Welcome to the book blitz for UNEXPECTED, a stand alone adult contemporary LGBTQ+ sports romance, by Felice Stevens. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Party planner Colin Brightman doesn’t drink or dance, preferring to go to bed early with his spreadsheets and lists. All he wants is to forget the singles weekend his friends sent him on, but he’s stuck with a suitcase filled with condoms and skimpy Speedos that don’t belong to him.
He doesn’t expect his luggage thief to be ex-baseball superstar Walker “Walk-Off” Scanlon. Or that Walker has hired his firm to put on a charity event at his bar. Colin can’t deny the mixed emotions the annoyingly flirty man stirs in him, but he refuses to fall for someone who racks up lovers as easily as he once hit home runs.
No matter how much he might want to.
Walker Scanlon likes his men easygoing with no complications. He’s had enough of those in his life. So why is he drawn to tense and straitlaced Colin and his frosty scowl?When even his corny one-liners and jokes don’t get him a smile? Because the sparks between them are undeniable. And that unexpected kiss? Amazin’.
Now if only Colin would stop running away.
When Colin and Walker come face to face with past hurts and betrayals, they’ll need to trust themselves and each other to learn that heartbreak and love don’t go hand in hand. It’s the bottom of the ninth and if they swing for the stars, they just might hit the grand slam of a lifetime.
Unexpected is a low-angst, high-heat romance between a corny joke-telling ex-baseball player who doesn’t believe in striking out on or off the field and a divorced, tea-drinking homebody who isn’t willing to get played…again.
Excerpt #2 Why aren’t you inviting one of your friends? Why me?” he protested, even though a kernel of desire to go and be with people—with Walker—unfolded in his chest.
“It’s tradition. You’re supposed to invite new people.”
“You mean strays who don’t have anywhere else to go.” He sounded bitter but couldn’t help it.
“If that’s how you’re seeing it, I’m sorry. I just felt we got off on the wrong foot, and I wanted to make it up to you.”
“With chicken soup.”
“It’s got noodles,” Walker crooned. “And she makes a mean brisket.”
His stomach growled, the soggy grilled-chicken sandwich he’d eaten at noon less than memorable.
“I thought you said schnitzel.”
“Well, duh. There’s never just one main course at the table. You know that.”
Actually, he didn’t. His mother could never afford to make a big meal on the holidays, and they’d gone to the synagogue for their meals. He remembered listening to the rabbi and his wife urge his mother to use the food pantry, but pride wouldn’t allow her and she refused, yet somehow, they almost always ended up with leftovers the rabbi’s wife couldn’t fit in her refrigerator.
“I don’t know. I’m sure you have other people to invite besides me. Friends you know better and could have a good time with.”
“Yeah, but I want you.” Walker snickered, and Colin’s heart lurched as he wondered what it would feel like to really be wanted by a man like Walker Scanlon. “If we’re going to be working together, we should get to know each other.”
“I don’t normally become friends with my clients. Besides, it’s only one event.”
“Oh, I’m not just interested in a one-off. I have things planned all year long I need help with.”
“I see. And suddenly you need an event planner for all of them?”
“Funny thing, isn’t it?”
Colin could feel Walker’s smile through the phone.
“You’re not going to take no for an answer, are you?”
“You just figured that out?”
“Annoying,” he muttered, and Walker snickered.
“Trust me, I’ve been called worse.”
“I’ll bet you have.” Weighing his options, he rolled his neck side to side to relieve the sudden tension. “Fine. I’ll go with you this one time. Where should I meet you?”
“I’ll pick you up in a car. Say at six thirty?”
Doing a quick calculation in his head of how long it would take him to buy a nice bottle of wine and freshen up, he agreed. “Okay. I’ll be in front of my office at six thirty.”
“See ya then.”
He set his phone down, shaking his head, but with an unexpected light heart.
Author Felice Stevens
About the Author Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. Her characters have to work for it, because just like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
Felice is the 2020 Lambda Literary Award winning author in best Gay Romance. She lives in New York City and has way too much black in her wardrobe. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her watching reality TV or procrastinating on FB in her reader group, Felice’s Breakfast Club.
Welcome to the book blitz for EVERYTHING WE ARE, a standalone new adult contemporary sports romance, by Darby Blake and Sienna Ray. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
Synopsis Thea Jenson has her future meticulously planned out. Graduate from college. Get a job. Marry her high school sweetheart and have two beautiful children. When she decides to transfer schools, her brother suggests she move in with him and his unruly hockey roommates. Everything in her life is going according to her plan . . .
. . . until she bumps into Kyler in their kitchen and sparks fly.
Kyler Rose, the starting center for the Northport University hockey team, is done for the moment he lays his eyes on Thea. But he can’t allow her to become a distraction. He’s determined to make it to the NHL. That’s if he doesn’t get booted for failing grades first. And even though he’s on scholarship, it doesn’t pay his bills or provide for his family. Neither do the tips he earns from his bartending gig. When an offer to make some fast cash falls in his lap, he takes it, thinking no one will care if he gets hurt . . .
. . . except Thea does care.
But just as Kyler finds a way to navigate his feelings for Thea, an unexpected link to his family comes to light and he finds himself in the fight of his life to protect those he loves the most – his family.
Kyler “Last call,” I holler out and prepare for the rush of people coming to the bar. It’s Thursday night, and for the most part, quiet. I know a few kids from school who are hanging out, but the rest of the crowd are summer stragglers, determined to extend their vacation by a couple more nights. I can’t say I blame them. The idea of starting classes next week is daunting, and I’m not looking forward to the Monday through Friday hassle of having to study, sit through lectures, and prepare for the upcoming hockey season.
People start to leave. The regulars tell me goodbye, and some wish me good luck. I’ve spent countless hours talking to them about school and hockey. They’ll come to the games when they start, and most will show up when our Blue Line Club has some event where fans can come meet the players. Some forget I’ll be working up until hockey season starts, and then my days will vary. Even though I’m on a scholarship, I still have to work. The “full-ride” offer schools give is pretty much a joke. Granted, they pay for my schooling, on-campus food, and books, but that’s it. If I need clothes, a damn snack, or gas for my car—it’s all on me. Most of the guys on the team still get an allowance from their parents. No such luck when it comes to my parents. Actually, just a parent. My dad bailed when I was two, leaving my mom to raise my sister and me on a very limited income. To say I grew up on the struggle bus would be an understatement, and I’m only where I am because of sponsors. There’s no way in hell my mom would’ve been able to afford to keep me in the hockey programs without programs aimed at helping underprivileged kids.
A hottie comes up to the bar with her empty martini glass. She’s been in town for two weeks, taking advantage of the late season sales, which are meant to increase tourism in Northport. “Hey,” she says in what should sound like a sultry voice but comes off as raspy and a bit too loud because of all the extra bar noise.
“Manhattan?” I ask her as I take her empty glass and set it with the others I need to wash. When I turn back to her, she’s leaning on the bar with her breasts pushed together. After two weeks of trying, the answer will still be “no” from me.
Author Darby Blake
About Darby Blake Darby Blake is a pen name for New York Times Bestselling Author Heidi McLaughlin. Darby’s first novel, EVERYTHING WE ARE, co-written with her best friend, is due to be released in June 2022. Learn more about Darby by visiting darbyblake.com.
About Sienna Ray Sienna Ray is a quietly introverted author living in the UK. She lives with her other half and despite aspirations to be an author in her school days, has only just recently embarked on her writing journey. Her debut novel, EVERYTHING WE ARE, co-written with her best friend, is due to be released in June 2022.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE RIGHT KIND OF UNEXPECTED, a stand alone new adult contemporary romance, by Rayna York. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Tess hasn’t experienced many kindnesses in her eighteen years. When her boyfriend abandons her at a small-town gas station, it’s just one more crappy event to add to the pile. Without a car, money, or cell phone, her options are limited, and calling her parents isn’t one of them. So when the family that owns the business throws her a lifeline, she grabs hold. Because even the worst situations can have a silver lining, and this one is a town called Jasper Creek, a diner everyone calls Earl’s, and a young mechanic named Colten Reed.
Rayna York’s standalone novel gives readers the small-town romance they crave with enough feels to make the heart sing. It’s the perfect feel-good, summer romance.
Excerpt I rush to the bathroom at the side of the building and lock the door behind me. I can’t deal with this anymore. I grip the sides of the pedestal sink and drop my head, breathing deep. In, out, in, out, fighting for calm.
Why? Why did I think this was a good idea?
Three days ago, Dax and I were on our way to a gallery opening when I mentioned I’d never been to Disney World. He said he hadn’t either. I commented on how it would be fun to jump in the car and go. High school graduation was over, my parents were in Europe, I didn’t have any plans for the summer, so the next afternoon we were on the road.
I lift my sunglasses to the top of my head and startle at the red-rimmed, brown-eyed zombie staring back at me. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since we left, and I forgot to take my makeup off last night, then Dax was in such a hurry this morning.
Maybe our relationship was always a mess. I don’t know. We’ve only been together for six months. In New York, Dax and I got along great. There were parties, restaurants, people, and places to fill our time. Now, without the distractions and being stuck together in mostly confined spaces, I realize we don’t have as much in common as I thought. But it’s more than that. He needs to be right about everything and nags me until I concede to his views. I never noticed him doing that before. There are a lot of things I didn’t notice before.
I use a little soap and water on a paper towel and clean the black smears from around my eyes. It cleans the makeup off perfectly, but the dark circles and puffiness remain. I slide a hair elastic from around my wrist and pull my brown mop of humid-induced frizz into a messy bun.
With a deep sigh, I slide my glasses back over my eyes and push the door open into the bright sunlight. I take in the beautiful field dotted with wildflowers behind the gas station, then close my eyes and lift my face to the sun, disregarding the intensity on my pale skin. I breathe in the fragrant smell of green that only a sweltering heat can produce.
It’s time to put an end to this impromptu adventure. It ceased being fun after the first five hours. And it’s my car, my time, my money. With renewed strength, I turn on my heels, ready to confront Dax and get my car keys back. I’m heading home with or without my soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. I can drop him off at a bus station if he wants to continue the trip.
I round the corner of the building. Wait, what? Where is it?
I walk to the two ancient gas pumps and turn in a circle, taking in the white building with peeling paint, and everything else in the three-hundred-and-sixty-degree radius, but the car is nowhere in sight. I walk to the other side of the building, thinking he might have parked in a different location while getting something from inside, but the car isn’t there either.
