanted my own show back on TV, and I never wanted to hear about what happened in Colombia again, but I could survive without being on TV. My vlog was still wildly hot. I stayed here to see her again.

“Ian,” she said, breathless. “I don’t think—”

“What do you want me to do?” I asked, bending so our mouths were lined up so close but not touching. “What does a man like me do when the woman he wants more than anything won’t forgive him for a mistake when he was younger and stupid?”

She closed her eyes and held completely still, but I hadn’t missed the pain and uncertainty brewing in her hazel gaze. Then she moved out of my grasp. “I have to see an appointment.”

As she exited the office, the cameraman lowered his camera and said, “That was masterful, Dr. Todd.”

Her head swiveled. The vicious scowl communicated she’d throttle me if she could. Any hint that was real—because it had been—was now shattered.

 —————————————————————————————

Romance Author Zoe Forward

Author Zoe Forward

About the Author
Zoe Forward might admit to you she’s almost prepared for the zombie apocalypse before the fact she writes contemporary and paranormal romances. Her novels have won numerous awards including the Prism, Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers’ Best Award. She’s best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud Keepers of the Veil series, which has won numerous awards. She’s a board-certified veterinarian. You can find her residing in the South with the love of her life, a menagerie of four-legged beasts and two wild kids.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Zoe Forward
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 —————————————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Cover Reveal – CONTROL (The Lockwood Trilogy) by Melissa Cassera

 

Welcome to the cover reveal for CONTROL, the first book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Lockwood Trilogy, by Melissa Cassera, releasing March 28, 2023. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

CONTROL, the first book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Lockwood Trilogy, by Melissa Cassera

CONTROL (The Lockwood Trilogy #1) by Melissa Cassera

About the Book – Preorder Now!
Title:
CONTROL
Series: The Lockwood Trilogy #1
Author: Melissa Cassera
Release Date: March 28, 2023
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
For Natalie Covington and Henry Thorne, only one thing is certain: things are about to get out of control.

18-year-old Natalie has big ambitions but very little control over her situation. She’s trapped at an elite boarding school on a private island, where cell phones are forbidden, militant guards line the iron gates, and her practically prearranged boyfriend has eyes for another girl.

Everything changes when a mysterious new student arrives named Henry Thorne. Henry is a “precog”—a hidden society of people who can see the future, and who are forbidden to reveal their powers. When Henry has a grisly vision of Natalie being murdered, he ultimately decides to save her and face the consequences. But the consequences of changing the future are more dangerous than Henry imagined, unlocking a wide conspiracy among his kind that’s linked to Natalie’s past, and a desire that threatens to consume them.

CONTROL is the first installment in The Lockwood Trilogy. This fast-paced Upper YA/New Adult Paranormal Romance is filled with thrilling turns, self-discovery, spicy language, light steam, and a cliffhanger ending that will leave you obsessing for more.

Reader Discretion: this book contains graphic language, violence, and some heat. Best suited for 16+.

 ————————————————————————————–

Teaser from CONTROL, the first book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Lockwood Trilogy, by Melissa Cassera

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Melissa Cassera

Author Melissa Cassera

About the Author
Melissa Cassera is a Professional Screenwriter, Author, and award-winning Publicity Expert based in Washington State.

Melissa and her work have been featured in Variety, LA Times, Success Magazine, and Fast Company. She was named one of the nation’s Top Personal Branding Experts by The Huffington Post.

On-screen, Melissa is the writer of THE OBSESSION THRILLOGY (Lifetime Network’s first trilogy of movies.) She is also the writer of the films SECRET LIVES OF COLLEGE ESCORTS, NIGHTMARE NEIGHBORHOOD MOMS, MOMMY’S LITTLE STAR, DADDY’S PERFECT LITTLE GIRL, HER STOLEN PAST, and GIRL FOLLOWED. Melissa also sold an eight-episode dark comedy series, ADDICTED, to Fullscreen. She has two additional feature films, WHO KILLED OUR FATHER and NIGHTMARE PAGEANT MOMS, coming to Lifetime Network in 2023, and six additional film projects in active development.

When Melissa is not whipping together obsession-worthy words, she can be found drinking too much coffee, playing at the lake with her dogs, or getting lost in the romance section of a bookstore.

