Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about FOOL #RSsos #RomSuspense


The Sisterhood of Suspense share lines with the theme FOOL on this last day of March. Ready for April Fools Day?

sisterhood of suspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about FOOL

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


A weak copy of Ciara—how did I miss it? Oh, how she made a fool of me. Not anymore—she’ll join the others.

Marian Lanouette


“That’s commendable, but the behavior seems foolhardy given the threats on her life.”

Marsha West


At the exit, where freedom awaited from this mortifying and horrifying experience, Ben planted his feet and did an about-face. “Mom says, Auntie Caren needs a good man—

Vicki Batman


He flashed her a smile from his soot-darkened face that made her foolish heart tumble.

Jacquie Biggar


“Quin, you’re not making a fool out of yourself and I’m trying to grasp the fact that my fantasy just became my reality.”

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


“Sarah drank and fooled around too much. She was a pretty…

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The Soccer Player and the Single Mom by @KyraJacobsBooks #Romance #Read #BookReview


For most women, working for a sexy soccer star would be a dream come true. All except single mom Felicity Shaw. She has no interest in playing personal assistant for a stubborn, injured playboy—no matter how nice his abs are. But with bills piling up and mouths to feed, she can’t say no to the job.

That’s when it gets interesting.

The last thing Scott Gillie wants or needs is a persistent and entirely too distracting PA while he’s recuperating in his small hometown. Unfortunately, it’s not up to him. Then Felicity and her son end up temporarily moving in—all thanks to his meddlesome grandmother. Now temptation is right across the hall and it’s driving Scott crazy.

His only option is to fight fire with fire.

He never expects Felicity to do the same.

Biography

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who has always called Indiana home. That means she’s well versed in fickle weather, pork tenderloin patties that don’t fit on a bun, and sarcasm. Putting her Indiana University degrees in Public Management to good use by day means Kyra does the bulk of her writing late into the night. Fueled by caffeine and funny memes, she weaves tales of love and relationships, including the humor and/or chaos both can bring. Kyra’s published novels range from sweet contemporary romance to chick lit and paranormal/fantasy.

When this Hoosier native isn’t at a keyboard, daydreaming through her fingertips, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or on a sideline somewhere cheering (loudly) for her sporty sons. Kyra also loves to go bowling, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan.

Be sure to stop by kyrajacobsbooks.com to learn more about her novels and ways to connect with Kyra on social media.

My Review

Grandma Steals the Show!

This book is so cute! We have an injured professional soccer player holed up at his sassy grandmother’s home for rehab, a single mother in desperate need of a job, and an agent who doesn’t take no for an answer.

Enter- fun!

When Felicity Shaw agrees to a temporary position as soccer player Scott Gillie’s PA, she doesn’t care if he’s a big old grump- as long as she gets paid. After losing her rental home thanks to a fire next door, she needs the money to give her young son the home he deserves.

When Scott’s eccentric grandmother offers them a room- across from Scott’s- Felicity gratefully accepts. After all, it’s only temporary. It shouldn’t be hard to ignore the man’s athletic physique and sexy smile, right?

Scott’s main focus is recovering from the injury to his knee and getting back to his team before the playoffs- nothing else matters. Then Grandma meddles by inviting his unwanted personal assistant and her son to stay with them. Just what he doesn’t need. She’s way too distracting and her son reminds him of himself at that age.

They need to go. Maybe if he makes her life miserable, it’ll happen. Funny how best laid plans can go awry.

Grandma is a hoot! I loved her sass. She raised Scott after his mother’s death and likes to pick on him for just about everything, lol.

Here’s a couple of my favorite passages:

So, what do I have to do for Hero Day?”

“Just talk about your job and how cool it is and stuff.”

Now Edna did roll her eyes. “Scott doesn’t have a job. He just plays with balls all day.”

“Thank you, Grandma. I’ll make sure to say it exactly like that when I go speak to Tyler’s class.”

The Soccer Player and the Single Mom- Kyra Jacobs

when you focus too much on one thing.” Edna tipped her head to one side. “It’s like…loving steak. And you want to eat steak all the time, so you do. But you’re missing out on all the other nutrients your body needs to grow and thrive. And then one day, you realize you’ve been missing out, but it’s too late.”

“So…all the other food is gone?”

“No, but you’ve got kidney stones and liver spots and dentures, because Lord knows half your teeth have been knocked out by now. So you end up in some nursing home assuming the fetal position, waiting for those damn stones to pass.

The Soccer Player and the Single Mom- Kyra Jacobs

I give The Soccer Player and the Single Mom 5 lovely kisses- You’ll read this with a smile 🙂

Her father’s killer isn’t done yet… Fatal Reckoning by @MarieForce #NewRelease #Suspense @InkSlingerPR


Today we are celebrating the release of FATAL RECKONING. Fatal Reckoning is part of the Fatal series by Marie Force. Check out the purchase links, blurb and teaser for the book below.

PURCHASE IT NOW!

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FATAL RECKONING (Fatal, #14) by Marie Force

Available Now!

Book Blurb:

When tragedy strikes, a cold case suddenly turns hot—and deadly

A peaceful morning is shattered when Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland’s beloved father succumbs to injuries from an unsolved shooting while on duty four years ago. As the community rallies around Sam and her family, one thing becomes crystal clear: her father’s death has turned the unsolved case into a homicide—and it’s on her to bring her father’s killer to justice.

But the case has been cold for years…until an anonymous tip that’s too shocking to believe leads Sam down a dark and dangerous path. Her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano, knows if she can’t solve this case, it will haunt her for the rest of her life. She’ll need the strength of their bond to pull her out of the darkness before it’s too late, because as the missing pieces rapidly fall into place, Sam realizes the truth might just break her all the same—and that her father’s killer isn’t done yet…

 

PURCHASE IT NOW!

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Kindle CA | Kindle UK | Kindle AU

PURCHASE IN PRINT FROM Amazon | Chapters Indigo | Barnes & Noble

AUDIO: Amazon | Audible US | Google

 

Fatal Reckoning, Fatal Series Book 14
By Marie Force
Chapter 1

 

As she had every morning for seven days, Sam reached across the bed, looking for Nick, finding his side of the bed cold and unoccupied. He would be home from his trip to Europe later that day. Thank God. In his absence, she’d been forced to make due with rushed FaceTime conversations on their son Scotty’s phone, texts and the press coverage of the trip that had included an audience with Queen Elizabeth. Sam had been sorry to miss the chance to meet a woman she idolized, but she’d remained at home to care for their Scotty as well as Alden and Aubrey, the five-year-old twins who’d recently become part of their family after their parents were murdered.

She’d put the time to good use, getting “the littles,” as Nick had nicknamed the twins, back on a schedule that included a return to their preschool. Dr. Trulo, the Metro Police Department psychiatrist, had helped her find a qualified therapist who would work with the children together and individually to help them cope with their terrible loss. And she’d fielded phone calls from their mother’s family members, who were suddenly concerned about their well-being now that the men responsible for their parents’ murders had been brought to justice.

Sam couldn’t stand hypocrites and had gritted her teeth each time a member of a family that had initially expressed no concern whatsoever for the children called to check on them. Fortunately, their parents had made their older brother, Elijah, their legal guardian, and he’d asked Sam and Nick to serve as the children’s custodial guardians while he finished college at Princeton. What would happen after he graduated, Sam didn’t know and couldn’t think about. Not now when the children needed everything she and Nick and their devoted assistant, Shelby, had to give them to get their lives back on track, or as close to it as they could get without their beloved parents.

One step a time, she told herself, just as she often did while working a homicide investigation. The activity with the littles had been good for her as she served out a seven-day suspension for taking in the children of her murder victims, something she’d do again in a hot second. Was it a conflict of interest? Absolutely, but she hadn’t thought about that when she saw two babies in need of something she could give them. It had only taken a few days after she brought them home for everyone associated with their household to fall in love with the blond-haired twins.

She moved from her pillow to Nick’s, which bore faint remnants of his distinctive cologne, the scent of “home.” If her time-zone calculations were correct, he would be on Air Force Two by now, about to begin the seven-hour flight home from France. Her phone rang, and she wondered if it was him, telling her he’d be home soon. Greedy for anything from him that she could get after a week apart, she grabbed the phone and flipped it open without checking the caller ID.

“Sam!” Her stepmother, Celia’s urgent tone had Sam sitting up in bed.

“Morning. What’s going—”

“Sam, it’s your dad. Something’s wrong.”

“I’m coming.” Sam was out of bed and running before she gave a thought to the fact that she was wearing pajama bottoms, Nick’s favorite ratty Harvard T-shirt and no bra. She bolted from the bedroom, past the shocked Secret Service agent in the hallway and down the stairs as she held the phone to her ear and tried to beat back a tidal wave of panic. The agent working the front door opened it for her, thankfully without asking any questions. As she didn’t have Secret Service protection, Sam could come and go as she pleased, and the agents had gotten used to her mad dashes.