Author Rayna York
About the Author Rayna York grew up with hippie parents that liked to adventure, so being the new kid was always a challenge. Where change was the norm, books were her constant–a way to escape. As an adult, many careers came and went, but writing has always been her passion. Everything I knew to be true is her first published novel.
Welcome to the book blitz for BLOOD ON HIS LIPS, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, The Fae Prince of Everenne, by Alisyn Fae. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
BLOOD ON HIS LIPS (The Fae Prince of Everenne Series #2) by Alisyn Fae
Blood on his lips. Power in his touch. A maelstrom in his eyes.
The Prince, an Old One, High Lord of House Montague, is fixated on claiming me. The weight of his grip crushes my throat, and resistance is . . . well.
I am Aerinne Capulette, last daughter of Faronne, and survival forces me to accept he killed my mother, that he will drag me to his bed fighting and cursing as he laughs.
But I will not accept the subjugation of my House, my family, my friends. If any blood coats my hands, it will be his.
My unknown power stirs, and with it a glimmer of understanding. Of course he wants me for more than my body. For why am I the only person in the city who can see the shape of his power?
Renaud is power. He plays the long game.
. . .and if you wish to walk the board as queen, and not as pawn, you will play it too, my halfling.
I have said you have no choice. You anchor my sanity.
I have also said I will make you strong enough to bear me. You have noted the storm gathering on the horizon? Scented smoke and crushed blooms in the air?
Yes. A danger that eclipses us both approaches.
I will destroy you before I allow you to be taken. I do not yield what is mine.
But. . .if you submit, it may not come to such a pass. Your darkness may yet rise stronger than my own.
Give yourself to me, and I will give you answers. And then, my halfling, I will teach you to rule.
Blood On His Lips is an adult high heat, dark romantic fantasy, second in the Fae Prince of Everenne series. This not a standalone and ends in a cliffhanger. Book one must be read first.
For readers who crave enemies-to-lovers, obsessed dark heroes, murderous heroines, a battle of dark wills and enjoy authors such as Jennifer L. Armentrout, Michelle Sagara, Kathryn Ann Kingsley, and Laura Thalassa.
Excerpt #2 The Prince lifted me into his arms, stalked forward, and then the bed was beneath my back, this sorcerer crouching above me, lowering his head to claim the breast his fingers had left bereft.
“Food offers no energy, wine no intoxication, when the only taste I crave is on your skin. . .”
His mouth closed over my nipple, and I arched my back, my legs falling open as his tongue and teeth ravaged the hardened buds.
“. . .between your thighs.”
He moved down my body. Some shred of sanity prompted me to close my legs again, but he shoved them apart, swatting my resistance away with no more thought than one might give a gnat.
My body seized at the first lap of his tongue, my temples splitting, my teeth grinding as fear hit me, my pleasure breaking open the box I’d shoved my darker emotions into.
“I almost died.”
Stilled as if fighting the truth of my words. He crawled back up my body, bracing on his arms. My open legs nestled him, his weight providing more comfort than I should have allowed. Again came the fleeting thought that this male felt familiar, right.
“But why do you care?” I asked. “I don’t understand what this is between us. It came out of nowhere.”
He turned his head away, avoiding my seeking gaze for a moment, lowering his forehead to mine with a sigh. “It did not come out of nowhere. And every time I try to tell you—”
“You haven’t tried to tell me anything.”
His hands had been on my arms, rubbing up and down my skin in a soothing motion, but now they stopped, dug in. I should be annoyed he didn’t seem to care about marking my skin with bruises and scratches. I might be a warrior, but he could show more delicacy.
“I have. You’re not ready to hear it. I don’t want to break what is left of you.” He spoke, a string of lyrical words in an unfamiliar dialect of the old tongue that sounded close to the Ninephene my mother had spoken to me once. I understood one in five. I think. . .he was ranting at my mother? I recognized the word Maryonne, though he used the correct inflection, Muriel. “I must make you stronger. Neither of us has a choice.”
If I stepped back and looked at his words as a whole, they made a chilling kind of sense if one was insane, but the entirety of it eluded my grasp.
“What do you want, Prince? Answer the question without any of the male snarling and possessiveness.”
About the Author Alisyn Fae, the pen name of PNR & SFR author Emma Alisyn, writes high heat adult fantasy romance with heroines over 30, for readers who like their romance slightly dark, grown as *uck, with slap in the face tension and adventure. Learn more: www.emmaalisyn.com.
Welcome to the book blitz for MATES: MINERVA, the first book in the adult paranormal comedy series, Magical Misfits, by Bridget E. Baker. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
MATES – MINERVA (Magical Misfits Series #1) by Bridget E. Baker
Fans of the television series FRIENDS will love this supernatural romp on the magical side of NYC.
Forget Murphy—it should be called Minerva’s Law.
Paranormal affairs officer Minerva Lucent has always wanted to stand out by making a difference in the supernatural world. Unfortunately, she’s only managed to stick out—like a sore thumb. Her stun spells often misfire and freeze people by mistake. Her magical restraints have been known to pull objects to them like magnets. And last week, her truth spell caused a perp to start singing in verse.
But when a coveted guardian position opens up, Minerva’s determined to finally show everyone that she’s the witch for the job. She makes a plan to redeem her reputation, and she’s about to set it in motion, when her old finishing school pal, Roxana Goldenscales, shows up on her doorstep in dire need of assistance.
Can Minerva enact her plan and help Roxana (knock on wand!)? Or will she have to choose between becoming a guardian and being a good friend to her old mate?
Excerpt #2 I wait until Ricky’s gone before I start to fan myself.
“He’s just being nice, you know.” Peter shrugs. “I couldn’t care less whether they know who I am. Guardians’ average life expectancy is thirty-five. Did you know that?”
I did, actually. “But what they do for the world can’t be measured.”
“Okay, Sparky,” Amber says. “Let’s go check on Mr. Shuffles.”
I know what my partner’s doing—trying to defuse this situation before I wind up on probation again. But guys like Peter have mocked me my entire life, and I always have to be the one to stand down. I’m sick of it.
“You’re an interesting guy,” I say. “When you were in school, did you learn what a Venn diagram is?”
“If I were to make one with a circle for stupid, and a circle for bully, and a circle for unattractive, you’d probably be the only officer here who managed to hit dead center in all three.”
Peter frowns, but he doesn’t look as apoplectic as he usually would. I’m guessing he doesn’t know what a Venn diagram is and didn’t really get my insult. Even so, he fires back. “You better rush off to check on that filthy vampire you put in lockdown before you really make me mad.”
“Uh-oh, Peter Chester, really mad? What must that look like? More spluttering? An even redder face?”
“Keep making jokes,” he says. “In the meantime, I’ll tell the Chief that he’ll have yet another chance to write a recommendation for the only mage on the force who can’t even bond a familiar. I bet he only recommends you in the hopes he might finally get rid of you.”
That one stings. I’ve tried more than six times to bond a familiar, but that particular spell never takes right for me, even when I tried it with a dog, and they’re so eager to bond that humans can practically do it. “I just haven’t found the right animal yet.”
“Thanks to a hunting accident, my uncle’s a little slow,” Peter says, “and even he has a rat.”
“It doesn’t surprise me that your relative bonded a rat,” Amber says. “Like calls to like, after all.”
Peter’s lip curls, and his partner, a brand new recruit, one of the burliest werewolves I’ve ever seen, is striding across the room toward us.
The Chief’s door opens abruptly. “Shift change.” He tilts his head at me. “First night back went alright?”
“Great. Now go get some sleep so you’ll be fresh tonight.” I often wonder whether the Chief has auditory spells cast around the precinct. He casually opens his door in the middle of escalating fights a little too often.
Or maybe it’s just part of being a good Chief.
Amber walks out with me. “Don’t let them get to you. That guy just has an inferiority complex—”
“He’s not wrong, though.” What committee in their right mind would select a mage who can’t even bond a familiar to be a guardian?
Amber knows me well enough not to argue any further. Sometimes I just need to wallow. “See you tonight.”
Most people think the eight p.m. to eight a.m. shift is brutal, but I don’t mind working four twelves a week. I get eight hours of overtime, and I still have a three-day run of days off every week. Not too bad.
Usually I spend the drive home listening to classical music so that I can wind down and go to sleep. But this morning, even that doesn’t help. I’m just as keyed up when I exit the subway near my place. Peter’s a jerk, but he’s right about one thing. I can’t keep applying to be a guardian and being shocked when I don’t get it. The definition of insanity really is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something to inexplicably change. I may not be the most talented or consistent mage, but I’m bright.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough.
Author Bridget E. Baker
About the Author Bridget loves her husband (every day) and all five of her kids (most days).
She’s a lawyer, but does as little legal work as possible. She has three quarter horse geldings, a Holsteiner (jumping) horse, and she spends too much time riding and not enough time writing. (Or too much time writing and not enough time riding, depending on your perspective!)
She has more chickens than she’ll admit to having, two lions head rabbits, a cat, two dogs (one bouncy and one yappy). She makes cookies waaaaay too often and believes they should be their own food group. In a (possibly misguided) attempt at balancing the scales, she kickboxes daily.
So if you don’t like her books, her kids, her horses, her chickens, or her cookies, maybe don’t tell her in person.
B.E. Baker is the romance/women’s fiction penname for Bridget E. Baker, who also writes fantasy, end of the world, and dystopian books that add a little magic to the world.
Please sign up for Bridget’s fantasy or romance newsletters on her website at www.BridgetEBakerWrites.com or click Follow on her bio above to get notices and updates when she releases new books!
Welcome to the blog tour for AND TIME STOPPED, the third book in the young adult contemporary fantasy series, Keeper of the Watch, by Kristen L. Jackson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
AND TIME STOPPED (Keeper of the Watch Series #3) by Kristen L. Jackson
Synopsis After a smooth jump to Dimension 9, Chase, Alyx, and chimera pup, Bo, discover that this world’s peaceful existence only extends as far as the local high school. A different kind of battle wages there, and the identity of the school bully is a surprise they never anticipated. When Chase decides they have no choice but to enroll at Dune Harbor High and repeat their senior year, Alyx is less than thrilled. But the two soon discover the influence just one person can have over the decisions, lives, and even deaths, of those around them. While they try to prevent one tragedy, another one unfolds even as Chase unravels one more piece of his family history. What he discovers will leave him reeling, and his life will never be the same.