Where to Find Melissa Cassera
Goodreads | Website Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | IMDB

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY’S CONSEQUENCE (The Blackened Tablet Series) by Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna James

 

Welcome to the book blitz for A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY'S CONSEQUENCE, the first book in the adult fantasy series, The Blackened Tablet, by Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna James

Welcome to the book blitz for A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY’S CONSEQUENCE, the first book in the adult fantasy series, The Blackened Tablet, by Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna JamesSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY'S CONSEQUENCE, the first book in the adult fantasy series, The Blackened Tablet, by Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna James

A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY’S CONSEQUENCE (The Blackened Tablet Series #1) by Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna James

About the Book
Title: A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY’S CONSEQUENCE
Series: The Blackened Tablet Series #1
Authors: Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna James
Publisher: Friends with Pens Author Group
Release Date: January 3, 2023
Genre:
Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & NobleKobo 

Synopsis
Three hundred years ago, the sacred tablet granted by their god, Jezabet, turned black, and eight kingdoms broke free, plummeting into the bottomless sea. There was no warning, and no one knows why.

Now, a strange illness plagues Aldersward. Crowned Prince Aedyn’s sisters, Achelle and Annora, his father, and countrymen are desperate and grief-stricken. All hope is lost…

Until someone dreams, and Aedyn leaves behind his mistress and his betrothed to cure their nation. He enlists his friends; a brazen playboy, a gentle strongman, and an ancient mentor. Together, they set out on a perilous journey—few believe they will survive.

This isn’t a fairy tale—s3x becomes currency, murder is ordinary, and love doesn’t conquer all.

Everyone loves a hero—good triumphs evil. But few dare to question how victory ripples into consequences. Explore this exciting concept in the Blackened Tablet Series.

 

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY'S CONSEQUENCE, the first book in the adult fantasy series, The Blackened Tablet, by Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna James

 —————————————————————————————

Excerpt #2
As the sun rose, Aedyn and four groups rowed onto the beach. Two groups would swap out every day, providing all a reprieve from the vessel’s confinement. Women responsible for the horses’ care would utilise an assembled tent next to a makeshift paddock. The men saddled the mounts and rode out, following a Slay guide. Aedyn rode mid procession as they navigated the grassy land toward Slaysfold castle.

“It’s monotonous. I see nay trees, merely a mix of grasses and flowers with the odd shrub. Not even around that lake.” Bennet surveyed the landscape.

“The meadows appear dead, scorched, and yet the sun is cooler here than home.” Aron included himself in the conversation.

Aedyn, puzzled, glanced around. “Where’s Auren?”

“His pouch made quite the racket this morning when he disembarked. He was speaking to a woman as we headed out. He must travel behind.” Asa twisted, not seeing Auren amongst them.

Hundreds of vibrant blue birds, the colour of the Aldersward blue lagoon, landed playfully nearby, then took flight moments later, seeming to play a childhood game of chase. In the distance, a herd of heavy-framed, large beasts with shaggy coats and hunched backs observed the men’s movements. Their heads were wide with a set of horns and bearded chins. Not creatures the Alders recognised.

After a couple of hours, Auren galloped upon them with a wide grin. “This feels much like home. The women here also demand my attention.”

“You make a dreadful lead. Remind me to dismiss you once we return home.” Aedyn ridiculed as the others chuckled.

He feigned an indignant tone. “I was gaining intelligence. It was strategic.”

Amused, Bennet asked. “Strategic?”

He boasted. “While they were busy exercising me, they couldn’t kill Prince Aedyn, could they? Furthermore, you’re welcome.”

They all laughed, aware that Auren’s vulnerability was women and someday, not a magical creature, but a woman would be his demise. Emissary Aron poked Asa, then pointed to Auren’s purse, which sounded considerably less noisy than it had earlier.

“Did ye learn anything of value during yer, um,” Bennet slicked back his hair, “visit?”

“King Sumner executed his father, the last king, and sexually enslaved his mother. They sounded disgusted. They also spoke of another imprisoned slave the king has. Apparently, the king brutalised her until she was unrecognisable and contorted. They were very forthcoming.” Auren explained, knowing his information was valuable.