Barefoot and oblivious to the cold October air, she sprinted down the ramp Nick had installed so her dad could visit their home and covered the short distance between her home and her father’s in seconds, cruising up the ramp to his front door and bursting into the house.

“Back here,” Celia called.

Sam went from the living room through the kitchen to her father’s bedroom in what used to be the dining room. With one quick glance, she saw that his color was all wrong and his lips were blue. In that moment, none of her training or years of emergency experience was available to her. In that moment, she wasn’t a decorated police officer. She was only a daughter staring at the lifeless face of the first man she’d ever loved.

“Sam! What should we do?”

Celia’s frantic tone and her fearful expression nudged Sam into action. With shaking hands, she called 9-1-1 and requested help.

The operator asked for specifics.

“Sixty-four-year-old unresponsive quadriplegic.” She recited the Ninth Street address. “Tell the Secret Service that Lieutenant Holland said to let them in.”

“Of course, Lieutenant.” The operator perked up when she realized who she was talking to. “Do you know the victim?”

“Yes.” Sam tried to swallow around the huge knot of fear wedged in her throat. “He’s my father.” My touchstone. My hero. My best friend forever. “Please hurry.”

“EMS is on the way. Has your father had any recent health issues?”

“Nothing other than the paralysis.” He’d been doing better in the last year after surgery to remove the bullet that had remained lodged in his neck for three years. He’d regained some sensation in his extremities, but he’d become frailer with every month spent immobile. Sam walked around the hospital bed to comfort Celia, who was stroking Skip’s face and hair and begging him to open his eyes, to talk to her.

“Please don’t do this,” Celia said pleadingly between sobs. “Not yet. Don’t leave me.”

Debra Nixon, the lead agent on Scotty’s detail, appeared in the doorway, probably after having been told of Sam’s sprint. “What can I do?” She assessed the situation with sharp eyes.

Holding the phone to the side, Sam said, “Tell the agents at the checkpoint to let in EMS.”

“Done. What else?”

“Ask the agents at the house to keep an eye on the kids? Don’t let Scotty come over here.” Dear God, Scotty… He adored his Gramps. All at once, Sam couldn’t breathe as the potential magnitude of what was happening registered, leaving her staggered, her legs nearly buckling under her. Somehow, she remained standing, but only because Celia needed her to keep it together. Inside, however, she crumbled.

“EMS has arrived,” the operator said. “I’ll pray for your family, Lieutenant.”

“Thank you.” Sam slapped the phone closed.

Debra went to let in the paramedics, who brought equipment and badly needed competence. They immediately took over, tending to Skip as Sam and Celia stood with their arms wrapped around each other. Watching one of her worst fears play out, Sam wondered if she might be dreaming this. It had to be a dream because the possibility that this could be real was too frightening and heartbreaking to entertain.

The lead paramedic looked to Sam and Celia. “Has he had any recent health issues?”

“Nothing other than the paralysis and a persistent urinary tract infection.” Celia dabbed at tears with a tissue. “He’s been on antibiotic for that.”

“Has he ever been unresponsive like this?”

“No,” Celia said. “Never.”

Sam knew she should call her sisters but couldn’t bring herself to move or do anything other than hope and pray.

The paramedic listening to her father’s heart shook his head, and the other one sprang into action, setting up a portable defibrillator. Seeing the paddles and understanding what they were doing snapped Sam out of the dreamlike trance she’d slipped into as the surreal scene unfolded around her.

“No,” Sam said. “No.”

“Sam!” Celia cried. “What’re you doing?”

Sam stared at the face of the man who meant the world to her. “It’s not what he would want.” She knew it without a shadow of a doubt. In some ways, the most difficult decision she would ever make was also the simplest.

“Please, Sam.” Celia sobbed helplessly. “Please.”

Sam met the intense gaze of the lead paramedic. “He has a DNR.”

Hearing that, the paramedics stepped back.

Sobbing, Celia pulled free of Sam’s embrace to lean over her husband, kissing and caressing the half of his face that had retained full sensation after the shooting and the stroke that’d followed. Long after his injury, Sam and her sisters learned that for some time he’d been dating Celia, who became his devoted nurse and later, his wife.

“Lieutenant,” one of the paramedics said. “Would you like us to transport him?”

A lifetime of holidays, celebrations, parties and other events in this house ran through her mind in a flash. Skip Holland had lived there for most of his adult life. It seemed only fitting that his life should also end in the home he’d loved. If he was in pain, he probably couldn’t feel it. She took comfort in that.

“No, thank you.” Sam’s heart hurt, her hands trembled and her mouth had gone dry from fear. How would she ever go on without him?

The paramedics stepped out of the room.

Sam wanted to beg them to stay. She couldn’t handle this. She couldn’t bear it. Tracy. Angela. She had to call them. Her hands were shaking so badly she could barely make the call to her eldest sister.

“Are you losing your mind without your man?” Tracy asked in a teasing tone.

“Trace.”

“What? Sam? What’s wrong?”

“It’s Dad. You need to come. Tell Ang too. Hurry.”

“What?” Tracy asked, frantic. “What’s wrong?”

“He’s… Just come. As fast as you can.”

“Sam.”

“Call Angela and get over here. Now.”

“We’re coming,” Tracy said, sounding undone.

Sam moved around to the other side of the bed and gazed down at her dad’s face as he struggled to breathe. Tears threatened, but she fought them off, determined to stay strong for Celia, who was hysterical.

They’d been on borrowed time for almost four years now, during which Skip’s once-robust world had been reduced to three rooms. He’d been trapped in a kind of hell she wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy. All that time, she’d known that at some point his body would surrender the fight.

Knowing it could happen at any time didn’t make the reality easier, though.

Her sisters lived close by, so it didn’t take them long to get there, rushing into the room and bringing the scents of cold and wood smoke with them. They took one look at Skip and broke down into heartbroken sobs when they realized what was happening. Sam didn’t acknowledge them or do anything other than stare at the face of the man who’d occupied the very center of her life.

“What can we do?” Tracy’s husband Mike asked, as he stood behind Sam and her sisters.

“Nothing,” Sam said. “We have to let him go because he wouldn’t want heroic measures.” Later, she’d probably wonder where her composure was coming from. All she knew for certain was that her dad had lived long enough trapped inside the prison of his useless body, and it was up to them now to let him go with the grace in which he’d lived his remarkable life.

Angela went around the bed to try and comfort Celia, who was inconsolable.

Tracy wrapped her arms around Sam. Only with her sister’s warmth pressed up against her, did Sam realize how cold she was.

As she wondered if he could still hear them, Sam thought about what she should say to him while she still could. But there was no need for last-minute salvos. Nothing had been left unsaid between her and her father. He would leave this world knowing exactly where he stood with her and the rest of his family. Skip Holland had been loved and respected and adored by his wife and daughters and had returned those sentiments tenfold.

They were all there, the four people he loved the most, when Skip took his last breath at eight thirty-seven.

Sam noted the time, because she knew it would matter. For a long time after his chest stopped moving, she continued to stare down at him. Through the fog of the surreal, she understood what had happened, and in one tiny remote part of her, she felt relieved for him. She’d never been a particularly religious person. However, the thought of Skip walking tall and proud, freed from the god-awful prison of his egregious injury, into the kingdom of heaven, brought badly needed comfort.

But when she thought about Celia, herself and her sisters, Skip’s beloved grandchildren, devoted sons-in-law, colleagues and friends—the many people who had loved him—she ached for everyone who would be left to go on without him. And in the corner of her soul that belonged to her family in blue, she seethed with rage, directed at the nameless, faceless criminal who’d taken Skip from them far too soon.

 

On the way home at last, Nick thought, watching the Paris skyline get smaller as Air Force Two climbed to altitude. He had a million things to do, emails that had given birth to more emails while he’d been away, briefing documents to review before he returned to the White House on Monday and a press corps on board hungry for interviews.

But all he could think about was eight more hours until he could see his Samantha. That felt like an eternity after missing her terribly for an endless week apart.

They were absurd. He knew it. She knew it. They didn’t care who knew it. What had started as a crazy, wildfire of attraction the night they met, had been denied for six long years until they were reunited at a crime scene, of all places. Sometimes Nick thought they were still making up for lost time almost two years after finding each other again.

That was the best explanation he had for the absolutely ridiculous love they had for each other, the kind of love that made a life worth living. He was eager to get home to spend time with Scotty and the “littles” who had recently joined their family. But he was absolutely desperate to see his wife, to hold her, kiss her, make love to her, breathe her in and stare at her gorgeous face. He could do that for hours and never get tired of the view. Her face was his favorite view in the world.

A knock on the door that separated his cabin from the rest of the plane, drew Nick out of his thoughts. “Come in.”

His lead Secret Service agent, John Brantley Junior, stepped into the room, his expression serious and professional as always. Brant rarely cracked a grin or removed the all-business façade that made him such an effective agent.