Excerpt #3 Alyx fastened the collar around Bo’s neck, snapping the leash on. Bo scratched at the collar, his hind leg a blur, then ran in mad circles, trying to catch the leash between his teeth. Once he succeeded, he growled deep in his throat and shook his head wildly back and forth, his little puppy growls forcing a smile to bloom. “I don’t think he likes his new things,” she chuckled.
“He’ll get used to it. We don’t want to lose him again,” Chase replied.
“No. Or get into trouble with Carson. Officer Murphy, I mean.”
Bo dramatically threw his body on the ground, paws in the air refusing to stand. “C’mon Bo. Let’s go for a walk,” Alyx coaxed, tugging on the leash.
The pup snorted, legs flailing in the air. One lone whimper escaped before he turned his back on them.
Chase and Alyx looked at each other. “Maybe we’ll just carry him for now.” Chase lifted Bo. The pup lay its head on Chase’s shoulder, snuggling as close as possible.
“We can’t carry him everywhere.”
Chase ran his hands over the soft fur, heading toward the sidewalk. “No. He’ll get used to the leash. Eventually.”
About the Author Kristen L. Jackson lives in Reading, PA, with her husband, two grown sons, and four large-breed dogs. She has been a teacher for over 20 years, and writing for children of all ages is close to her heart. Her debut novels KEEPER OF THE WATCH and MAGIC HARBOR (Books 1 & 2) are available now, as well as a novella, DIMENSION KEEPER, which is the prequel to the series. A children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS, (2019 1st Place Pencraft Award Winner) is also available now. Kristen enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family at their cabin in the Pocono Mountains of PA. Follow Kristen on Social Media.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE ISLAND OF SUMMER SUNSETS, a standalone adult contemporary romance, by Susan Sands. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Sail away with this heartwarming beach read about hope, family, and finding out who was meant for us.
Among the dunes and salty spray, off the South Carolina coast, where the daily tide swells and the minnow counts are the only news in town, something big might just change Janie Brooks’s life forever, for better or worse.
In the small southern village of Fripp, Janie’s life is moving along at about the same slow pace as the island—exactly the way she wants it. After the death of Janie’s husband, unable to find her own way, she spends her days with the seagulls and swallow-tailed kites, in the serene bliss of the Atlantic coast.
Until newcomer Ryan Kennedy and his teenage daughter move into the rental down the street, shaking up Janie’s well-ordered, simple life. Ryan has enough to deal with, being a single dad. All he wants is to move into a brand-new house in this quaint community and start fresh. But, with Janie down the street, that might be easier said than done.
Will Janie and Ryan find their own version of paradise? Or will one get in the way of the other?
A summer escape that will whisk you away to an island getaway and have you wishing for a seaside retreat with your feet in the sand and the golden sunset at your back. The Island of Summer Sunsets is perfect for fans of Robyn Carr, Brenda Novak, and RaeAnne Thayne.
Excerpt “Hey there, Janie-girl,” Joe Murphy called from atop the wood decking that wrapped around the old marina’s general store.
His gruff voice pulled Janie Brooks’ attention his way as she walked up. She waved, the salty air blowing between them.
“What can I get for you this morning?” he asked, wiping his large hands on a rag as a seagull squawked overhead in search of its morning meal.
Joe, owner of the general store at the end of Fripp Island’s seaside marina, towered over her. At five-foot-nothing, being towered over wasn’t unusual for Janie, but Joe was a giant of a man, with a steely-gray, grizzled beard that matched what was left of his hair. He reminded her of an ocean-facing house that had stood up to the salty sea air and endured the test of time. He was… weathered.
“Hey, Joe. I need a couple of bags of ice, some minnows, and Momma’s newspaper. How are the shiners today?” Janie asked, peering into the murky vat of bait minnows that lined the old clapboard wall of the building, trying to determine how active they were. Their smell was oddly comforting. It reminded her of going there as a little girl with Momma and Daddy. And then, with her late husband, Daniel. She loved visiting the marina before anybody else was up and around.
Something about the familiarity kept her thoughts on the day-to-day, not allowing her mind to move into memories that were still too painful to relive. The music of sameness filled her: the gulls, the glorious sunrise, and the smells of the island. Anything else put her into new territory, and Janie wasn’t ready for anything new. Even after two years.
“Just got ’em in yesterday. Should do you for a couple of days.”
Janie pointed toward the vat. “Momma wants two dozen, please.”
She noticed then that something was different about Joe that day; his manner was a little more distracted than usual. He’d looked over her head toward the entrance to the marina a couple of times already.
Joe pulled out the net, scooping up approximately twenty-four, then throwing in several more for good measure. Then he filled a plastic bag with water, dumped in the tiny silvery fish, and used a tube to inject oxygen from the tank before tying off the top with a rubber band. That would keep them alive until Janie got home and put them in the minnow bucket. He handed the bag over to her.
She looked up, shielding her eyes from the brightness of the morning daylight with her hand. It was early, but the sun was making a spectacular appearance over the water. The blaze of orange contrasted against the layers of cool blue in the sky just above. Below, the darker surf was almost glassy in its stillness, as it often was this early.
“Your momma fishing off the dock today, or y’all going out in the boat?” Joe asked.
“We’re going out tomorrow to hunt for driftwood on Pritchards Island’s beach. We’ve got some special orders for candle holders that could use a few more pieces.” Janie referred to her “sea treasures” business that she and Momma ran together. “She’s planning to do some fishing while we’re at it. Might throw a line in on the dock this afternoon.”
There was a limited window for maritime travel between tiny Pritchards Island and Fripp Island. Both were nestled among the string of more than one hundred islands from South Carolina down to Georgia, and if it weren’t for the stretch of ocean separating the two barrier islands, it would only be a half-mile walk between them. High tide happened twice a day, but the exact timing changed daily by roughly an hour. Tides were the gods of everything here, pulling the water from the canals that snaked through the marshes, so getting across by boat had to be carefully timed.
Joe’s gaze followed Janie’s. “Gonna be a good day for it tomorrow.”
They stood silently for a moment, looking upward at the sky, which had now transformed into a full-blown daytime blue.
“A perfect day, according to the forecast.”
Most days on Fripp Island were perfect days as far as Janie was concerned. But this day seemed to sparkle. Truth was, they lived in paradise on this tiny slice of an island many people west of Georgia and north of the Carolinas had never even heard of.
Fripp was quiet this early in spring since the lucky tourists who knew about the island invaded during the warmer months. The late March weather was warm but breezy, with a few puffy white clouds floating by. Being surrounded by nature’s beauty on a protected bird and wildlife sanctuary was all Janie wanted.
Janie carried over the bag of minnows and set them on the floor of her golf cart.
“I’ve got some of that sweet cornbread mix from the mill your momma always asks for.” Joe peered up the stairs toward the entrance of the general store.
Janie was extremely fond of Joe. He ordered specific things he knew his customers liked. “Then I’d better grab the mix too while I’m here.”
Janie started to follow Joe when someone caught her eye, causing her to turn instinctively. A tall, sandy-haired man had just parked a four-seater golf cart on the crushed shell lot and was walking over.
“Hey, Joe,” she muttered, just loud enough to get his attention.
“Yup?” He raised grizzled brows.
“Who’s that?” She nodded as furtively as possible toward the newcomer.
He was tall, dark-haired, lean, and moved with a grace that caught her eye. It was apparent the man wasn’t a regular resident because she’d never seen him before. Not only was he unfamiliar, but, dressed in faded jeans and a worn blue T-shirt, he was clearly a misplaced underwear/sunglasses model who’d washed up on their island out of season.
Joe lowered his polarized glasses and glanced over, his sun-damaged blue eyes having a look. “Hmm. Looks like he’s here earlier than expected.”
“Who?” she hissed, wanting to know before the guy got to them. It would be nice to have a clue what was happening around here.
Joe eyed her for a long second. “That’s my nephew, Ryan. Got some interest in our new resident, do you, Janie-girl?” Joe winked at her, grinning as she flushed a dark, beet red.
Janie knew she was doing this because it was the curse of being a redhead. And one with freckles, too. Her skin told the world her deepest thoughts. Like a flashing billboard.
Janie’s curiosity competed with her awkwardness over Joe’s nephew’s unexpected appearance. So she ignored his taunt.
“Resident? How did I not know about someone new moving in?”
Joe had mentioned his nephew a few times in the past, but they’d never met. And she would have remembered him.
“It happened pretty quickly. Must’ve slipped my mind the last time you were here.”
Judging by his smirk, she knew Joe had misinterpreted her reaction as interest instead of mortification. After last year, when Joe had tried to set her up and it had failed miserably, he, of all people, should have understood where she was coming from.
The nephew came closer. Joe raised a hand in greeting toward the man as he neared them. Janie eyed her golf cart and wondered if she could make it there fast enough to avoid saying hello, but then she realized how silly that was.
Joe let out a low rumble of laughter. “Come and say hello.”
Janie Brooks was no coward. Never that. And Joe was like family, so she had little choice.
“Fine. He’s your family, after all.” There. That would stop any ideas Joe had about possible interest in his nephew.
“C’mon then.” He grasped her shoulders gently and maneuvered her forward as if she were a child, causing Janie’s face to flame up like a flare gun, something that didn’t happen often but had happened twice in the last five minutes. But then again, in Fripp, she was rarely caught off guard…
Author Susan Sands
About the Author Susan Sands grew up in a real life Southern Footloose town in Northwest Louisiana, complete with her senior class hosting the first ever prom in the history of their tiny public school with half the town chaperoning. Is it any wonder she writes Southern small town stories full of porch swings, fun and romance?
Susan lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband, Doug, their Labradoodle, Watson, and lots of material for her next book. Her three adult children are in various stages of finishing college and getting off the payroll.
Welcome to the book blitz for PINK GUITARS AND FALLING STARS, the first book in the adult fantasy romance series, Rockin’ Fairy Tales, by Leslie O’Sullivan. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
PINK GUITARS AND FALLING STARS (Rockin’ Fairy Tales Series #1) by Leslie O’Sullivan
Synopsis Zeli’s signature pop diva sound and image are nothing short of magical—literally. Her fame comes with hidden costs, a curse that could ruin her voice forever.