“His people should be disgusted. I imagine we all will be, but let’s keep it hidden. It’s none of our business. I’m not here to create enemies.” Aedyn advised. “Did the women say anything else useful?”

“Trees are rare now and the king has taken the few remaining, planted them together, and now protects them.” Auren grinned. “Otherwise, they moaned, cried, and pleaded for me to continue my skilled invasion. I’ll spare you your jealousy.”

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from A CROWN FORGED BY VICTORY'S CONSEQUENCE, the first book in the adult fantasy series, The Blackened Tablet, by Aaryanna Abbott and Marlayna James

 —————————————————————————————

Author Aaryanna Abbott

Author Aaryanna Abbott

About the Authors
Aaryanna Abbot is another of my pen names. For every pen name, I use a different part of who I am. I imagine this is how she looks. What’s this part of me like? I was a daddy’s girl. The very epitome of spoilt.

I love to be wild and crazy—experience everything the world has to offer. I’m adventurous and my carefree disposition is contagious. I’m loyal to a fault and don’t care what expectations or labels society has bestowed upon me. I believe one’s truth is more valuable than anyone’s perception.

This part of me writes for escapism—to be free of my mundane day to day and live in a magical world almost as real to me as earth. Except in my imaginary world, I control all things and it pleases me to no end. Do you know how happy you would be living there?

Author Marlayna James

Author Marlayna James

Marlayna lives in Canada where she writes romance, erotica, women’s fiction, and fantasy. She loves video games, TV, reading, and writing.

 

 

 

 

Where to find the Authors
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram 

 —————————————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review – UPGRADE by Blake Crouch

 

UPGRADE, a standalone adult scifi thriller, by New York Times bestselling author Blake Crouch

UPGRADE by Blake Crouch

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
The mind-blowing new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and Recursion—currently in development as a motion picture at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners

“You are the next step in human evolution.”

At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.

But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.

The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.

Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.

Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.

And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?

Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.

 —————————————————————————-

My Review
This was a riveting story from the opening pages. Logan Ramsay is as ordinary as they come. Ordinary intelligence, physique, life, but with an extraordinary backstory that unfolds slowly. He is the offspring of one of the world’s most brilliant biotech scientists, who also happens to be disgraces after her discovery led to the death of scores of people across the globe. But that pales in comparison to the legacy she leaves behind after her death.

After an unfortunate accident, Logan finds himself the victim of an upgrade to his entire body. He not only becomes stronger, more focused, and develops more endurance, but his new intelligence puts his former intellect to shame. But the government cannot allow him to be among the masses in his upgraded form. Soon, Logan is running for his life and the lives of everyone on earth. Because the same upgrade he was given is coming for everyone in the belief that smarter people will stop destroying the planet. Only one problem, up to a billion people could die from the upgrade.

Plot
The plotting is expertly done. The author takes on a fast-paced adventure as Logan races against time to save himself, his family, and the world as a whole. There are several amazing twists that were both heartbreaking and stunning. The subplotting is subtle and involves Logan’s family, but it’s so intertwined with the main plot, it almost doesn’t feel like a subplot.

Characters
The characters were fascinating, particularly Logan. His metamorphosis was believable as he evolved, his emotions wholly in synch with what he was experiencing. The rest of the cast were nearly as well developed, even minor characters.

What I Loved About UPGRADE
1. The Science.
Crouch does a great job of making the futuristic seem possible and relevant.

2. Pacing. A fast-paced story that only let up long enough to allow us to catch our breath.

3. Plot. The plot was not only interesting, but chilling, and it pulled me in.

4. Theme. While the author is a little heavy with the theme, I think it’s an important one to dissect from all angles and he did a great job of that.

5. Twist. I love a good plot twist, and Blake Crouch had several that were fun as well as surprising.

Bottom Line
A gripping, fast-paced tale about a totally plausible, near-future dystopian Earth.

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

—————————————————————————-

About the Book
Title: UPGRADE
Authors: Blake Crouch
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: July 12, 2022
Genre: Adult Dystopian SciFi Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

 —————————————————————————-

Author Blake Crouch

Author Blake Crouch

About the Author
Blake is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of a dozen novels, most recently, Dark Matter, Recursion, and Upgrade, for which he is also writing the movie for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners. His international-bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy was adapted into a television series for FOX, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, that was Summer 2015’s #1 show.