“What’s up?” Nick asked.

“We received a call from Agent Nixon.”

As Debra Nixon was his son’s lead agent, Nick’s first thought was for Scotty. “What?” He fought back a burst of panic.

“Your father-in-law.”

“What about him?”

“I’m sorry to have to tell you that he passed away a short time ago. Mrs. Cappuano, her sisters and stepmother were with Deputy Chief Holland when he passed.”

Sam. Oh no, no, no. “I need to speak to my wife.”

“We’re attempting to reach her now. She’s not answering her phone.”

“Call one of the other agents and have them find her.”

“Yes, sir.”

Nick’s entire body felt cold with shock and despair as he imagined Sam dealing with such an awful loss, and while he was hours away from her. He’d never felt more useless or despondent as he imagined what she must be going through.

Brant returned a short time later, speaking on a secure satellite phone. “Hold on just a moment. Here he is.” He handed the phone to Nick.

“Sam?”

“I’m here.” Her dull, flat tone told him so much but nowhere near enough.

“Babe… I’m so, so sorry.”

“Thank you. I know you loved him too.”

“I did. So much. I would give anything to be there with you right now.”

“I wish you were here too.”

“What happened?”

“Celia called when she couldn’t wake him. The paramedics came, but I told them he wouldn’t want to be resuscitated.”

Oh God, she had been the one to make that call? Nick closed his eyes, put his head back against the seat and released a deep breath, trying to imagine what it had cost her to make that decision on her father’s behalf. “What can I do for you?”

“It helps to hear your voice. I have to go tell Scotty, and the kids will be getting up.”

“Samantha…”

“I’ll see you when you get here, okay?”

“I love you so much, and I’m just heartbroken for you and Ange and Trace and Celia.”

“Thanks. I love you too. I can’t wait to see you.”

“Me too, babe.”

The line went dead, and he handed the phone back to Brant.

“I’m very sorry for your loss,” Brant said, visibly shaken. “Is Mrs. Cappuano…”

“She sounds… bad. Flat.”

“She’s in shock.”

Nick leaned forward, elbows on knees, head in hands. Skip is dead. Tears filled his eyes and spilled down his face, his thoughts full of Sam, Scotty and the rest of their family. This would be a devastating loss for all of them. And it was a devastating loss for him. Skip had been a friend and father figure to him since the day Nick met him. Even paralyzed from the neck down, Skip had managed to completely intimidate Nick with the formidable blue-eyed stare that had put him on notice. Take care of my baby girl, or you’ll deal with me. Few things had ever mattered more to Nick than keeping the promises he’d made to Skip Holland that first day.

“I’m going to ask Mr. O’Connor to step in, if that’s all right,” Brant said.

Nick nodded and used the sleeve of his shirt to mop up his tears.

Terry came into the cabin, shock etched into his expression. “I just heard the news. I’m so sorry, Nick.”

Nick insisted his chief of staff call him by name when they were alone. “Thanks.”

“Were you able to talk to Sam?”

“Briefly.”

“I won’t ask how she is.” Terry took a seat. “Did you hear what happened?”

“He was unresponsive this morning. They chose not to resuscitate him. He had a DNR.”

“What can I do for you?”

“Get me home to her as fast as you can. I don’t care what has to happen.”

“I’ll arrange for Marine Two to meet us at Andrews. We can land on the south lawn of the White House and have you home within minutes.”

“Thank you.” That would be quicker than being conveyed to the city via motorcade, but it was still going to take far too long.

—————

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE FATAL SERIES

—————————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.
Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Goodreads

Join Marie’s Reader Groups

InkSlinger Blogger Final

 

Magic, politics, love, and madness collide in this fantasy adventure… Soul Swallowers by @DWallacePeach #Fantasy #BookReview


When swallowed, some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. But swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness. 

Estranged from his family over the murder of his wife, young Raze Anvrell wields his fists to vent his rage. Then a chance at a new life beckons, and he retreats to the foothills of the Ravenwood, the haunt of unbound ghosts. He and his mentor build a freehold, a life of physical labor and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. They raise horses and whittle by the fire until the old man dies, and Raze swallows his first soul. 

When his brother reaches out, open wounds begin to scar. But the tenuous peace won’t last. While those who rule the Vales yield to the lure of their ambitions, slavers of Ezar roam the countryside, hunting for human chattel. While one man manipulates the law, another heeds the souls of violence howling in his head. 

Raze too listens to his soul’s whispers, and as danger intrudes on his quiet life, he has no choice but to return to his father’s world and join the fight.

***
In this completed series, epic fantasy blends with the wisdom of old souls to create a unique coming of age story of courage and honor in the midst of evil. Slavery is pitted against freedom, anger against forgiveness, and a desire to live peacefully against the necessity to take up the sword.

It’s a story of bitter estrangement and broken hearts, of deception and unfettered ambition. For Raze Anvrell it’s a journey of violence, redemption, and his soul’s growth as he transforms from a reckless youth into a man with a rich legacy of souls. 

Magic, politics, love, and madness collide in this fantasy adventure. For lovers of beauty and battle, and complex characters willing to risk everything in the fight for their souls. 

Attribution: Amazon.com

Biography

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

My Review

Unforgettable Fantasy!

I didn’t know what to expect when I came across this title on D. Wallace Peach’s website, but the title and the cover drew me and after hesitating far longer than I should have, I decided to make the purchase- and can I just say, WOW!

This is the story of three kingdoms and the men and women who rule them, some with deceit more than honor.

When heir to the throne Raze Anvrell witnesses the murder of his young wife, he blames his father and disowns his family. He leaves to make his own way and learns over time, with the help of his mentor, that anger and hatred is not the answer to a peaceful soul.

The author has a beautiful, poetic way of writing that drew me right into the story- I couldn’t set it down!

Some of my favorite lines:

“What do you believe?”

“That we are children in a corner of the world trying to draw borders around the universe. We study a drop of rain and think we understand the sea. The only thing we can fully understand is ourselves, and even that task is beyond most.”

Soul Swallowers- D.Wallace Peach

The winter rains had abated, and waves of hammered bronze rolled into the cliffs with the rhythm of a heartbeat. The islands of the Shattered Sea crouched like hunchbacked giants tamed by the evening tide.

Soul Swallowers- D. Wallace Peach

Traveling to the sea cities was more than a physical journey for Raze. He returned sharper and dirtier with hard black seeds of malcontent like gravel in his shoes. Except they lodged in his skin and eyes and heart. They grew with weedy hunger.

Soul Swallowers- D. Wallace Peach

Maybe my desires are just poetic dreams pirouetting in the snow.

Soul Swallowers- D. Wallace Peach

Loss, love, war and betrayal- Soul Swallowers is a masterful fantasy novel!

Five+ lovely kisses- A must read!

She’s been hurt too many times… Rocky Ground by @KayleaCross #Suspense #Reading @InkSlingerPR


 

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Kaylea Cross comes the next scintillating novel in her Crimson Point Series!

ROCKY GROUND is a standalone romance with a hero sure to keep readers up long into the night. Check out the review blitz below and pick up your copy of ROCKY GROUND today!

 

 

✮✮✮ ROCKY GROUND is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

About ROCKY GROUND:

She’s been hurt too many times…

Single mom Tiana Fitzgerald has sworn off all romantic relationships to protect herself and her daughter. Her track record is disastrous and she’s done getting hurt. But a certain sexy Scotsman in Crimson Point has other ideas, and somehow manages to sneak past her defenses at every turn. As the hits keep coming and her life implodes, she begins to see he’s unlike any man she’s ever known. Now he’s become the greatest threat to her heart, because there’s no possible future for them. Not when he’s leaving the country in a few weeks. And when her worst fears are realized, she must risk everything by placing her trust in in his hands.

He’s determined to capture her heart.

Scotsman Aidan MacIntyre never saw the fiery, beautiful Tiana coming. The prickly redhead has gotten under his skin as badly as he wants to get under hers. But she’s determined to keep walls between them. Luckily the former Royal Marine doesn’t know how to give up. Someone from her past wants to hurt her, but Aidan will stand between her and any threat. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her and the little girl who have completely stolen his heart—and fight for them to have a future together.

Order your copy of ROCKY GROUND today!

 

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Excerpt:

The molten hunger in his eyes sent a torrent of heat rushing through her body even as her old fears bubbled to the surface again. “Aidan…” she murmured, dropping her gaze to his chest.

She’d done it. Given her unspoken consent. Now her heart was trying to pound its way out of her chest.

His hand came up to stroke her hair away from her face. She leaned into his touch, craving more. Craving this wonderful, incredible man that for some reason wanted her in spite of all her imperfections.

Her heart beat an erratic rhythm against her ribs. She’d never experienced anything like this before. Not with this level of intensity. This was…something she’d only read about before. Was it because of everything they’d gone through together? Because she’d relied on him for survival?