Aspiring indie musician, Justin MacKenzie, is determined to kick it to the top of the Rampion Records’ Summer Number One professional vs. amateur singing competition.
The favorite to beat in the annual televised contest is none other than the label’s smoking hot superstar, Zeli, whose crazy extensions flow the length of a football field. Those ridiculous extensions, coupled with her bubblegum brand of pop, are an affront to everything Justin loves about music until a stolen kiss blazes into a romantic encounter.
Once inside Zeli’s world, Justin discovers things are not as they seem. In their quest to allow the real Zeli, to step into the spotlight, the pair must confront the mysterious force behind the dazzle of Rampion’s success. If these star-crossed lovers can’t rally their own magic to defeat the darkness, they will lose everything—including each other.
Excerpt On the way to wardrobe, to prep for his B.A.S.E. jumping exhibition in Zeli’s platinum record celebration concert, Justin Time stumbles into the pop diva’s dressing room by mistake…
Shades of pink twilight swallow us. Zeli rests lips against the rim of her cup, drowning a sob with tea.
Man, that tea smells sweet. I’d like to tickle my vocal cords with it. What did Grant Gothel call it? Ramp-up tea? Justin wants to ramp up. I stand and take a greedy sniff.
Zeli catches sight of me and leaps to her feet. She screeches like I’m slinging an axe.
I trip over the bottom of the costume rack and fly forward, finding balance a hot second before I plow into her. “Whoa, sweetness. I’m not here to mess with you.”
She clutches her head. “Hair thief!” She raises a pair of fists with intent to cause damage. “Closer and I’ll make your ribs crack.”
“Stop screaming or that cute face will go blue.”
Zeli circles her fists, searching for an in to deck me. “Don’t lay a finger on my extensions.”
“I want no part of that crazy hair mess.” I shake my head. “Keep your freak show, I’ve got no intention–” Taking a step back, I fan an arm down her body. “To finger even a single sweet tress.”
She’s delusional. No thief could bust Rampion security to get up here. Then again, when you’ve got millions glued to your head, imagining creepers in the dark is not so out there.
She zips behind the table, snarling. “You won’t get a piece of this either, fool.”
Hugging her body, she curls into a ball worthy of an armadillo. I’m not stupid enough to take advantage of our alone time, but that doesn’t prevent a Zeli lip lock from ticking onto my mental playlist. Her face pops out of the Z-ball as if she’s plugged into my thoughts.
She raises her hands. “Hands here. Raise them up high where I can see.”
I brush bangs aside, the portrait of casual. “You’re safe, damsel, get a hold of your cool.” I jerk my chin her way. “Cut the innocent act. It’s clear to me. No way a fast track, rock chick hasn’t known–” I throw her an air kiss. “Tune-piping Romeo love of her own.”
She stretches to her full height, not enough to hit the five-foot mark, and plants hands on hips. “Jacklick.”
After flashing my best stink-eye, I head for the hallway before her insults bait me into action I’ll regret. The smack of her hand against the table makes me jump.
I flick my wrist. “You ain’t nothing but a wrong turn.” I almost clear the doorway of the twilight room when she giggles. I whip around. “What? I’m not the big bad wolf anymore?”
She abandons her table fortress and rakes a finger up and down my wingsuit. The silver bag glides after her. “Big bads don’t wear bananas.”
Realization dawns in her eyes. “Oh, you’re one of my lucky stars.” She claps.
“Seven lucky stars, falling from the sky for my concert?”
“If not, you’re rocking a wack look.” Zeli smiles, easy with me now that she’s defined my place in her kingdom.
Don’t count me out. I can rock a threat, babe. I’m tempted to grab her and plant a kiss on that laughing mouth. I feel my face flush Zeli pink. Stealing a taste of Z-lip is not worth summoning Gothel and screwing my chances at the Summer Number One audition.
To my surprise, she strolls over and dances a finger across my shoulder. “What’s it like to B.A.S.E. jump? Terrifying or Heaven?”
The touch renders me momentarily mute.
Her fingers pop off my shoulder like I’m a hot stove. “I don’t want anyone jumping for me to be afraid.”
The slightest sensation lingers from our contact. Does rock chick Zeli honestly care how Justin MacKenzie feels flying off her tower? Is this chick nice? For reals, nice? Heavenly tea breath wafts from her lips. An urge for a softer kind of kissing sneaks up on me. Kisses that whisper, not shout.
I match her finger dance and dab a touch on her shoulder close enough to feel the warm skin of her neck. “Nice of you to care.” If I slide my hand around the back of her neck, pull her in…
Author Leslie O’Sullivan
About the Author Leslie O’Sullivan is the author of Rockin’ Fairy Tales, an adult romance series of Shakespeare/fairy tale mash ups set against the backdrop of Hollywood’s music scene. Coming soon is her Behind the Scenes contemporary romance series that peeks into the off-camera secrets of a wildly popular television drama. She’s a UCLA Bruin with a BA and MFA from their Department of Theater where she also taught for years on the design faculty. Her tenure in the world of television was as the assistant art director on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” Leslie loves to indulge her fangirl side each year at San Diego Comic Con
Welcome to the blog tour for CAMBION’S BLOOD, the second book in the adult urban fantasy series, Cambion, by Erin Fulmer. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CAMBION’S BLOOD (Cambion Series #2) by Erin Fulmer
Synopsis Half-succubus attorney Lily Knight has blood on her hands.
Haunted by guilt, behind on her rent, and facing professional disgrace, Lily must figure out how to survive in the wreckage of her former life. To make ends meet, she accepts a contract job she never wanted but can’t seem to avoid—hunting another demon murderer. This time, the victims are human, and a shadowy government agency will reward Lily with a way out of her dire financial straits.
If Lily doesn’t solve the case before the news gets out, fear and hatred will put all demonkind at risk from the proverbial torch-carrying mob. But when a young succubus on the run from the authorities begs for her help, Lily faces a new conflict of interest—especially after the suspect, Eve, reveals her father is Lily’s old frenemy.
Now Lily must juggle the pressures of a high-stakes murder case, her complicated relationship with her “not-boyfriend” Sebastian, and responsibility for a wayward teenager as she races to find the real killer. Worse, the culprit isn’t just a demon, but a self-proclaimed goddess who will stop at nothing to carry out her bloody quest for justice. To stop the killings, Lily must confront that which she most fears: the truth about what went down with Eve’s father in the desert—and its consequences.
That is, if the goddess doesn’t get to her first…
Excerpt “That right there. That’s what I don’t understand.” His voice went rough around the edges again. It sent goosebumps shivering down my spine. “Talk to me. Did I do something wrong?”
“No!” I forced myself to meet his eyes. They burned into mine, but his desiderata pleaded with me. Damn it, I couldn’t afford to screw this up. “Of course not. The opposite, in fact.” Maybe that was the problem, the way he said all the right things, what I wanted to hear and what I couldn’t believe.
“Then explain it to me.” The rough edges in his tone deepened, verging on a growl. “You’re holding out on me again. But I’m a big boy, I can take it. Tell me the truth. Why do you keep pushing me away?”
He couldn’t handle the truth, and I couldn’t hold his gaze. I turned my head away. Outside our aerie, purple twilight had faded to full night, and the city glowed like a reef of jewels in a dark sea. “It’s complicated.”
“I like complicated.” He sighed. “Come on. I didn’t ask you to define our official social media status.”
“You’re not even on social media.” I tried on a casual shrug and half a truth. “I’m just scared, I guess.”
“Yeah, I got that much. You’re not as hard to read as you think. Scared of what? That I’ll hurt you, or that you’ll lose control?”
“Yes, all of it.” I swallowed hard. “You can’t understand what it’s like for me. It’s not just sex for me. If I let it, it could own me. And I…I could own you.”
A certain incubus had told me once that a succubus couldn’t have a sex addiction. But he also tried to convince me that demons were superior beings who deserved to rule over weak, inferior humans. And before that, he’d let me believe he meant well, that he respected consent, personal agency, the right to live and love as one pleased.
He’d told so many lies, and even though the liar had died, his lies still wove their tangled web around me like a shroud.
“I know you could,” Sebastian said calmly. “I’ve known from the beginning. It’s not so different for me as you think.”
I had to look back at him, then. “You think you could…own me?” Heat flooded my cheeks at the words. They sounded much filthier out loud, especially when his desiderata pulsed in response.
“If you let me. If you wanted me to.” His expression seared through me, and he drew me toward him. “My own desires run pretty dark and deep. If I give them free rein, they’d control me, too.”
“It’s not the same.” I could break free with ease. My strength outmatched his by a factor of ten. But his need sang to me. It hammered at my resistance like thunder, like the beat of huge dark wings. “Sebastian, I—” But the words died on my lips.
I couldn’t tell him the truth about what happened that night, our first night together. I couldn’t tell him what I did with my power, his power, the alchemy of our pleasure.
I couldn’t tell him that I killed someone with it.
“It’s all right,” he said, in that rippling velvet voice. “Come here.”
I took a long breath and pushed the box of things I couldn’t say back into the shadows. Then I stepped toward him of my own free will. Or at least, right now, I chose to believe I did.
“I have a confession, too,” he murmured, his lips inches from mine, not touching me anywhere skin to skin.
My breath came short. “I’m not a nun, Mr. Ritter.”
“Thank fuck for that.” His desiderata enveloped me, deep, rich, and overwhelming. “Because I didn’t just ask you here so we could take in the view.”
“You lied to me,” I whispered, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t need truths right now. I needed what he offered me.
“By omission only.” He put his hands on my hips, turning me with gentle pressure and steering me backward until my ass hit the hard edge of the desk. “The truth is, I’ve been very distracted lately during my workday by thoughts about you, me, and this desk.” His fingers worked under the band of my jeans, skimming my skin, and I moaned.
“Say ten Hail Marys and ten…oh, fuck.”
“Now that’s the kind of absolution I can live with,” he said, and bent his head to claim my mouth with his. His kether flooded through me. It suffused my body with a rush of light. It made my head spin, driving all my doubts away.
I drank him in, drank him deep, and when he pressed me down against the hard, cold surface of the desk, I did beg in the end—but not for absolution.