With Chad Hodge, Crouch also created Good Behavior, the TNT show starring Michelle Dockery based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. His novel, Recursion, is currently being developed as a Netflix series by Shonda Rhimes and Matt Reeves, and Skydance is developing a film adaptation of his novella, Summer Frost, based on Crouch’s script. His novels have been translated into forty languages and his short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and Cemetery Dance.

At the moment, Crouch is writing a new book and creating a nine-episode adaptation of his novel Dark Matter, for Apple TV+. Blake lives in Colorado.

.Where to find Blake Crouch
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER (Six Gems Series) by Yahrah St. John

 

Welcome to the book blitz for HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Six Gems, by Yahrah St. John

Welcome to the book blitz for HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Six Gems, by Yahrah St. JohnSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Six Gems, by Yahrah St. John

HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER (Six Gems Series #1+) by Yahrah St. John

About the Book
Title: HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER
Series: Six Gems Series #1
Author: Yahrah St. John
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Release Date: December 17, 2022
Genre:
Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Childhood friends become forbidden lovers in this sexy start to the Six Gems series from Yahrah St. John.

Their fiery affair fulfills her fantasies…

And puts everything at risk.

When travel blogger Wynter Barrington’s wealthy, disapproving family cuts her off, she finds comfort in a passionate chance encounter with Riley Davis, her best friend’s brother. He’s hot as hell…and totally off-limits.

And when they meet again months later, they begin a sizzling affair. Wynter knows Riley doesn’t do love and marriage, but her youthful crush is feeling more and more like a real relationship. If she’s not careful, Wynter may put more than her relationship with her best friend on the line. Can she survive falling in love with the one man she was never supposed to touch?

 

 

 

 —————————————————————————————

Excerpt #1
Riley led Wynter out of the restaurant and to the passenger side of his Bentley, waiting at the curb, and then came round to the driver’s side. Before turning on the car, he turned to her. “Are you sure about this, Wynter? Because if we do this, you need to understand that it’s only for one night. I don’t do commitments or relationships. Besides which, I just became partner at my law firm. I have no room in my life for personal entanglements.”

She understood, because she wasn’t looking for more than tonight. Her world was already topsy-turvy. Spending the night with Riley would be her choice, something she could control. She was owning her feminine power and taking what she wanted. “Yes, I’m sure. I want you, Riley, but if the feeling isn’t mutual…”

He snorted. And before she knew it, Riley’s mouth came down hard and demanding on hers. Desire rushed through Wynter as her arms slid around his neck. She returned the kiss and gave him everything. Riley growled against her mouth as he plundered its depths. His tongue mated with hers in an erotic dance that made her belly swoop and dive like a flight of doves taking off. Wynter’s mind became frenzied with a blur of sensations. If they didn’t stop, she was afraid of what she might let him do right there in the car. Slowly, she pulled away.

He frowned. “Did I come on too strong?”

She shook her head. “Not at all. You were just right, but unless you want to get cited for indecent exposure, I think it might be a good idea for us to take this back to your place.”

Riley grinned. “I think you’re right.” After giving her a heated stare, he turned on the ignition and eased the car out of the parking lot.

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Six Gems, by Yahrah St. John

 —————————————————————————————

Author Yahrah St. John

Author Yahrah St. John

About the Author
Yahrah St. John is the International author of forty books. She became a writer at the age of twelve when she wrote her first novella after secretly reading a Harlequin romance. Throughout her teens, she penned a total of twenty novellas. Her love of the craft continued into adulthood. She’s the proud author of thirty-nine books with Arabesque, Kimani Romance and Harlequin Desire as well as her own indie works.

When she’s not at home crafting one of her spicy romances with compelling heroes and feisty heroines with a dash of family drama, she is gourmet cooking or traveling the globe seeking out her next adventure. For more info:www.yahrahstjohn.com or find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bookbub or Goodreads.