His fingers stroked against her scalp in a drugging caress that had her eyelids drooping. “What are you so afraid of?”

She looked up at him again. God, he was beautiful. And strong. And brave.

He was also going to rip her heart out when he left.

It wasn’t easy to voice her insecurities aloud, but she felt comfortable with him. Close to him in a way she’d never felt with another man. “Of making another mistake. Of getting my heart broken again,” she whispered.

He cupped the side of her face to run his thumb over her cheekbone. “I’ll not hurt you, lass.”

Her insides squeezed at the tenderness in his voice, the yearning in his eyes. No, he wouldn’t hurt her intentionally. “But you’re leaving soon. In another few weeks.” That was going to leave a scar, no matter how gently the cut was made.

“Aye,” he agreed, his gaze locked with hers. “But I’m here now.”

His words reverberated in the deepest recesses of her heart. He was right here in front of her, and he wanted her.

Any other arguments she had stored up vanished in the space of a single heartbeat. Before she could think herself out of it, she gave free rein to the need pulsing inside her, took his face in her hands and pulled him down to her waiting lips.

 

 

 

Kaylea Cross’ ROCKY GROUND Review Blitz:

March 26th

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  About Kaylea Cross: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and has been nominated multiple times for the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.      

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She’ll Be The Death of Him… London Calling by @VeronicaForand #NewRelease #Suspense @PureTextuality


Small town police officer Emma Ross loves her simple life––but it takes a hard turn into crazy when she’s kidnapped by MI6 and is put under the protection of an over-bearing, albeit sexy, Scotsman. A man who believes she’s lying to protect her father—a father whom she had no idea worked for British Intelligence and is now missing.

Liam Macknight’s partner was assassinated and he’s certain Emma’s father had something to do with it. But the stubborn woman isn’t talking, and she’s determined to get herself killed trying to find out the truth. Locking her in a room does no good––he tried that. So he’s forced to work with her, even if he’s not sure he’ll ever be able to trust her.

When he’s assigned to kill her dad to protect the identity of British spies in the Kremlin, he knows what little trust they’ve gained is about to be destroyed forever…

 

Promo Graphic - London Calling by Veronica Forand - 1

 

About the Book

London Calling
by Veronica Forand

Series
n/a; standalone

Genre
Adult
Contemporary Romance
Romantic Suspense

Publisher
Entangled Amara

Publication Date
March 25, 2019

Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon  |  Entangled Publishing  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

 

Eight minutes.

Macknight scanned the surroundings outside the hotel room window. Everything seemed as it should be in downtown Minsk. Clear sky, bright sun, no abnormal congregations of people in the plaza. Men and women wearing only a few variations of the same dark business attire and blue-collar workers in somber colors headed to lunch while groups of school children loitered nearby during a break from classes. Up above, on a rooftop over the plaza, a lone security guard kept watch, more interested in his mobile than his job.

“How does this look?” Lucy asked, as though she were meeting a guy she’d swiped right on Tinder.

How did she look? Like bait for a very important fish. Her blond hair tumbled over her shoulders in loose waves. Her blue silk blouse showed an indecent amount of skin. Her short black skirt and sky-high heels gave the impression she’d be easy on the first date. If everything went as planned, she’d be a sure thing.

In the past, watching Lucy prostitute herself in the name of the Queen had pulled at Macknight’s conscience, but she’d always had the choice to say no, and she never did. Not in the five years since she’d joined his team. Her work made asset acquisition easier. Men lusted after her, adding incentive for potential spies to turn traitor to their own countries.

“You look perfect,” Owen answered. He circled her, nodding in approval. “If Panin doesn’t want you, Macknight and I will take you out tonight dancing and drinking and…”

Macknight lifted his hand to shut down Owen’s chatter. “If there’s a problem, we’ll be on a plane back to London to regroup and prepare for our next assignment. She’s not a party favor.”

Lucy’s confidence and ability to step straight into the lion’s den without hesitation should be recognized for the fearless act it was. Mollycoddling her before she set foot on center stage was the worst thing they could do for her.

“Let him be, Macknight. Owen wants what I want—a retirement spent sailing in Santorini and clubbing in Berlin.”

“And Ibiza. That was one insane night,” Owen added.

Macknight checked his watch again. “Five minutes.”

She walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, her touch calming the tension in his muscles. “Isidor Panin shouldn’t be difficult to seduce. He’s a mid-level bureaucrat at the Russian Ministry of Energy. Sounds like a pretty dull existence to me. I’ll add a bit of spice to his life.” After five years of working together, she’d become his sanity, keeping him human, even on his worst days, a sister to replace the family he’d lost so many years ago. “Is everything ready?”

He nodded. “Owen and I will be at a table only a few feet away from you. We’ll have your back.”

“You always do.” Her smile faded. The game wasn’t new to them anymore, the thrill no longer overshadowing the risk. “Did the additional background check reveal anything new?”

Owen took his handgun off the table and secured it inside the waistband of his jeans. “Not much. He’s more than willing to sell his reputation and everything he knows about Arctic oil exploration for fifty thousand pounds per year. He’s drowning in debt, and his wife left him to move back in with her elderly mother.”

“Sounds pathetic, actually.” Lucy checked herself in the mirror again, a perfectionist in her art.

“He’s the ideal pawn. As long as we can keep him safe and undiscovered,” Macknight responded.

Lucy turned to face them. “We always do.”

“I don’t know what MI6 would do without us,” Owen replied, basking in his own praise.

“Let’s not get too confident.” Macknight tended to be the drag on their assignments. That was part of his job. Cross the T’s and dot the I’s. Get everyone home safe.

Once MI6 recruited an asset in a critical industry in a target country, the first few months determined the future effectiveness of the recruit. Money always flowed into their hands, but the transactions often included safe passage to the United Kingdom if anything went sour. When money wasn’t enough, there was sex to keep the asset loyal.

If Lucy wasn’t the right type of bait, Owen took over. He handled men and women equally. Macknight had a different job. If the risk of someone living became too high, he eliminated them. Anyone could be his target—a potential spy with loose lips or even a colleague at MI6 if the person knew too much. Only a few people in the world were safe from him, mainly Lucy and Owen. He didn’t keep a count of his kills, but the number was large enough to send him to the lowest levels of hell.

“One minute,” he said, glancing at his watch.

The conversation stopped, and each team member focused on their own part of the game. Macknight played through the scenario a few more times in his mind and ignored the gnawing in his gut whenever Lucy became someone’s plaything. He and Owen would remain in the background, watching for any threats. Hopefully, that would be enough to keep her safe.

She grabbed her purse off the couch. When she reached the door, she turned toward the men and waved. “Do svidainya.

Once outside of the hotel room, they’d only speak Russian until they returned to London. Lucy would only refer to herself as Katya Nikonov, a Russian translator who grew up in the U.K. The hotel room had been swept for any surveillance devices when they’d arrived, providing them one small, safe haven where they could relax.

A minute later, Macknight and Owen headed into the plaza and found a not-so-perfect table. Large flower pots ablaze in reds and oranges and huge white and yellow sun umbrellas blocked part of Lucy’s introduction to Panin. As Macknight adjusted his seat to place Lucy in his line of sight, Owen ordered two beers. Beer in Belarus was never as smooth or as cold as a pint in London, but the only other palatable option, Russian vodka, would obliterate Macknight’s ability to assess the situation around him.

He’d dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, his hair pulled back and tied, a bloke out for a beer with his mate, who appeared a bit edgier with his brown hair gelled and spiked into a style only an overconfident punk could get away with. The goal was to keep attention off of them. Not even Panin should know he had a few extra observers in the vicinity. Although they’d guard the potential asset with their lives, his loyalty had yet to be proven. So they remained close, but unannounced.

A crisp May afternoon brought crowds of people outside. Too many for Macknight’s liking. Between the umbrella stands and customers jockeying for a better location on the patio, the view of their targets three tables over wavered between perfect visibility and complete blindness.

The meeting involved three people—Lucy, Panin, and Edward Ross, the MI6 recruiter. Ross located potential assets while flying around the world as an executive for British Petroleum. He’d recruited over thirty members of the Russian government to spy for the British. More professional, rational, determined, and driven than anyone Macknight had ever met, he’d been a mentor to Macknight, introducing him to the style and finesse required while living within the MI6 matrix.

When Ross had learned of Panin’s interest in becoming a mole for MI6, he offered him a large amount of cash—and Lucy—in exchange for critical information. From the smile on Panin’s face and his hand on her knee, he was more than willing to close the deal. Might as well live large while he could. If someone on the other side learned of his turning spy, he was a dead man.

A few people stood up at a table between Macknight and their targets. He feigned an ache in his back and stood up, his height allowing him to see over shoulders and heads.

This location wasn’t his first choice for a meeting. It wouldn’t have been his second or third choice, either, but Panin had requested a public place. Either the information he offered was more valuable than they’d thought, or he was extremely insecure and paranoid. Recruitment involved a dance between conflicting needs and loyalties. The more patient party often won out.