About the Author Erin Fulmer (she/her) is a public benefits attorney by day, author of urban fantasy and science fiction by night. She lives in sunny Northern California with her husband and two spoiled cats. When she’s not writing or working, she enjoys yoga, taking pictures of the sky, playing board games with friends, and napping like it’s an Olympic sport.
CAMBION’S BLOOD, the second book in her Cambion series and sequel to her debut urban fantasy CAMBION’S LAW, is out June 7 from City Owl Books.
Welcome to the book blitz for REBEL ONE, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Melkin, by J.S. Christine. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Lacey Carson dreams of experiencing the world outside of the mundane town her father limits her to. “Go big or go home”? Lacey is already wrapped up in her comforter before that question can be finished. Her fight or flight instinct falls hard in one direction only.
Insert Travis Miller. He’s a little too loud, a little too violent, a little too focused on Lacey. He only knows how to go big.
When the opportunity presents itself for more adventure, Lacey jumps in head first before Travis can say no. It may be a little more than she bargained for as she learns about the ups and downs of independence, her own strength, and the crime world she quickly becomes immersed into.
Excerpt #2 “I’m sorry we messed up your life,” Travis said quietly into my ear.
I didn’t say anything in response, too wrapped up in the feeling of being in a Travis-shaped cocoon. His arms were around my middle, holding me tight to him and his legs were bracketing mine. Warmth enveloped me and I could feel his chest rise and fall with each breath.
After a while, Travis nudged me and I realized I had fallen asleep. “Let’s go to sleep, gorgeous.”
He unwrapped himself from me, gave me some clothes from his dresser, and left the room for a moment while I changed.
When he entered, he said, “We’re going to have to share the bed unless you wanna sleep on the couch where my dad can talk to you.”
We both got into his bed. There was silence as I watched him lying on his side with his back to me until he turned on his back. Travis let out a sigh and ran a hand over his face. I wanted to know how this guy who walked around with death over his head could treat me so kindly and make me feel so safe. How was he a part of the Casey gang when he had a home here he could’ve run away to? More than that, how was he a part of the gang when he had a home with his mom that he could’ve run away to with Ben?
“Go to sleep,” he groaned. “Stop watching me. It’s creepy.”
I gave him a soft smile when his eyes flitted in my direction. “Will you tell me why you joined the gang?”
His eyes moved away from me and focused on the ceiling for a second before he closed them like he was about to sleep. “You don’t have to know everything and I don’t want to tell you right now.”
I perked up at his word choice of ‘right now’. “When?”
Too wrapped up in the thought of knowing eventually, I army-crawled closer to him. I leaned onto his chest with my forearms, my head above his, and my hair draping around us.
“Ask me again in five minutes,” he said, unmoving.
I looked at him skeptically. “Will you be asleep in five minutes?”
The sides of his mouth quirked up into an almost-smile. “No, but I’ll be pretending to be asleep.”
I didn’t sleep much after that. Not because I was trying to wiggle answers out of Travis, but because I was too busy thinking about the people I had met here — about Finn’s laugh, Annabeth wanting a kitchen table just to be normal, Travis’ gentle hands, Ben every time he held the door open for me. All I could picture for Cameron was his glare so I didn’t give him much thought. I tried to picture all of them back home with me, not just Travis. I tried to picture them anywhere but in Melkin and it was surprisingly easy. I knew I would eventually leave Melkin. What if I could take them with me when I left? Would they all go?
Author J.S. Christine
About the Author J.S. Christine has been writing novels since 2011 and graduated with a degree in Creative Writing. She strives to give readers worlds they can relax in with characters they can call their friends. Her novels typically travel down the obstacle-ridden roads of self-discovery with music blasting in the car’s speakers and the occasional explosion off to the side. Her first novel, Sparked, was self-published in 2016. When she isn’t writing, she can be found binge reading books, burning cookies, attempting to run, or teaching her three cats how great popcorn is.
Welcome to the book blitz for LOVE AND OTHER VOWS: FOR BETTER OR WORSE…, the fifth book in the adult contemporary romantic sports comedy series, Professional Players, by Lyndsey Gallagher. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
LOVE AND OTHER VOWS – FOR BETTER OR WORSE… (Professional Players Series #5) by Lyndsey Gallagher
Synopsis Shelly Williams is loving life. She’s been offered a place on the newest, sexiest, celebrity reality television show, and her husband has just retired from his position as captain of the Irish rugby team, meaning he’s around more to help raise their children, leaving her free to pursue a few of her own ambitions. Ambitions Marcus knows nothing about.
Marcus Williams is struggling to find a purpose following his recent retirement as captain of the Irish rugby team. There’s only so many holidays, horse riding trips and happy hours one man can endure. When his wife is paired up with his old sporting rival in front of the entire country, Marcus begins to realise he stands to lose a lot more than just his career.
With ten weeks of watching Shelly slide, shake and shimmy against the one man that has the potential to destroy everything, Marcus must act if he wants to save their relationship.
They vowed to stay together through sickness and health.
But what about fame and wealth?
Love & Other Vows is a steamy, love conquers all stand-alone romcom with guaranteed HEA.
Excerpt #2 “The way his pupils bore into mine there’s no doubt he’s looking straight into my soul. He’s the only person who’s ever seen me, really seen me. His Adam’s apple bobs, as his grip on my waist increases and he wiggles my pelvis closer to rest against his. His desire presses against me, it’s mirrored in his hungry eyes, eyes which he can’t seem to tear away from me.”
About the Author Lyndsey Gallagher is the kindle bestselling author of six contemporary romance novels, with many more on the way! An unashamed romantic, forever in search of the next happy ever after, her debut novel The Seven Year Itch was inspired by the weekend she met her husband. Lyndsey lives in the West of Ireland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. She enjoys long walks, deep talks and the occasional G & T!
Welcome to the book blitz for FREEDOM OR DEATH, the fourth book in the young adult dystopian series, Juche, by Adria Carmichael. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
FREEDOM OR DEATH (Juche Series #4) by Adria Carmichael
Synopsis A highly addictive Young Adult Dystopian Survival Saga that will keep you glued to the pages.
Areum and Nari are arrested and face imminent doom, but are saved at the last minute by an unexpected and unspeakable betrayal.
Still, they are far from being out of the woods. As they are reassigned to food gathering duty in the mountains, they must continue their fight for survival under the constant threat of daily executions and the rampant starvation sweeping through the prison camp. And with time running out for Nari, Areum is more desperate than ever to find a way to escape, making her forge risky new alliances that until now would have been unthinkable.
As the situation in the camp deteriorates further, their survival comes down to their ability to work as a team. But dark secrets and lies continue to be revealed, sending the fragile coalition to the verge of collapse at an alarming speed.
Will they make it out in time?
Excerpt #2 I buried my face in the pit of my elbow that rested on my folded knees. My head felt almost as heavy as my heart, and the whirlwind of thoughts raged on ceaselessly.
And Nari’s condition is only one of all the Sacred Rules we have broken these past months. Soon, both of us will be up on Cemetery Hill under a buzzing cloud of black flies together with—
A sudden scream made me jump so hard I smashed my head against the wall behind me. I ran to the door and pressed my ear against the cold metal with one hand firmly over the excruciatingly throbbing bruise on my scalp. The scream died out just as abruptly as it had started, but I remained in the same position for a long time before I returned to my corner. The scream had come from a girl, but not Nari. I was sure of that. Still, I couldn’t help rubbing my fingernails in a futile attempt to ease the phantom pain from the invisible needles piercing deep into the pink, tender flesh underneath them.
I didn’t have to wait long for the next scream. This time, it was a boy. I told myself it didn’t sound like Jun Ha, but I was less sure this time. Immediately after that scream had faded, another scream penetrated the air. And then another. The harrowing screams came and went—each more agonizing and horrifying than the previous. I crawled up further into my corner with my hands covering my ears, desperately trying to gather my thoughts. I went through the events of the past few days that had led me to sit here, waiting for my turn to scream.
About the Author Adria Carmichael is a writer of dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.
Welcome to the book blitz for ONE FOR THE MONEY, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by New York Times bestselling author, Skye Warren. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Finn Hughes knows about secrets. His family is as wealthy as the Rockefellers. And as powerful as the Kennedys. No one knows that the men in his line have a debilitating, early-onset illness. He’s managed the business from a young age while his father served as the figurehead. All the while knowing there’s a ticking clock on his ability to lead.
Eva Morelli is the oldest daughter. The responsible one. The caring one. The one who doesn’t have time for her own interests.
Especially not her interest in the charismatic, mysterious Finn Hughes.
A fake relationship is the answer to both their problems.It will keep the swarming society mothers from throwing their daughters at him.And it will keep Eva’s mother from bothering her about marriage.
Then the fake relationship starts to feel real.
But there’s no chance for them. No hope for a woman who’s had her heart broken. And no future for a man whose fate was decided long ago.
Author Skye Warren
About the Author SkyeWarren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
“ESCORT is perfection only Skye Warren can deliver—a poetically erotic tale of exquisitely damaged characters, devastating secrets, revenge and redemption.” – Samanthe Beck, USA Today bestselling author
“Hypnotically romantic…this book reads like a sensual dream and I didn’t want to wake up.” – Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author
Welcome to the book blitz for DARK BLUE WAVES, a standalone adult historical time travel romance by Kimberly Sullivan. 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 $0.99.
Synopsis When you wake up in Bath, England two hundred years in the past, how far can a love of Jane Austen get you?
Janet Roberts dreams of an academic career in literature, so she can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s accepted into a Jane Austen graduate seminar in Bath, England. Settled in Georgian splendor among her seminar colleagues, Janet and her classmates live, eat and breathe Jane Austen.
An accident interrupts this idyll when Janet regains consciousness in her own room—back in Regency England. For a scholar of nineteenth-century literature, this should be a dream come true.
But Janet quickly learns there’s a world of difference between scholarly knowledge of the written page and maneuvering real life as a reluctant time traveler.
Her burgeoning friendship with Emma Huntington eases her entrée into nineteenth-century society. However, Emma’s brother, the handsome, proud and frustratingly magnetic Sir Edward, is far less welcoming.
While desperately attempting to make sense of her dilemma, Janet treads a thin line between trying to blend into her new world and not being unmasked as the imposter she is. Can she discover the way to return to her twenty-first century life? After working so hard to create a rewarding nineteenth-century life for herself and opening her hart to friendship and love, does she even want to?