 

 

 

Where to find Yahrah St. John
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | BookBub

 —————————————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz + Giveaway – THE MATCHMAKER’S ROYAL MESS (The First Three Dates Matchmakers Series) by Frieda J. Downing

 

Welcome to the book blitz for THE MATCHMAKER'S ROYAL MESS, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, The First Three Dates Matchmakers, by Frieda J. Downing

Welcome to the book blitz for THE MATCHMAKER’S ROYAL MESS, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, The First Three Dates Matchmakers, by Frieda J. DowningSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE MATCHMAKER'S ROYAL MESS, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, The First Three Dates Matchmakers, by Frieda J. Downing

THE MATCHMAKER’S ROYAL MESS (The First Three Dates Matchmakers Series #1) by Frieda J. Downing

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE MATCHMAKER’S ROYAL MESS
Series: The First Three Dates Matchmakers Series #1
Author:Frieda J. Downing
Publisher: Pinkies High Publishing
Release Date: November 22, 2022
Genre:
Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
She’d rather give a mountain lion a bikini wax than mess with love again.

Been there, went viral, never going back. Hattie Montague’s life as a backcountry guide for the spoiled and famous suits her just fine, thanks. It’s the only place she feels completely safe being herself. So what if she has nightmares that she can only speak squirrel and craves pine cones for breakfast? It beats leaving yourself vulnerable to humans. Fine, all of them aren’t bad. She likes probably three, so when one needs her help, she drags herself back to civilization. If she can navigate white water rapids, she can babysit a matchmaking office for a weekend. It’s not like she’ll have to deal with people or, you know, be nice. Ew.

Alexander Greye ruined her life ten years ago. Not his proudest moment. Known as the Winter Warlocke, he’s a man born and raised to lead a country with logical precision. Yet around her, he can’t seem to think rationally. He’s never met anyone who dives into the unknown like she does or tames chaos like she can. In a world as perfectly controlled as his, that makes her irresistible and utterly dangerous. And he’s willing to risk it all to thaw his frozen heart.

It’s half past too late when he realizes his carefully laid plans to win her over covered everything except the theft of the Crown Jewels, an abandoned mine where they’d have to face their deepest fears, and the betrayal that forces them to let go.Quite literally.

Warning: Not for the faint of heart. Sassy romantic adventure, with instances of chaos, misunderstandings, and feels. Oh, and the occasional sheep. Sparks will fly, it’s gonna get awkward, and the Happily-Ever-After will be well-earned.

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from THE MATCHMAKER'S ROYAL MESS, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, The First Three Dates Matchmakers, by Frieda J. Downing

 —————————————————————————————

Excerpt #2
Since the office doesn’t have a bathtub, I get resourceful. The closet, unfortunately, is a disaster of pillow guts and shelving covered in sheep-sized bite marks. No one would confuse me for a sheep expert, but I always thought it was goats that chewed everything to pieces. Maybe Calambity is part goat. Thankfully, the blue pillow tub is in one piece.

I carry it to the kitchenette and place it on the tile next to the sink. Once I have it situated, I pull the large plastic dustpan off the broom and place the wide bit under the faucet of the tiny sink with the narrow handle hanging off the side. When I crank the hot water, I watch the makeshift waterfall begin to fill my soon-to-be luxurious bath. I shut the curtains in Zoe’s office, then lay out the single towel I had packed. After I strip down, I test the water one more time. A quick soak to freshen up, then I’ll curl up with my pizza and catch up on some Netflix until CataXanderclysm shows.

I snort, rather pleased with myself for that one, then put some tunes on my phone. A summery, reggae sounding track fills the office. With arms overhead, I dance over to Zoe’s desk and snag the bath bomb I found earlier when I was looking for printer ink. Since Zoe said help yourself to anything, I’m doing just that. I’ll replace it tomorrow, along with everything else.