A wee girl brushed by Macknight, leaving a swipe of chocolate ice cream on his pant leg.

“Hey, watch it,” he said in Russian, holding back the swear word that sat on the edge of his tongue. He wiped off the sticky mess with a napkin. About five years old, the little blonde hadn’t meant to ruin his jeans, but the damage was done. She rushed away between the cramped tables and chairs, catching up to her mother and clasping her hand.

“Telling off children now?” Owen raised his glass toward the girl disappearing into the crowd.

“These are my favorite pants.”

“You need a vacation or a woman.”

Macknight pointed to the stain on his knee. “I’ve never had a woman come into my life without causing chaos. Except Lucy.” Dedicated to her job, she was a sympathetic ear after a tough assignment and the peacemaker of the team. She was perfection.

They returned their focus to the conversation at the other table.

Ross took a slow, relaxed sip of his vodka, while Panin and Lucy focused on each other.

“When are you available?” Panin asked her, all sound coming through the wire in Lucy’s ear.

“Tonight?” Her fingers rested on his arm; her gaze fell toward his lips. Sexy innocence oozed out of her every movement.

Panin smiled. A cockiness set his posture straighter. He turned to Ross. “I think this arrangement will work just fine.”

“May it be prosperous for everyone. If you’ll excuse me, I need to find the men’s room.” Ross stood, kissed Lucy on the cheek, and headed inside the bar. He glanced back at the table twice before disappearing into the building.

“Watch them while I meet with Ross,” Macknight told Owen.

“Grab me a beer while you’re in there.”

“One is enough.”

“We’re going to be sitting here for another hour while they make arrangements to shag. I need something to shift my mind off the image of Lucy and Panin in bed together.”

Macknight looked over at Panin and Lucy. Their conversation had veered to blow jobs and handcuffs. Maybe another beer would be helpful. First, he had to meet with Ross to confirm that Panin was acceptable. He pressed through the crowd and found Ross washing his hands in the men’s room, his back to the door, but his eyes focused on the mirror to provide a perfect view of the area. He gave Macknight a short nod to acknowledge the room was clear.

“Another jewel in the crown. Good work,” Macknight said.

Ross was an artist when it came to the subtle and dangerous negotiations that led to new moles inside key government positions.

“Not yet. He’s interested in Lucy, but he doesn’t show enough interest in the money, which might mean he’s playing us.” Ross massaged one of his temples and frowned. “Stay on guard. I don’t trust him yet.”

An uncomfortable chill spread through Macknight’s gut. That was the problem with recruiting. Sometimes people were legitimate, most of the time they weren’t. The Russian Military Intelligence Service, the GRU, could be entrapping Panin as much as MI6 was attempting to turn his loyalty.

“I’m going to say goodbye to Lucy and Panin then head to the airport. If he sends me the documents, I’ll wire his account and give Lucy the go-ahead. Keep an eye on him.”

Macknight nodded. “Maybe I’ll see you at the next go-round.”

“There’s always a possibility.” Ross stalled at the door. “Take care of yourself.”

Macknight gave Ross time to make it back to his table, then left the washroom and turned toward the bar. A pretty redhead came over to take his order. She leaned toward him and didn’t say a word, just lifted her brows in invitation.

“Two glasses of Krynitsa,” he ordered.

“Anything else?” She pulled out two mugs. “I’m free in a few hours.”

He rested against the carved edge of the bar and imagined relaxing with a stranger in a foreign city. Nothing stirred in him but impatience. Owen and Lucy were his priority. “I have to work tonight.”

She gave him a forced smile. “Maybe next time.”

“Sure.” Though he’d never be back. Watching over a teammate meant the closest he’d get to a night of shagging would be listening to the grunts and groans of Lucy and Panin sealing the deal.

Owen’s voice in his earpiece cut through his thoughts. “Is Ross with you?”

“No. He went back to the table.” He scanned the bar. “He’s not here, and the lunch crowd is swelling.”

Before he could make it out the door, an explosion rocked the pub, shattering its windows. He fell to the floor, his hands covering his face to avoid the debris flying in all directions. As the initial shock of the blast left his system, he stood up and pushed several bystanders out of his way.

The roar of terror intensified as people ran from the scene. Screams and cries echoed across a war zone. New sounds came from the terrace now, glass breaking, the hiss of flames, and the wailing of the injured and dying. Smoke billowed from the spot where Lucy had been seated.

Lucy.

His thoughts scrambled, trying to make flash judgments. He ran past the table where he’d sat for the past hour. Owen was gone.

In the middle of the patio, there were at least twenty people on the ground unconscious or dead. Limbs and blood mixed with broken tables and chairs. Macknight pushed past a crowd of shocked bystanders. With each step, guilt, anger, and frustration built inside him. The flowers on the tables had scattered on the ground, adding more red to the blood already splattered everywhere. Shattered remnants of dishes blanketed the area with sharp edges. A few people hurried into the fray, wanting to help. Some turned away, their faces pale after seeing the carnage.

He left his handgun at his waist, afraid the sight of a firearm in his hand would set him up to be arrested. Instead, he crouched low, steadying his breath and focusing on one task. Protect his teammates, then kill the son of a bitch who did this.

He found Isidor Panin dead on the ground. Part of his chest was gone. The part where his heart had been. Blood coated his face and drenched the area surrounding him. His eyes stared out into something beyond this spot, his mouth open in shock. He’d never stood a chance.

Lucy was on the ground about ten feet away. The sight of her stunned him into a moment of paralysis. His heart, his head, his entire being ceased to function. The woman he’d lived with for the past five years hadn’t been murdered, she’d been destroyed. The pounding in his ears blocked out the screams of the living.

Owen was at her side, closing her eyes, moving hair away from her face. Macknight didn’t help. It wouldn’t make her whole again, and he didn’t care to scuffle with his teammate in his grief. Instead, he wanted someone to suffer and die for what they’d done. He glanced away from the bombing. Where was Ross?

“Ross?” he called out.

“Never made it back here.” Owen remained with Lucy, staring and shaking his head.

The pressure of her loss punched into Macknight’s chest. He couldn’t breathe. Lucy’s hair, stained in blood, covered part of her face. She was missing a shoe on one leg. The other leg was gone. His knees gave out until he was kneeling on the ground next to Owen.

“What the hell happened?” He wanted a name, a person he could chase down. Someone had murdered the wrong woman. Someone who would wish they’d never stepped inside Belarus. Lucy had been his sanity. On his worst days, she urged him on. For her, he pulled himself out of his grief and went to work. He slid the earpiece off her to keep her anonymous, even in death.

Owen fisted one of his hands and paused for a few breaths. “I had a decent view of Lucy and Panin, but lost sight of Ross after he stepped out of the bar. When I turned to look for him, the bomb went off. Everything went to hell pretty fast after that.”

Owen glanced away from Lucy’s corpse toward him. Part of his ear was missing.

Shit.

“You okay?” An icy shiver shot through Macknight’s spine. He clenched his fist to steady the emotions coursing through him. He wouldn’t lose two teammates in one day.

“I’m fine. It’s Lucy…” Owen’s voice trailed away as blood streamed down his neck. He shook his head as though he had a bug in his ear. His skin was sallow, and he swayed like a drunk. “I missed something.”

“We’ll have time to figure it all out. Let’s get you out of here.” The tightening in his chest decreased enough for him to inhale a decent breath of air mixed with smoke and debris.

“Good idea.” Owen tried to stand, but his legs didn’t hold, and he fell back to the ground. Between the shock and the blood loss, his body shut down, collapsing in a heap next to Lucy.

Police and ambulance crews arrived. The sound of the sirens echoed through Macknight’s skull. Lucy was dead. But Owen wasn’t.

He lifted Owen into his arms and waved away the ambulance workers, telling them his friend had passed out from the bloody scene. Owen could get medical treatment on the jet back to London. With a final look at Lucy’s remains, Macknight headed to the airport. Ross better have been abducted, because if he had any part in this, he was a walking dead man.

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of LONDON CALLING by Veronica Forand, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Entangled Publishing.  Giveaway ends 3/29/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

About Veronica Forand

VERONICA FORAND is an attorney and an award-winning writer of romantic suspense. She’s lived in Boston, London, Paris, Geneva, and Washington, DC and currently resides near Philadelphia. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

 

 

 

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about EASTER #RSsos #RomSuspense


The Sisterhood of Suspense share lines with the theme EASTER

sisterhood of suspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about EASTER

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Tucked away in the remote north eastern section of Washington State, we were a two hour drive on dirt roads from a town in any direction.

Kathryn Jane


He’s one of the reasons we don’t have holiday parties anymore. The last one we had to call the cops—”

Marian Lanouette


“Kate, I want to have a permanent place in your life and in Bailey’s. I don’t have regular hours. Sometimes, I’m gone for weeks like I was during the holidays, and then I’m home at odd times.”