Excerpt #2 In her room, Janet sat at the window seat, watching the people wandering the narrow streets of Bath. She read a few pages of her book before giving in to her exhaustion and crawling into bed. After setting the alarm, she drifted off to a troubled sleep.
A piano played in the distance. Mozart. Voi che sapete. Janet struggled to breathe. Something constricted her chest and waist, yet her feet still carried her forward at a brisk pace, through candle-filled hallways she didn’t recognize. Full-length portraits lined the walls. Thick velvet brushed against her legs as she walked.
An inexplicable sense of relief washed over her when she reached a room. Her hand clasped the doorknob and turned. She slipped inside, closing the door behind her.
Darkness enveloped her. Her heartbeat slowed as she looked up to something familiar. Individual, disjointed images captured her gaze. A billowing pink cloth. An alabaster face, slightly turned. Arms reaching up to the sky. A splattering of green. These flashes seemed to calm her, but she struggled in vain to see the single parts in their entirety.
A movement under the soothing images caught her attention. A chair was positioned before a fireplace. Someone stood. A man, his back toward her. He was tall, dressed in fine, old-fashioned clothes. There was something so familiar about him. Now he was turning and taking long strides across the room to where she stood. Her heart beat faster.
Janet tried in vain to make out his features but quickly gave up. It was as if she were glimpsing him through a fog. She longed to retreat, but her feet remained firmly rooted in place as his confident gait narrowed the distance between them.
Although he was mere inches from her, she could still not distinguish the features of his face. Only the depths of his blue eyes were distinct. As she gazed into them, she felt an unfamiliar fluttering in her stomach. The man slipped a book into her hand. She opened to see shadow words scrawled in thick, black ink. Squinting did not help bring them into focus. He began to speak. She watched his lips move. She heard his voice as if she were under water, not comprehending the individual words. Oddly soothing, but indecipherable.
He reached up and stroked her face before enveloping her in an embrace. Who was this stranger who was overly familiar with her? She knew she should scream and flee, but her thoughts did not control her body. Her legs made no attempt to move from this unknown man.
Inexplicably, she felt safe in his arms, with his heart beating solidly beside hers. Now he was pulling back, stroking her hair, searching her face.
Janet still only saw the shadow version of him, soft and out of focus. She gave up trying to reconstruct his face. His gaze mesmerized her. It seemed so familiar, made her knees feel weak. Those piercing blue eyes kept coming closer and closer to her own face until firm lips brushed against her own. A warmth spread throughout her body. High-pitched yells rang out. Her knees buckled.
A burst of pain exploded at her temple, and she woke with a panicked start. Her eyes flickered around the room in confusion. Deep breaths.
It was nothing. Her hotel room in Bath. A dream. Only a dream.
As her heartbeat slowed and her breathing calmed, she realized it was most likely the jet lag or all the silly talk of romantic literature. Her head throbbed. Willing the pain to stop, she closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep.
Author Kimberly Sullivan
About the Author Kimberly grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US. She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan.
Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets.
She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and two novels: Three Coins and Dark Blue Waves.
After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.
Welcome to the book blitz for RIVER OF ASHES, the first book in the adult psychological thriller series, Saint Benedict, by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor, releasing August 2, 2022. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
RIVER OF ASHES (Saint Benedict Series #1) by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor
Synopsis “A psychological portrait akin to Lord of the Flies.” ~Midwest Book Review
SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET. SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.
ALONG THE BANKS OF THE BOGUE FALAYA RIVER, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.
And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.
The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Star quarterback. Handsome. Charming. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.
He is also a psychopath.
A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the haunted abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.
As the victim toll mounts, it becomes clear that someone must stop Beau Devereaux.
And that someone will pay with their life.
Excerpt #1 A howl came from the direction of The Abbey.
Andrea leaned away from him, listening. “What’s that?”
Beau nuzzled her neck. “Wild dogs. They live on The Abbey grounds. There’s a couple of legends about them.”
“What legends?” She stepped out of his embrace.
He watched her hips beneath her coat. “They say the dogs stay around The Abbey waiting for the lady in white. She was a gamekeeper for the seminary school and a lover of one of the monks. She died on the grounds, betrayed by the man she loved. Her dogs were kept to manage the varmint population. The wild dogs are said to be their offspring.”
Beau slipped the coat from her shoulders. “The gamekeeper was found hanging from a tree in a white hooded cloak. It was all kept very hush-hush at the time. After the woman’s death, the dogs roamed the grounds and lived off the land. They’re said to only appear when death is near.”
Beau looked at Andrea to see if she was sufficiently unnerved.
“That’s just creepy.” She glanced at his hands as he tugged at her jeans. “But a guy who brings girls to these abandoned cells is into creepy.”
He liked the image the cells portrayed. It was his laboratory, like he’d read about in Frankenstein, where he could experiment and create his own monsters.
Author Alexandrea Weis
About the Author Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
About the Author Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.
Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird).
Welcome to the book blitz for THE LOVE LIST, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Hilton Head Island, by USA Today bestselling author, Elana Johnson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE LOVE LIST (Hilton Head Island Series #1) by Elana Johnson
Synopsis Beatrice Callahan loves lists. Sometimes she even makes a to-do list of things she’s already done, just to go check, check, check and feel accomplished. So it’s easy to understand why, when her divorce is finally final and her ex is all moved out, Bea takes a cool, close look at her life…and makes a list.
It’s not exactly a bucket list.
It’s a love list.
Bea loves the outdoors, so she puts visit 10 National Parks on the list.
She loves animals, and on goes get a puppy.
She loves the beach, and she adds take a dream vacation to the list, and decides to do that one first. After all she’s been through and all she’s lost, she needs time to relax, rest, and reset.
On the first day she arrives in Hilton Head Island, she meets Grant Turner, the man whose house she’s renting for her fabulous beach vacation. He’s just there to make sure she settles in properly and has enough towels.
But when Bea asks for recommendations around the island, Grant quickly becomes her tour guide and then a friend and then…more than friends.
Bea turns to her lists when things get confusing and her love list morphs once again… Can she add fall in love at age 45 to the list and check it off?
Excerpt #2 The front door opened as she stood from the couch. Grant poked his head into the house. “Bea? Oh, there you are.”
“Come in,” she said.
He did, his frown appearing and deepening as he did. “You’re right. The air’s off in here.”
“Yeah.” She ran her hands through her hair, getting a momentary shock over its length. The style was still so new, she’d forgotten she didn’t have any hair to push back. Having Grant in the house brought a new kind of electricity she didn’t quite know how to hold. One couldn’t contain such a strong current anyway, but Bea really wanted to try.
Let him handle the air conditioner first, she told herself as he went through the house and out the back door. She followed him at a safe distance, still getting plenty of musky, male notes of his cologne.
Bea honestly felt like a twenty-year-old meeting the man of her dreams for the first time. The racing pulse, the nervousness in her chest that reached up and clouded her thoughts. Her life had been a whirlwind of fun when she’d first started dating Nort. New places, different friends, a world of possibilities opening before her.
She felt the exact same way now, after a couple of decades of normalcy, with predictable—code for boring—days, generic conversations, and stale kisses. Her children had brought a new challenge every single day, but her romantic relationship had chilled quietly on the back shelf while the kids grew and then moved on.
She hadn’t realized Nort had done the same, and she wondered as she watched Grant kneel in front of the air compressor at the back of the house if anything would’ve been different if she had paid attention to how unromantic their relationship had become.
Maybe he wouldn’t have cheated on you with his secretary, she thought. The oldest situation in all the books and movies she’d watched her whole life had happened to her. She’d never given any thought to how the women in those fictional stories must’ve felt—until she had to deal with the crushing reality herself.
And crush it did. Hopes, dreams, plans, lists.
But she had a new list now, and while she’d only been on Hilton Head Island for just over a day, she felt wildly behind in accomplishing the items her friends had starred for her.
Visit the beach and listen to the ocean.
Fly a kite you don’t think you can control.
She’d listened to the ocean this morning, and the waves whispered things like, Choose to be happy, and Let yourself breathe again.
Not only that, but she sure had felt like she could fall in love again that morning, with the sunshine bathing her and her thoughts rumbling around how to text Grant and get another meal with him.
Author Elana Johnson
About the Author USA Today bestseller Elana Johnson writes adult contemporary beach romance. She is the author of over 130 books across two names, and there’s nothing better than sun, sand, and swoon-worthy kisses! Unless it’s a sweet-and-sexy cowboy – read those under her pen name of Liz Isaacson. Learn more about her sweet beach romances at www.elanajohnson.com. Join her texting group by sending the word SAND to 474747 and get exclusive sales, freebies, and more.
Welcome to the book blitz for SHADOWED HORIZONS, the first book in the adult paranormal horror series, The Guardians, by Reily Garrett. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SHADOWED HORIZONS (The Guardians Series #1) by Reily Garrett
Synopsis Fate can have many paths. Which would you choose?
Kiera’s capacity to face death stems from training, begun when old enough to wield a knife. Befriended by wolves and raised by a group of psychic men sworn to protect humanity, she now faces mercenaries intent on reshaping the world using equal talents.
Prodigious keyboard skills and innate curiosity has led Wyatt McGlauklin to invent the unimaginable. He’s long since claimed status as the top computer science geek. Little do people know, there’s much more to Wyatt.
When a blonde spitfire steps out of nowhere to prevent his assassination, his life’s direction takes an extraordinary turn where his analytical mind can’t validate paranormal phenomena.
Fate decrees Kiera find her life partner, but she learns you don’t always get to choose whom you love. Wyatt’s arrival challenges destiny as they combine forces to preserve the world as they know it.
A must-read for fans of for fans of CM Sutter, Dale Mayer, Dean Koontz, LT Ryan, and Fiona Quinn.
Excerpt #1 Each flip of the key ring around his index finger tallied another reason to quit the world of high stake’s business. Work stemming from a far-fetched theory had taken form and flourished beyond his imagination.
Unlike the soundless steps of his bodyguard’s booted strides, Wyatt’s tennis shoes pealed squishy squeaks through the dimly lit parking garage.
“Adam, this does not make my list of top favorite places to visit. Next time I help an old college friend, maybe we could pick a drier day and find parking other than a creepy garage?”