At long last, I get the thin, clingy plastic off the blue ball and, lifting it in a toast to the peace and quiet, I ease myself into the oversized bucket. If I were a tall girl, this could’ve been problematic. As it is, I have to bend my legs all the way for them to fit. It mostly works; only my knees poke out of the water. Despite that, it’s pure bliss. I drop the bright bath bomb in with a satisfying bloop. Tiny bubbles escape and an indigo cloud disperses. To my delight, it also appears to be a low-powered bubble bath. It doesn’t produce heaping mounds of fluff, but it’s enough to cover the surface with bluish white foam and fill my nose with the tantalizing fragrance of cupcakes. I close my eyes, inhale, and settle in as far as my coiled up appendages will let me. I savor the warmth and scent as they wrap around me. Since I don’t know the upbeat song playing, I make up words so I can sing along my way.

I can feel my hair still sticking up in all directions, so I tip first to one side, then the other to wet it down. However, I can’t get the middle strip, so I take a scoop of bubbles and form the remaining dry hair into a floppy fauxhawk. After that, I splash some of the scented water across my face. In the midst of one of those scrubbing sessions, the door to the office opens. Surprised, I suck in bath water and spend a solid ten seconds coughing and sputtering.

Lo-and-behold, my Personal Pain in the Stuff Sack leans against the doorjamb with his arms folded across his chest, one ankle casually crossed over the other. Too bad GQ isn’t here with cameras because Xander is cover model material in the flesh. The navy, single button suit he wears looks more expensive than most of the furniture in this office. Unfortunately, it also sets off his stormy eyes, making it practically impossible to notice anything but him. A smug grin creeps over his arrogant mug. “You look a little crazy right now.”

I scowl and hug my arms to my chest, doing my best to hide my panic. Natalie’s reminder to lock the door chooses that moment to waft through my brain, taunting me. “Why thank you. I owe it all to you. What on earth are you doing here?”

His grin grows. “I love what you’re wearing for our date.”

I hunker down deeper in the plastic storage tub and pull my knees a little tighter to my breasts. My heart’s pounding so hard it may be enough to churn more bubbles all by itself. How can he just stand there and flirt? “You act like you’ve never seen a woman having a bath before. Do us a favor and grow up.”

His lips twitch. “I’ve never seen you having a bath before. There’s a very important difference. Also, in all fairness, I’ve never seen any woman bathe in a storage bin, nor turn herself blue doing so.”

“Blue?” I glance down, then hiss. “Son of a cupcake scented bath bomb.”

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from THE MATCHMAKER'S ROYAL MESS, the first book in the adult contemporary romantic comedy series, The First Three Dates Matchmakers, by Frieda J. Downing

 —————————————————————————————

Author Frieda J. Downing

Author Frieda J. Downing

About the Author
Nice to meet you. I’m Frieda. I write sweet contemporary romance as well as romantic adventure.

I blame it on my childhood babysitters. For some reason they thought I shouldn’t ride our family’s buffalo. Believe me, I was just as shocked as you. Though I never did get that buffalo ride, I found plenty of other creative outlets for my adventure needs. Some were good clean fun, some got me kicked out of various and sundry events, and others ended with me getting lost in catacombs. (Not metaphorically speaking. Somewhere there’s an Austrian catacomb caretaker? guy whom I owe dinner and a large apology.)

I like to think I’ve gotten a tiny bit wiser.

I married my best friend and dove head first into the magnificent cyclone known as raising kids. I mountain bike every chance I get, lose my coffee cup daily, and bake a mean lemon merengue pie, if I do say so myself. I may indulge in shenanigans on a regular basis, but I plead the fifth every time.

I suppose it’s important to me that you know how very much I love us crazy, broken humans. We dream so big. We try so hard. Yet somehow, so often, things just go terribly, horribly wrong.

That’s where my books begin… because that’s where the real love story’s found. I hope you enjoy reading them. Most of all, I wish you adventure, joy, and more love than you knew was possible.

Where to find Frieda J. Downing
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Instagram

 —————————————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blitz + Giveaway – WINTER DRAGON (Season’s War Series) by Olena Nikitin

 

Welcome to the book blitz for WINTER DRAGON, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, Season's War, by Olena Nikitin

Welcome to the book blitz for WINTER DRAGON, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, Season’s War, by Olena NikitinSee below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

WINTER DRAGON, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, Season's War, by Olena Nikitin

WINTER DRAGON (Season’s War Series #2) by Olena Nikitin

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: WINTER DRAGON
Series: Season’s War Series #2
Author: Olena Nikitin
Publisher: Viper Dawn Press
Release Date: December 18, 2022
Genre:
Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
“When a Chaos mage fights, only blood and scorched earth remain.”