Marsha West


I watched him squint at his phone, then shift his gaze to the street signs. He consulted his device again, and then swiveled about, moving in the opposite direction. The spring breeze stirred his short, dark…

View original post 75 more words

Partners in Crime and Fate


Exploring the bonds of love by Charles Yallowitz. I love this poem!

Legends of Windemere

Hearts once cold
Beat anew
With hunger and passion
For a world
That once was a shadow
*
Meals regain taste
Warmth of sun on the skin
No longer cold
The pair indulge in sensations
That once were memories
*
The past they share
Revived in quips and chats
Triggered by events
The strengthening of a bond
That once was frayed
*
One step is all they need
A catalyst to spark their lives
And roil desires
Belonging to a love
That once was dead

(I was going to make a long post, but this poem came to mind.  Honestly, I think it’s obvious where things are going since War of Nytefall: Loyalty.  That means the real story is how they handle it this time and what dynamic will appear between two very powerful personalities.)

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Story of Us by Jody Holford #Read #Romance @authorspal @1prncs


 

Meet the Author:

Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

 

About the Book:

Declan James has been Brockton Point’s most ineligible bachelor––happy with his short-term relationships and focusing on his business. But now that his closest friends have found their happily-ever-afters, he can’t help but wonder what that might be like. And then Sophia Strombi shows up on his doorstep.
Sophia’s life is––well there’s no other word for it––a mess. She’s grateful to have some work at her brother’s best friend’s bar, and a place to stay. Since she’s working hard to get her life back on track, she’s desperately trying to ignore the fact her boss makes her heart pound in a good way. Wait––no. That’s not good at all.
Besides, she has a huge secret she’s keeping from everyone––one that’s a life-changer.

Add to Goodreads

 

Excerpt

He waited and the only sounds were the gentle buzz of the computer and their combined breaths. She hoped only she could hear the heavy beat of her heart.

His fingers came to her cheek and he turned her to face him. “Are you going to stay with your parents?”

Stretching her mouth into a phony smile, she shook her head. “No. Would you move back in with your parents at twenty-eight?”

He snorted out a laugh and dropped his hand, leaned back in his chair and gripped the arms rests. “Not in this lifetime. I love them, but no way would I bunk with them again. But that’s different. I haven’t been gone ten years.”

“I bet, even if you had, you wouldn’t crawl home.”

Declan stared at her, his dark eyes too intense for the rollercoaster of emotions Sophia was juggling. “Your parents—your family—love you, Sophia. Whatever happened, they’ll be thrilled you’re home. Why are you so scared?”

She hated that word. It was exactly what she felt, not that she’d tell him that. “I’m not scared. I’m an adult. I’ve moved back into town and I’ve secured employment. Next on the list is a place to live. Then I can show up and tell them I’m just fine.”

Declan reached our and took one of her hands. He rubbed his thumb over the back of it and sensations tumbled around like her emotions. It wasn’t even noon yet. How could she feel so freaking much?

“Are you?”

Her eyes shot up to his. “Am I what?”

He leaned into her space again and she wondered what it would be like to press her mouth to his. It was hardly the first time she’d wondered if his lips were as soft as they looked. She wanted to run her hand along his strong, square jaw and feel the rasp of his stubble against her palm. Against her neck.

“Are you fine?” His voice came out a husky whisper.

Blinking back tears and taking a deep breath, she nodded. “I am. Stop worrying. I don’t need another big brother, Declan. I needed a job, you gave me one. And I stand by what I said, you won’t be sorry.”

As they turned back to the spreadsheets and he showed her his accounting program, Sophia wondered if she’d be sorry. Sorry for coming back, for staying away, for keeping secrets. Stealing little glances at Declan while he spoke, she wondered what her life would have been like if she’d stayed. Would she have worked for her family, settled down, married someone they approved of and had a happy little family?

Sophia put a hand to her stomach and swallowed the lump in her throat. No sense wondering “what if” when she had a whole hell of a lot of “what now” to face.

 

SoU1

 

 

Giveaway:

$15 Amazon Gift Card

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The Return of the Gnome King – #Tanka Tuesday


A fantastic voyage into the imagination with D. Wallace Peach!

Myths of the Mirror

The actual gnome tree. About 9′ around.

A Haibun/tanka for Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday challenge. We had to use synonyms for Spring (newborn) and Song (squawk). Okay, maybe a stretch, but here goes:

The Return of the Gnome King

(A True Story)

The Dragon Wood awakens with the returning light. Our meadow greens beneath winter’s withered grass, and spears of horsetail stand at attention, stalwart sentinels lining our path. They await the guardian snails whose slimy pilgrimage to the gnome tree is a slow one. Deer twitch their ears, alert for the gnome king’s return.

We fear not the witch in her uprooted stump. Rusty barbed wire holds her captive, and her mosquito hordes still slumber. Instead, we pause in awe to listen to newborn dragons skritch and squawk from the hollow stumps of ancient firs, this year’s fledglings still too young to fly. We’ll seek…

View original post 142 more words

History doesn’t have to repeat itself… or does it? One More Round by @LaurenHelms #NewRelease #Romance


Sales Blitz for ONE MORE ROUND by Lauren Helms
Brought to you by Forever Write PR





#FallInLoveWithAGamerBoy with this must-read romance! Nearly a year since it’s release, ONE MORE ROUND is currently on sale! Grab this fun and flirty read by Lauren Helms for only $.99. Don’t drag those fingers, #oneclick it now as this sale ends in only a few short days!


“Lauren Helms delivers a sweet and steamy romance that packs an emotional punch.” —Mary @ USA Today Happily Ever After Blog


“Hot, nerdy gamer? Check. Woman with a secret? Check. Childhood friends to lovers? Lovers to enemies? A second chance? And a happily ever after? Check times 4.” —The Romance Reviews


“Lauren Helms has brought her A-game to the table with One More Round, and this is my favorite book to date. Somehow she was able to keep me guessing throughout, and by the end, was craving more like I do coffee in the morning, which is the mark of a brilliant author in my eyes.” —Jennifer Pierson: The Power of Three Readers


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About One More Round


History doesn’t have to repeat itself… or does it?


GIA
Life was on track, going great,
And I couldn’t have been happier.
But then he walks back in,
The tall, dark, broody blast from my past,
The one that got away,
Or shall I say, the one I pushed away,

Now, he’s pushing the boundaries,
Demanding answers,
Ready to bring the past to the present,
For a chance at a future.

SIMON
As a professional gamer,
I’m focused and detailed,
Weighing all of my options.
After she left, I was lost, shattered,
And thought it was game over,
For me, for us.

But when I see her again,
There’s more at stake than just a game,
This time, I’m playing for keeps, ready for One More Round.



Excerpt

Copyright @ 2018 Lauren Helms 


Against my better judgment, I stand and head for the kitchen under the guise of getting a drink. I open the fridge, surreptitiously trying to get her attention.
I close the door with a bit more force than necessary. Nothing. So, I walk up to the sink next to her and look out the window, too.
God, she smells good.
So damn good.
And she’s absolutely stunning. Her golden hair comes past her shoulders and falls in waves that make me think she’s been at the beach all day, though I know she hasn’t. Her slightly rounded nose and perfect pink lips are precisely how I remember them. But her dark-blue eyes always have a way of rooting out people’s bullshit, which is what I’m certain will happen if she ever looks up at me.
I’ve done my best to keep a physical distance from her. I don’t want to be too close, for fear that I will reach out and touch her, like old times. She was always so close to me when we were kids.
I brush her arm as I lift the pop to my mouth and take a drink. This startles her, but it only takes a second to regain her composure.
“What ya looking at?” I ask, not taking my eyes off the apartment building across the street.
“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking, I guess,” she sighs as she moves the bowl in her hands back under the running water.
“You guess? How do you not know?” I ask, using my same words from earlier, but in a gentler tone.
She looks at me this time, which is what I wanted. “Stop asking me questions if you always hate my answers.” She says it with a ghost of a smile.
Acting on its own, my shoulder bumps hers.
We’ve danced around each other for months. I haven’t touched her since that first night we met again as adults. I shook her hand because I was caught off guard. But today, we’ve touched twice. Where are the walls I’ve built?
She looks up at me with a hint of something in her eyes that I can’t quite figure out. Interest? Need? Maybe longing.
“I’m just kidding, G.” I smile at her. Something I haven’t done toward her in a very long time. Yeah, that look in her eyes is definitely longing.
She gives me a sad smile before turning to put the bowl on the drying rack. It isn’t lost on me that she’s hand-washing the dishes instead of letting the dishwasher take care of them.
“I really do want to know what’s got you staring out the window.”
She eyes me. “Why?”
I give this some thought. Why do I want to know so bad? Why do I care?
“Because I care?” Maybe I shouldn’t have asked. Yeah, I can see that was the wrong thing to say when she snorts and tosses an eye roll my way. A laugh escapes her lips but there’s no humor in it.
“Yeah, you care. Since when Simon? You can’t even look me in the eye. You don’t care. So, don’t waste your breath,” she spits out and starts shoving dishes in the dishwasher now, throwing all kinds of temper around with the task.
“Jeesh. Chill, alright? I guess old habits die hard. I can still tell when something is wrong. We do have a history. That won’t ever change,” I say, defending myself.
At this, she goes rigid. Ah-ha. Either bringing up the fact that we have a history or my telling her to chill—which she hates—has stopped her in her tracks; I’m guessing it’s a little bit of both.
“Just leave me alone, Simon,” she mutters.
“Is it your brother? Does he live here in Chicago? Are things better between the two of you or is he still an asshole with problems?” I can’t hold it in, I’ve got to know.
She puts the last cup in the washer and closes the door uncharacteristically slowly. She then wipes her hands on the towel, lays it down, and slowly turns to me.
Murderous.
If looks could kill, I’d be six feet under. She steps a tad closer to me.
“You … do not get to ask about him. You do not get to bring him up. Ever. Do not ever speak about him, or the past, to me or anyone.” Her voice is so low it makes my skin prickle.
“Uh, OK.” I gulp. This evil clone Gia is scary as shit.
She takes a step back, then turns to leave the kitchen.
Then as her words register, I realize.
“They don’t know, do they?”
She stops. Looks over her shoulder at me. Instead of anger, guilt clouds her eyes.
“No,” she says, and walks away.