A rat skittered across the floor in the shadows, its gimlet-eyed stare marking the intruders’ positions. Air redolent of filth, gas, and pizza from a nearby restaurant clogged Wyatt’s sinuses, reminiscent of the alley apartment occupied during college. Since those lean years, digital fluency and hard work had jettisoned him to the top of his field.
The clash of artificial dingy light and murky silhouettes added an ominous, prophetic feeling he couldn’t shake. Water stains mingled with shapeless apparitions to create fleeting two-dimensional monsters between vehicles, ready to attack unwary travelers.
He was not a fan of inkblot tests.
I haven’t been spooked like this in years.
Adam shrugged. “As far as security is concerned, it’s not an ideal location since the street side is open, but it is the closest available. Roadside parking leaves you too vulnerable. As much as you cherish you privacy, I’m surprised you offered to help him. Why couldn’t you do it over the net?”
“Hardware issues require hands-on assistance. He’s my ex-roommate. I felt sorry for him. Modern advances in technology left him in the dust.”
“Next time, suggest a meeting during daylight hours and a place of our choosing?”
Adam narrowed his eyes and tilted his head as if listening to a far-off sound. The combination spelled trouble. His steps slowed and adopted a deliberate edge even as his shoulders tightened in preparation to strike.
“A graveyard walk would be less creepy, and a proctologist’s exam more fun.” Sweat beaded Wyatt’s forehead despite the cool spring breeze drifting over the graffiti-covered knee wall.
“This place feels off to me. Let’s get the hell out of here—” Adam stopped, holding out his right arm to halt their progress.
Wyatt’s slip on a crudely patched piece of concrete necessitated his bodyguard’s steadying hand. Dirt and loose crumbles skittered underfoot, their audio report echoing off the walls.
“Watch your step, boss. No need to broadcast our location.”
“You know,” Wyatt muttered. “People think of me as a good analytical, concrete thinker. I guess whatever higher power gifted me with intuitive abilities for logistics and computers exacted a mental tariff—common sense.” His penchant for talking when nervous filled the quiet atmosphere.
“My instincts say trouble’s GPS has locked on. Stay close.”
The soft glide of his bodyguard’s gun from his shoulder rig compelled Wyatt to suck in chilled air that seared his lungs. Each step forward carried the expectation of death.
“Intuition is your best survival tool and seldom wrong. For an athletic geek, yours is pretty good.”
Wyatt didn’t argue the conciliatory assessment. Routine sparring with Adam revealed the bodyguard had reflexes that boggled the mind.
Sudden sharp beeps shattered the silence. A sequence of long and short chirps denoting binary code identified Wyatt’s caller. His heart rate shot into overdrive. Hair on his nape prickled as he fumbled the device. Swiping to ignore didn’t recall the audible beacon.
Massive pillars supported the five-story concrete structure that supplied parking space for the attached office building. Rounding one to his left, Wyatt stumbled as Adam snatched him sideways.
The colossal brute they almost bounced off had detached from the shadows with a stealth befitting a sixteenth century ninja. Colossal mass defied speed but personified malice with a savage gaze and gap-toothed smile.
“Jesus!” Wyatt’s split-second observation induced a rush of adrenaline with the hand holding his cell thrusting forward in self-protection. “Damn. You’re big.”
Deep chuckling inspired images of the worst villains in horror movies.\
Brown hair pulled back in a ponytail swept the shoulder of the man bearing a gold tooth. A ridge of pitted, tanned skin separated the straight bushy unibrow deepening with a tilt of his head. Dark eyes retained terrible knowledge embracing and calculating endless methods for the most efficient kill.
After flicking a glance over the bodyguard in silent disregard, the brute’s appraisal raked Wyatt’s body head to toe. Thin lips widened in obvious glee.
“Time to meet your maker, prodigy.” He mimicked Wyatt’s sidestep in a lightning-fast move and knocked Adam’s gun from his hand. The pistol ricocheted under a nearby Toyota producing multiple tin-like clinks.
Time shattered into bits and pieces where each fractured instant unfurled another fragment of the ominous scene. Wyatt’s thoughts stuttered on a long blink.
Author Reily Garrett
About the Author Reily Garrett is a writer, mother, and companion to three long coat German shepherds. When not working with her dogs, she’s sitting at her desk with her fur kids by her side.
Author of chilling suspense and snarky romance, her stories span the distance of romantic thrillers, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. Regardless of genre, each book delves into a dark and twisted imagination yet is tempered with romance and a touch of humor.
Reviews by Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Bay Review, and BestThrillers.com best describe her work:
“This could be James Patterson, Lee Child, and Tess Gerritsen rolled into one, but the dark, twisted methods used by the serial killer could surprise even those readers…” – San Francisco Bay Review
Welcome to the blog tour for OATH BREAKER, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, The Angel of Death & Demons, by River Starr. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
OATH BREAKER (Angel of Death and Demons Series #1) by River Starr
Synopsis No one survives their meeting with the Angel of Death—except for me.
After being accused of rallying citizens to revolt against him and breaking the rules of engagement with demons to save my best friend—guilty as charged on both accounts—the Angel of Death demands to personally oversee my sentencing in his obsidian castle of demons and death.
I’m done for. This is the end. But my death won’t be in vain—I’ll die a martyr to the Paladins Order’s cause, and I’ll rescue my best friend at the same time. She’ll be safe and the paladins will pick a new leader. They’ll thrive and continue the fight.
Or so I think. When judgment day arrives and I’m knelt before the Angel of Death, with his onyx eyes, his ebony hair, and his seductively imposing stature, my soul doesn’t leave me.
Because when I dare to look the Angel of Death in the eyes, everything changes. And what unfolds in my anger and vengeance’s stead is a thread of events I never could have foreseen.
I survived my meeting with the Angel of Death. But can I survive his love?
OATH-BREAKER is the first of a M/F paranormal demon romance duology full of steamy goodness.
Excerpt #2 The Angel of Death chuckled. He actually chuckled. “Your previous leader was weak and died to demons along Alastia’s border before I had a chance get there. To accuse me of murdering not only the leader of the Paladins Order but, in doing so, also destroying the precarious truce between our people, is perhaps not the smartest move while you and your people are within my grasp.”
My blood boiled. Screw playing nice. I wished Jessa weren’t in the room. But I also knew that my pain right now—emotional though it was—would feed her power enough to help me fight if one broke out.
I glanced up to meet the Angel of Death’s stare. “Merek was not weak—”
I froze as our eyes met. It was like someone or something had punched me right in the gut. My breath hitched. My heart stopped. For a moment, it even felt as though time had, too.
The Angel of Death was breathtaking. Gorgeous. And it wasn’t just his fathomless onyx eyes and tussled ebony hair, although those had drawn me in first. It wasn’t the hard cut of his jaw or his statuesque features. Not even the faint scar along his chin that brought questions to my mind. No. None of those things were anything in comparison to the aura around him—power, position. Nor even his scent—earthy and smoky—that slammed into me a moment later. It also wasn’t the way his eyes widened a fraction the longer this moment drew on, as if he had realized it, too, now that our eyes had met.
They say that when you meet the love of your life, you just know. That that was how it also worked with your fated mate.
Now looking the Angel of Death in the eyes, not only seeing him for the first time, but feeling the weight of his presence and power, I knew what I’d always assumed to be true: Fate had never been on my side, and She was not funny.
Merek had been my mate. I’d known it the first moment we’d met. We’d clicked immediately and loved fiercely until the night of his death.
And here I was, staring down the Angel of Death, the demon king of this city, begging for him to let Jessa go, and realizing that he, too, was somehow my mate.
My fated mate. A stronger pull. An impossibly powerful connection.
The recognition was instantaneous. The bond as powerful as the sun.
I’d heard you could have more than one mate. I’d even known a few paladins in the Order whom it had happened to.
But this—now, after Merek’s death—was too much to process. This aura flitting between us was stronger than anything I’d ever felt in my entire life.
The Angel of Death growled, his lips curling. I stood straight and met his anger with my own, my fists curled and ready to attack, clunky as it might be with my wrists bound as they were. It wouldn’t be graceful, but I wasn’t going down without a fight.
“I’m glad I’m not the only one pissed about this,” I said as I drew up my bound fists. I refused to believe fate had given me another mate—especially one responsible for killing my first.
Before the Angel of Death or any of his soldiers could react, I swung wide at his face.
Author River Starr
About the Author River Starr writes books that help you escape, especially fantasy romance full of magic and supernaturals. Favorite things: coffee, wine, chocolate, and a heavy dose of books to chase away the dark… or invite delicious darkness in.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE OMEN OF CROWS NEST, 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.
That’s what the police found after Penelope spun her bizarre tale. In a hysterical state, she said her father was butchered and eaten by a mob of birds ~ in her bedroom.
They claim she’s crazy.
That she suffers from delusions.
Penelope is dead set on proving them wrong.
After being institutionalized for eight months, Penelope is out and more determined than ever to find answers to her so-called hallucinations. With her father’s untimely disappearance, she’s convinced her family is hiding something sinister.
THE OMEN OF CROWS NEST is the latest masterpiece by the award-winning author Cathrina Constantine, and is sure to leave fans of fantasy gasping!
Excerpt #2 I returned to Crows Nest searching for hope, only to find ghosts.
Gone for eight months, give or take a few weeks, there had been a drastic change in the house. Perhaps, I’d overlooked the turrets I once imagined as a stairway to Heaven were scarred— like me. Cylinder peaks somewhat askew and shingles hanging in disarray correlated with my life thus far.
Some things remained the same. The worn exterior didn’t discourage flocks of birds to hover above and roost on the turrets and power lines.
Dad declared he was the cornerstone of the household, but we all knew it was Gramma. When her fancy tickled her, she told us myths and legends whence our house got its name because crows infested the land. Circling crows, like today, was an omen of death. I shivered. Heedful of that premonition all too well.
“Crows are inherently clever, intelligent,” Gramma would say, “Pay attention, they bring messages. They’re a symbol of magic, mystery, and destiny.” Her fowl wisdom had been indoctrinated in me since I toddled around the Nest.
What message are they bringing today? Welcoming or cautioning?
I should’ve carried a machete to cleave through the scrub, yellowing stalks. Snaking ivy coiled the pillars and canopied the second story balcony, which precariously bowed. On the long drive, Dean had informed me that the unforgiving winter had taken a toll.