Mage War Chronicles

Some victories are more costly than others, and Ina was the one that paid the price.

Determined to rescue her dragon, the newly appointed royal witch embarks on a gruelling journey through the wintery Grey Mountains. The weather is not her only obstacle, as the enemy forces gathered in the kobold mines have only one goal.

To capture the Chaos mage and deliver her to the heart of the mountain.

With the help of Sa’Ren, Ina arrives at Castle Liath almost unscathed, but her joy is short-lived, as its granite walls hide a shocking revelation.

With blossoming love shattered by a possessive dragon’s claim and an impossible mission to fulfil, will the mysterious Blessing of the Mountain help or hinder her efforts to protect Cornovii?

Immerse yourself in the second book of Season’s War, where passion mix with cruelty and the world-changing power is buried deep in the ancient tomb guarded by the stern Mountain God.

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from WINTER DRAGON, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, Season's War, by Olena Nikitin

 —————————————————————————————

Excerpt
They charged again, but Ina was prepared, and she released her vipers, one wrapping around her sword, another coiling around her, acting as a shield. Mar and Ren exchanged grins and attacked. The clash of steel from Ina’s sword parrying Mar’s attack was a sharp counterpoint to the hiss of magic as Ren’s strike was repelled by the viper protecting her body. Her protagonists instinctively controlled their assault, allowing Ina to learn how to fight, but she was soon sweating and panting from wielding both magic and sword in combat. Too proud to stop, Ina fought on, despite waves of dizziness and nausea, barely hearing the cheers from their audience. Just on the brink of fainting, a sudden commotion interrupted the sparring.

‘My chickens! A beast is eating my chickens!’

A serf from the household ran onto the training field and pleaded with Alleron.

‘My lord, help us. A beast is eating the chickens.’

Ina was trying to catch her breath, and the servant’s words made little sense, but she followed everyone as they followed the lord of Liath and the distraught woman.

As they arrived at the kitchen garden, Ina skidded to a halt, eyes wide in shock at the sight of her horse, perched on the poultry house like an animated gargoyle, watching the panicked chickens run around, occasionally snatching one when it came too close, consuming it messily and with great enthusiasm. Before she could collect her thoughts, two soldiers approached the horse and tried to grab its reins, but with a disdainful shake of her head, Zjawa twisted around and leapt over their heads, trotting happily over to Ina to beg for a cuddle.

Ina looked at her ‘horse’, who dropped a half-eaten chicken at her feet, shook her mane, and whinnied happily. The witch sighed deeply and looked down. As her gaze rested on Zjawa’s feet, Ina frowned, perplexed, watching her mount pawing at the ground. Her horse had five toes where a hoof should be, each ending with a sharp talon that easily tore through the grass underneath. Ina looked at the other feet, studying the bunched fingers, their claws almost like a normal hoof.

‘What the hell are you?’ the witch asked, looking at the horse, her question met with an amused animal stare.

‘She is an orein.’ Ina heard Alleron’s mournful voice behind her and turned around to look at him. The witch noticed Ayni heading in their direction with an unreadable facial expression.

The dragon nodded respectfully to the horse, taking a long look at the mare before turning to Ina.

‘Care to tell us how a mere human earned the blessing of the mountains?’ Ina’s head snapped up at those words, and a chill ran down her spine when her gaze met the assessing stare of the dragoness.

 —————————————————————————————

 

 —————————————————————————————

Get Caught Up on the Series – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited

Book 1: AUTUMN CHAOS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

 —————————————————————————————

Teaser from WINTER DRAGON, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, Season's War, by Olena Nikitin

 —————————————————————————————

Authors Olena Nikitin

Authors Olena Nikitin

About the Authors
Olena Nikitin is our pen name. We are an enthusiastic couple of writers who are fascinated by the fantasy/paranormal romance genre and decided to write a book we would love to read.

Behind the Pen name:
Olga – is Polish, armed with a wicked sense of humour and typical Slavic pessimism she is the wicked witch from the East. She has written stories since childhood, initially mostly about her work. As an emergency physician, she always has a story to tell and often not much time to write.