Only on $.99 RIGHT NOW on Amazon!
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Author Lauren Helms:


Lauren Helms has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. Lauren decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and joined NaNoWrimo and a month later, she had her first draft. 







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Spinning Tires #WritersLife #amwriting


Spinning My Tires

Lately it feels as though my writing has come to a standstill and I’m just spinning tires without going anywhere.

We were talking about this at my local critique group meeting and I realized- thankfully- that at least I’m not alone with this dilemma.

Some call it writer’s block or writer’s slump, maybe winter doldrums, but whatever you name it, it can lead to depression and feelings of anxiety. I know I’ve been questioning why I put myself through this lately.

But, this is the thing… If you’re a writer, you write. It’s almost as important as breathing, so I’ve decided to search the internet for some inspirational quotes to help me (and you) feel better.

Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.

Wolfgang Puck
BrainyQuote.com

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

Benjamin Franklin
BrainyQuote.com

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

E.L. Doctorow
BrainyQuote.com

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

Ray Bradbury
BrainyQuote.com

Today, I’m celebrating a landmark birthday and rather than allowing myself to dwell on getting older, or the fact my pen seems to have temporarily run dry, I’m going to concentrate on the positives- I have my health, a supportive family, fantastic writing friends, and it’s spring- anything is possible!

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It’s in His Forever by Shelly Alexander #Romance #Reading @InkSlingerPR


Red River’s most eligible bachelor has been keeping secrets…

Flight medic Langston Brooks has built a good life for himself in his hometown of Red River. He’s got it all—a close-knit group of friends and family, an exciting career on a life-flight helicopter, and ridiculously good looks that have made him one of Red River’s most eligible bachelors. The only thing missing is someone to share it with.

His secret lover for the past decade isn’t a forever kind of girl. Not with a tarnished reputation over something she didn’t do, and it’s still following her. Now that she’s brought an international winter sports event to Red River, it’s her ticket out of town. She can finally make a clean break as soon as she collects the nice payday that’s coming her way. The only problem with her plan is she’ll have to leave Langston behind, too.

After keeping their relationship under wraps for years—at her insistence—she finally breaks it off with Langston for good. Moving on alone is best for everyone, especially Red River’s sexy flight medic, who doesn’t deserve the baggage from her troubled past. When they’re forced to work together to make the event a success, can she keep up the pretense that she doesn’t love him anymore? Or will she finally give in and become his forever love?

Return to Red River–where the nights are cool and the romance is hot–in this sexy novella. Find out who hot alpha flight medic, Langston Brooks has been seeing on the sly for years. After keeping their love affair a secret for a decade, will they finally get their happily ever after?

Get your hand on IT’S IN HIS FOREVER now: http://bit.ly/2Tgv42X

Excerpt

A shiver rushed over her. She did not want to turn around. She didn’t.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have to.

Langston Brooks—all six feet two of hard alpha male and the person she was trying to avoid—stepped up beside her. “Morning.”

Her skin burned as his gaze licked over her. And she was covered head to toe in winter gear!

When she refused to meet his stare…or even return his greeting…he turned his attention to the council. “You asked to see me?”

“Mmm hmmm.” The Chairperson’s voice turned to a coo, and she batted her eyelashes as though she were watching a Magic Mike show live in Vegas.

Oh, good grief. “We’re wasting valuable time.” She glanced at her watch only to realize she wasn’t wearing one. Involuntarily, her eyes flitted up to meet Langston’s, and her heart skipped a beat.

Laughter shimmered in his dark soulful eyes. The lights glinted off his wavy chestnut hair.

God, she loved those eyes. And that hair.

“I…” Her voice went croaky. She swallowed back the cotton in her mouth. “I—”

“Langston, dear, how would you like to be the new safety officer for the snowboarding championship?” Clydelle batted her eyes several more times. Her throat closed.

No. Just no. “I don’t think that’s a good idea—”

“I’d love to be considered,” said Langston, smiling at her like a cat who’d just eaten an entire pet shop full of canaries.

She pulled her stare from his squared jaw. From his mocha eyes. From his delicious looking mouth.

Heat curled through her, settling in places it shouldn’t.

Dammit.

Be sure to check out the rest of the series by bestselling author Shelly Alexander:

IT’S IN HIS HEART-Coop & Ella’s story

IT’S IN HIS TOUCH-Blake & Angelique’s story

IT’S IN HIS SMILE-Talmadge & Miranda’s story

IT’S IN HIS ARMS-Mitchell & Lorenda’s story

About Shelly Alexander

Shelly Alexander is an Amazon Bestseller in multiple categories and a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. Shelly grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in the business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers, Shelly and her sister watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing contemporary romances that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. She enjoys the arid climate of the beautiful Southwest where she lives with her husband and two toy poodles named Mozart and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Connect with Shelly Alexander

Website: http://shellyalexander.net/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShellyAlexanderAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shellycalexander/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shelly-Alexander/e/B00R8FOU06/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/38561098-shelly-alexander

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/shelly-alexander

Book Lovers Con ’19: Come to New Orleans to Meet Your Favorite Authors!


Sharon Wray​ shares info on the upcoming Book-Lovers Con in New Orleans!

sisterhood of suspense

In a few months I’ll be headed down to New Orleans for a huge reader event known as Book Lovers Con May 15-19 2019. For those of you familiar with the Romantic Times Conference, this is the new version of RT Con.

Photo courtesy of Marcho Mameli on Unsplash

According to the Book Lovers Con website“Book Lovers Con is the place to meet your all-time favorite authors, discover new-to-you authors and forge relationships with fellow Book Lovers. From our Jazz Festival Kick-Off Party to our Brunch & Bubbly breakfast, our program provides ample opportunity for readers and authors to connect!”

Photo courtesy of Jason Blackeye on Unsplash.

“We want BLC to be a valuable experience for attendees, one that will create cherished memories you’ll reminisce on for years to come. Readers will enjoy many opportunities to interact with their favorite authors and connect with new authors. Because…

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As kids they steered clear of one another. That was then—this is now… Catch Your Breath by @SSchroeder #Romance #Reading @InkSlingerPR


Today we have the release blitz for CATCH YOUR BREATH by Shannyn Schroeder! I am so excited to share this sexy new romance with you—check out the release festivities and be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 

Title: CATCH YOUR BREATH

Author: Shannyn Schroeder

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: O’Leary’s, Book 4

About Catch Your Breath:

As kids they steered clear of one another. That was then—this is now.
As a dedicated reporter, Moira O’Leary has access to Chicago’s swankiest affairs. With her confidence and style, she blends right in with the elite crowd. But when her childhood crush starts popping up at posh events, she struggles to keep her cool. After all, he’s always ignited something in her.
Undercover cop Jimmy O’Malley has always tried to avoid his best friend’s little sister. Something about Moira spelled trouble. But watching her navigate Chicago’s most elaborate galas with ease, Jimmy knows he needs her help to crack a case. Just as their chemistry ignites, Moira gets dangerously close to his investigation. Now, it’s up to Jimmy to keep her safe. Can childhood crushes lead to breathless desire?

 

 

Get Your Copy Today:

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Exclusive Excerpt:

He finally caught sight of Moira again and followed. If she was working, she had an odd way of doing her job. She stopped to pet every dog that walked in her path. By the time he caught up with her, she was crouched on the ground nose to nose with a beast of an animal. The dog looked big enough that it could easily maul her, but she cooed and giggled when the thing licked her face.