My boots crunched on mulch and brittle leaves as I stepped onto the wraparound porch. It had been my responsibility to sweep it, a chore that should have been handed down to my younger siblings. The ornate beveled picture window was cracked. Something had smashed into it, creating jagged veins in the glass.
Planting indecisive legs at the front door, my toes grew into unyielding roots, wrestling into the tongue and groove boards. Heartier roots to replenish those that had been trimmed, uprooted, and torn to shreds.
Will my brother and sister despise me? Considering all those weeks before I was sent away, they’d never given me any reason to doubt their trust or their love. Nevertheless, in all these months, I seldom saw them. Gramma could have brainwashed them against me. She maintained that kind of authority.
I stared at the tarnished door knocker. Still scary and still life-like. A crow’s head with a gaping beak. Emotionally fraught, I turned, searching for Dean. He was body-deep in the trunk of the car grappling with my baggage.
“Need help?” I asked, voice squeaky.
He peeked his head around the car. His expressive, honey-amber eyes flashed as he flicked his arm, a signal to go in. Many nights I’d dreamt of him and those eyes. It shouldn’t be this hard. I veered to the door and thought, I’m home.
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.
Welcome to the book blitz for CHASE HER, the third book in the adult contemporary romantic suspense series, Come for Me, by Kelly Finley. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Famous. Imposing. Mysterious. Daniel Pierce hides so much behind his A-list celebrity fame. Has that secret and that fame cost him the love of his life? The most incredible woman he’d ever met?
A force to be reckoned with, Charlie Ravenel was never supposed to fall in love with him—the one man she shouldn’t. While she followed no man’s rules, he convinced her to follow her heart. And him. Together they found a life of such promise, such passion… but also grave threats.
Did he commit the worst sin? Doubting her strength, her mission and her darkest fear? He loves her so much, he will chase that answer to the very end. Because their love was destined; a fierce desire they couldn’t resist.
And now the consequence, the collision of every force. A perfect storm. Of secrets revealed. Of pasts returned. Of the question everyone dares to ask…
Does love survive… even past our last breath?
CHASE HER, Book Three in the COME FOR ME series is a thrilling, steamy, romantic suspense novel that takes you to the very edge.
*This book is not for the fainthearted. This deep romance explores the dark theme of stalking.
Excerpt He scooped her into his embrace on the gym floor. “I’d ask you what’s wrong”—he wrapped his hand over her sweaty belly—“but I know.”
With every week of her possessed workouts, the swell had disappeared to her strong abs showing back through. But Daniel knew—this wasn’t about weight or vanity. Not his wife. She had none.
This was about the shooter.
For two months, Daniel had watched her. How, if she wasn’t smiling at the twins, she was lost in thought. What was she plotting? It concerned him.
She wrapped her arms around his neck. “I’ll be okay.”
He didn’t believe her. “I know what’s driving you, but you’ve got to pace yourself. If you don’t, you’ll tear something, and then we’re fucked. The last place we want to be now is in hospital, not with this virus out there.”
The baby monitor he set on the bench cried out. He glanced at it. Caroline stirred. Of course she was awake again.
“I’ll get her.” She pecked his cheek. “You get your workout in.” She stood up from his arms.
“Fran’s got them.” He grabbed her hand gently. “Stay with me, just for a minute.”
He stood up, watching the monitor while he nestled her against his chest. Fran appeared on the screen in front of the cot, softly shushing Caroline back to sleep.
Thank God for that sweet woman. Fran gave them the breaks they needed. Charlie had protested at hiring a nanny, but he searched anyway and she was glad he did.
He called Fran for a phone interview from the hospital. She was perfect, from London, ending a job in Nashville with celebrity musicians whose teens no longer needed her. She had the experience and fifty-two years of wisdom.
Once Daniel explained to Fran the situation, fully disclosing the risk, she didn’t hesitate. She met them at the dock in Bluffton for the trip out to Daufuskie Island and hadn’t left since.
“See.” He nodded toward the monitor. “She’s got them.”
Charlie’s body relaxed against his, and a need, a tension started stirring within.
She had welcomed his hugs, his kisses, but that was all. He tried a few times after the six weeks they were told to wait. Fuck, he was desperate for her. But each time, Charlie gently removed his hand from between her thighs. Now, he didn’t even try, digging deep for patience instead. It was hard.
His cock didn’t receive the patient message, tenting his thin black gym shorts with a stiffy.
“I feel you, Sex God,” she murmured against his chest.
His hand pressed down to the small of her bare back. “I feel you too, Sex Goddess.” Her workout clothes always turned him on. Hell, she could wear a Hessian sack and make him horny as hell.
“I’m not ready yet.”
“Your patient husband knows that, but his lonely cock doesn’t.”
“Should I leave you here for a workout and to rub one off?”\
“Only if you watch me… and you do the same.”
“You little shit.” She pulled back with a sly smile. “You tryin’ to tempt me?”
“I’ve got to. I know you’re not ready, babe, but I’m going to break my dick off wanking without you.” He meant it. It had been months, a lonely hell.
She sighed, eyes half-rolling. “I’m not trying to starve you. I know we can now, but I don’t feel like myself.” Pulling her body away. “I don’t know how ‘mom’, ‘wife’ and ‘Charlie’ come together now. It’s fucking weird. It’s like I’m out of my body and need to get back in it, but I don’t recognize it. And now… I’ve got this.”
Her gesture took his gaze, only turning him on more. Staring down at the pussy he missed, knowing its hidden beauty, he didn’t give a damn about a Cesarean scar, even though he hadn’t seen it yet.
“Good God, babe, you’re even more beautiful to me now.” His hand smoothed over her hourglass waist. “All I do is admire you and want you but you’ve been hiding from me for months.”
His finger lifted her chin, asking her eyes to meet his. “Let me at least hold you, in the shower, in our bed, with nothing on.” He kissed her lips, aware how his new beard tickled them, dusting over their sexy slope, confessing, “I miss us.”
They needed this. It was their connection, their love. The instant they met, the urge for the other was so powerful it overwhelmed their senses. The greatest desire thrilled his flesh from the moment he touched Charlie.
And he’d almost lost her.
He needed to cherish every inch of her, lavishing her with tender touches, fucking her so hard. He had no choice; he had to show her how much he loved her and would until his dying day.
“Even if we tried that, just being naked,” she said. “I won’t be able to relax. I don’t think I’ll have an orgasm again in this house, not with the twins and Fran down the hall.”
“Fran’s not uptight. Have you heard her talk? She’s an old-school feminist. I assure you when her wife can travel here from London, we will hear them down the hall.”
“Okay, fine. But what about the twins? Between Caroline, who never sleeps, and Duke, who demands my attention when he’s awake, I don’t get a second to relax unless I’m in the gym.” Her hand caressed his hard bicep. “It’s not fair between men and women. Your cock is a hot light switch, but my vag is a cold oven, it’s gotta warm up, and it can’t with all this baby stuff going on.”
That amused him. And challenged him. “Give me a chance, babe.” His lips climbed up her neck while he murmured, “You always switch my cock on, and you know I can melt you into the wettest heat you’ve ever dripped.”
He took gentle bites before she snapped her neck closed. “Fuck, your beard tickles.”
Nuzzling into her, he made her squeal, squirming from his snatching embrace—a futile effort. He wouldn’t let her go.
“Quit it.” Her eyes twinkled. “Or I’ll tie you down and shave that thing off.”
He ceased the tickle, but not his smile. Fuck’s sake, he loved her like this. Laughing. Playful. Warming up to him, he could tell, her nipples pebbled under her sports bra.
His dirty mind devised a plan; his hard cock signed off on it. “I’m getting us an afternoon, alone, in the house for a few hours. We’ll just shower and cuddle, I promise.”
“How do you propose to do that?”
“Those two cherubs have grandparents on this island ten minutes away. Pop and Evelyn would jump at the chance to have them for a few hours. And Fran could visit with them or take the time to herself.”
“I feel like shitty parents sending our babies away for an afternoon so we can fuck.”
“Yes! Are we finally going to fuck?” That was all he heard. Not the “shitty parent” part, because that, he didn’t buy.
“I’m serious, Daniel. How does that look? We send our kids away so we can have an afternoon of sex?”
“Since when does my fit wife give two shits for what people think?” He gripped her hand. “I’m serious, Charlie. We’ve been through enough. If we don’t stay connected and strong as a couple, we are no good to them as Mum and Dad.”
“Quit trying to make that stick, Pierce.” She tongued her teeth, smiling. “I’m not gonna be ‘Mum’ and you’re not gonna be ‘Dad.’ More like ‘Mama’ and ‘Daddy’ in these parts.”
“You’re off your trolley. Fran and I will see to it that they have proper English accents.”
He teased her, relishing how it pissed her off, adoring when she fired back…
“Bless your heart, Pierce, and count heads. You’re outnumbered.” She wiggled against his cock. It was begging for her. “I’ve got you beat.”
Yes, she does, Pierce. Grinding on you. That’s your wife.
“So, it’s a plan then, Mrs. Pierce?” He seized her firm bum, pulling her harder against his raging hard-on, wanting to take her now.
“That’s not my name.”
Deploying the grin that inspired millions of thirsty posts, “It is when I’m fucking you,” he knew it wet her pussy too.
That naughty truth flashed across her eyes. The last time they made love, months before, he made her moan that name while rousing her with slow thrusts from behind.
“All right, Mr. Ravenel. Give my body a few more weeks to heal before you come at me with all this hard hotness. Then we’ll see if you get lucky.”
Breaking from his embrace, she delivered a swat to his arse before swishing out of the room. Minutes later, she appeared on the monitor with Duke, kissing his forehead before lying him down to change his nappy.
He watched the spectacle, a smile taking his entire being. Gawd blimey, I love her.
About the Author Kelly Finley is fiction author of contemporary romances featuring bada** women and grown-a** men. She lives in the Carolinas with her husband and family. A rebel with many causes, she fancies black leather, dirty jokes, and smart mouths.
Thrilled by a flipped script and ticked off by women portrayed as weak, she noticed how many steamy, sexy heroines were missing, particularly from suspense and military romance. Her friends shared the frustration and told her to practice what she has taught for twenty years. Her books feature characters we champion and love—ones with shameless heat, brave hearts, and whip-smart minds.
She’s most likely at her keyboard right now, putting the next heroine on the page.