Mark is a typical English gentleman whose charm, refined taste and an impressive collection of books were tempting enough to make Olga leave her homeland. Don’t tease him too much; this man has an impressive sword collection and he knows how to use it. He also can fix everything, including Polish syntax in English writing.

Where to find Olena Nikitin
Goodreads | WebsiteNewsletter | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok

 —————————————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

Young Adult Book Review – LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK by John Neufeld

 

LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK, a standalone young adult narrative on mental health by Joh Neufeld

LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK by John Neufeld

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Selected as one of The New York Times Book Review’s Best Books of the Year and honored worldwide, Lisa, Bright and Dark was an immediate sensation when it was first published.

Detailing how mental illness affects friends and family of the ill, Lisa, Bright and Dark has been in print for more than forty years.

Its value has not diminished over time, and readers throughout the world contact the author regularly to discuss their reactions to it. A straight-through read, it is full of romance, excitement, suspense, and finally triumph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 —————————————————————————-

My Review
I first read this novel in middle school as a young teen and found it riveting. Now as a parent with my own teens, I was interested in rereading some of my childhood favorites. The story still holds up, but some of the dialogue left me wondering if my parents’ generation really talked like that. I don’t recall it standing out to me as a teen, but that was also a long time ago. I’m not sure today’s teens will find the dialogue youthful, and many of the cultural references will be very dated. In fact, I had to Google Joanne Woodward’s famous smile, because I didn’t get that reference at all. However, the overall themes of mental illness, adults not being able to clearly see what it so obvious to peers, and the desire and willingness to do whatever it takes to help a friend will resonate strongly with today’s generation.

Narrated by Betsy, the book is about Lisa, a mutual friend, who is crying out for help, fearing she’s losing her mind, and how no one is willing to help her. Times were likely a lot different back then, with teachers unwilling to step in and advocate on behalf of their students, but I think most of the rest of is still relevant today. Lisa goes out of her way to get someone, anyone to listen. Though Betsy is more of a peripheral friend, Lisa seems to trust her and Betsy and her other friends, Mary Nell and Elizabeth, do everything they can to get Lisa the help she needs.

Plot
The plot centers around Lisa as seen through Betsy’s eyes. The girls struggle to get Lisa the care she needs despite dismissals and outright denials from the adults in the situation. There’s not much subplotting going on, but considering the subject matter, I’m not sure that’s necessary. The plot itself moves fairly well with short chapters and emotional punches.

Characters
Lisa, though not the narrator, comes off as the most well-developed character in the story, followed by Betsy, the narrator, then Mary Nell and Elizabeth. But Elizabeth, I suspect, was deliberately an enigma, at least until the end. While I mentioned above that as an adult now, I didn’t find their dialogue to be particularly youthful, their thought processes definitely were. This made their actions and motivations exceedingly believable. And while the teens were well-rounded, the adults came off looking like idiots, at least in the eyes of the narrator.

What I Enjoyed About LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK
1. Commitment. The way Lisa’s friends are devoted to getting her the help she needs was heartwarming.

2. Lisa. She was a complex character who knew something was wrong with her and terrified.

3. Betsy. She came off as annoying at times, but she always had her heart in the right place.

4. M.N. Mary Nell was an interesting character that was both trying and dedicated, which made her fascinating.

5. Honesty. The book was an honest tale of mental illness and how it can rob someone of everything.

Bottom Line
A gripping YA tale of friendship and mental illness.

—————————————————————————-

About the Book
Title: LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK
Author: John Neufeld
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Release Date: November 1, 1970
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

 —————————————————————————-

Author John Neufeld

Author John Neufeld

About the Author
John Neufeld was born in Chicago, educated at Phillips Exeter and Yale, worked in publishing 1962-1969 when LISA,BRIGHT AND DARK was published (after EDGAR ALLAN).

He lives in Connecticut and is the author of more than a dozen children’s and adult novels. He is a teacher as well as NPR commentator. Neufeldauthor.wordpress.com is his blog.

.

.

.

Where to find John Neufeld
Goodreads | Blog | LinkedIn | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Advertising

Analytics

Other