Jimmy tucked his hands in his pockets and watched for a minute. Moira interacted with the dog like she’d found a long lost best friend. She laughed and played and looked completely out of place with all of the other women. She sighed and stood, taking a moment to brush dog hair off her dress.

When the dog walker moved on, he sidled up next to Moira and tried to hold on to his anger. If he let the gooey look on her face affect him, he’d be useless. “We need to talk.”

She looked up at him, using one hand to shield her eyes from the setting sun. “I thought we already did. Do you want to set up that interview now?” Her eyes held an evil glimmer, as if she knew what he’d said to Stan about the interview.

He grabbed her elbow and guided her away from the crowd, around the back of the tent that held the auction items. Fighting to keep his voice low, he said, “Why the hell would you tell everyone I have a wife?”

She eased her arm from his grasp and narrowed her eyes. He’d expected the sweet fuck-you smile she liked to throw out when she caused trouble. “You have no idea who you’re hanging out with, but I do. Those four are all married. They bring their wives to every function and event. Or I should say their wives bring them. They stand around and ogle every female in sight.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

“The thing is, if you want in, the wives are going to have to approve. The wives like Mayor Park since he’s such a good wholesome guy, so they’ll be inclined to accept you, but in their world, having a wife makes you safer.”

“Safer?”

“Less likely to bring a bunch of single women around, making it easier for their husbands to cheat.”

“They’re surrounded by women at these events.”

“I didn’t say it made sense. Their friendship extends beyond attending fund-raisers. The wives are here to keep an eye on them, but they don’t follow them everywhere. At least I don’t think they do.” She shifted so his shadow blocked the sun and looked up at his face. “I’m not trying to screw things up for you. Trust me. I understand these people.”

He believed her, but it didn’t make the truth any easier. “Where the hell am I supposed to get a wife?”

She huffed out a breath. “Am I supposed to do everything for you?”

Her irritation wouldn’t last. She had a hot temper, but once it blew, she went back to being sunny Moira. And she wasn’t even pissed right now, so when she turned to walk away, he followed.

He walked beside her, as if they were there together, which he knew he shouldn’t, but since she’d talked about interviewing him, he figured he could get away with it. She waved to various people and stopped to chat with others.

With Moira, though, it wasn’t bullshit small talk. She asked real questions. She knew details about people’s lives, and they respected her for it. They opened up around her, which would be a huge asset for her job. An asset he’d have to avoid.

When they were walking a stretch alone, he asked, “Why doesn’t it bother you?”

“What?”

“The way Stan Decker talks about you.” Remembering the comments made him angry again. “I know you heard him, but you acted like it was nothing.”

She shrugged. “Because it was nothing.”

He stopped and touched her arm to halt her. “That’s not true. No one should talk to you like that.”

“He wasn’t talking to me. It’s not his fault I have excellent hearing.”

Jimmy thought back. In truth, Stan had been respectful, at least in his words while talking to Moira. “He stares at your chest.”

She laughed so hard her shoulders shook. “Really?” She spread her hands in front of her chest. “He’s far from the only man to do that. It happens so often, it doesn’t faze me anymore.”

Jimmy made a point of looking into her bright blue eyes. No sign of anger or hurt. It would make him nuts if he saw men staring at his woman’s chest instead of her face.

But Moira’s not mine.

“Doesn’t make it right.”

About Shannyn Schroeder:

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series and the For Your Love series, contemporary romances centered around large Irish-American families in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about nerdy friends finding love. Look for her new series – The Dating Challenge in 2019. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

 

Connect with Shannyn:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Book + Main Bites

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She must rely on those she once trusted: From Breath and Ruin by @CarrieAnnRyan #NewRelease #YA @InkSlingerPR


FROM BREATH & RUIN by Carrie Ann Ryan is available now – get your hands on this stunning first book in a debut YA fantasy series now!

 

 

About FROM BREATH AND RUIN

Available March 19, 2019

In her YA debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan dives into a world with magic and sacrifice with the Elements of Five.

Five hundred years ago, the Maison Realm was shattered, divided into warring kingdoms of elemental Wielders with fate and truth shadowed and uncertain. Now, factions of both the light and dark venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to Wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together.

Lyric has no idea that there’s a realm outside the human one she lives in. When fate and circumstances are pulled from her hands after an accident, and she finds out that nothing is at it seems.

There is a war surrounding her and when Lyric realizes that they are searching for her, she must rely on those she once trusted: a boy who isn’t who she thought, and a new realm of warriors who have come to protect her as she trains.

For the darkness is coming, and the Queen of Obscurité wants to ensure that the King of Lumière can’t get his hands on Lyric. And the only way to ensure that is if Lyric herself is no more…no matter the cost to prophecy.

Order your copy of FROM BREATH AND RUIN now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2CQOMda
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Audio (Read by Bailey Carr):

✦Audible https://adbl.co/2OjccxI
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Add FROM BREATH AND RUIN to your Goodreads shelves!

Read the first two chapters of FROM BREATH AND RUIN now!

About the ELEMENTS OF FIVE series

One thousand years ago, there was one realm of magic. The Maison Realm. It held five kingdoms with five kings or queens, who worked together to keep the Maison people safe and ensure the balance of magic. Over the last five hundred years following the Fall, the great war that began the fracture, many of the kingdoms’ inhabitants intermated, and the magics soon became tied to one another in pairs. Except for the Spirit Wielders. The two remaining kingdoms are now converging, and the veil between the two is fading. Only the human realm lies between the two, and no one there knows there is a war surrounding them.

Over time, certain children of the Fall began to leave their respective kingdoms to venture into the human realm in search of the prophesied Spirit Priestess who is said to wield the Elements of Five and bring the two fractured kingdoms together. For the realms are dying without their sister magics. And soon, there will be no more power left to rule the kingdoms, for there will be no more kingdoms left to rule.

 

 

 

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

 

More Glimpses #newbook #booklaunch


A big congrats to Hugh W. Roberts on the release of his new short story multi-genre collection, More Glimpses!

Hugh's Views & News  

Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Would you dare steal items from a blind person or send your neighbours on a time-travelling trip full of menace and danger to stop the possibility of a bug wiping out humanity? Would you respond to calls for help from behind a door that is not all it seems, or ignore the warnings not to walk on a beautiful, deserted beach?

Two and a half years after the publication of Glimpses, I’m delighted to announce that my second collection of short stories, More Glimpses, is now available on Amazon.

#MoreGlimpses #Glimpses #books #shortstories #flashfiction #fiction
The second collection of short stories and flash fiction from Hugh W. Roberts

Containing 32 short stories and pieces of flash fiction, many of which have never been published before, More Glimpses takes the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and unexpected endings.

Story lineup.

  1. The Whistle

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Not your ordinary thief… The Gate to Eden by @CathyMcDavid #Audiobook #Romance @PrismBookTours



On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Gate to Eden
By Cathy McDavid
Historical Romance, Western
Audiobook, 10 Hours and 33 Minutes (also in Paperback and ebook)
January 12th 2019

Expert crackshot Maddie Campbell will do whatever it takes to survive in this female Robin-Hood-of-the-Old-West story – including evading bounty-hunter-for-hire Scott McSween who’s intent on bringing her in.

Not your ordinary thief, widow and mother Maddie Campbell likes to think her wealthy victims are merely “donating” to herself and the hundreds of other widows and children left abandoned by the mining company after a devastating accident took the lives of their menfolk. Maddie’s secret excursions are quite successful…until ruggedly handsome former lawman Scott McSween arrives in Eden to investigate the recent string of crimes.

Despite her efforts to throw him off track, they can’t resist each other. He knows she’s somehow involved and is determined to draw out all her secrets in the most exquisite ways – with soft caresses and passionate kisses. But when finally confronted with the truth – that Maddie is actually the thief he’s been hired to hunt down and bring in – will Scott choose the woman he loves or his duty to the law?

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Excerpt

Edenville, Arizona Territory

1887

THADDEUS NEWLIN DIDN’T LIKE prostitutes. He’d worked too hard and too long building his empire only to risk losing it by succumbing to some dreadful disease acquired from a barroom whore.

He did, however, like women and partook of their pleasure as often as his pressing schedule allowed. Young women with long hair, ample curves, and clear skin were his preference. And innocent — if only in looks. No soiled doves ever found their way beneath his blankets.

His secretary, Zachariah Forrester, had assumed the task of procuring this evening’s entertainment, as he always did when the mood for companionship struck Thaddeus. Mr. Forrester recruited from the residences and ranches of whatever town they happened to be visiting. As times were tough and money tight, he seldom encountered any difficulty locating a willing female who fit his boss’s exacting specifications. Then, like all good secretaries, he conveniently disappeared for several hours after escorting the young woman to the steps of Thaddeus’s private railroad car. Neither did he ask any bothersome questions at the end of the night, regardless of the woman’s disheveled condition.

“Very nice,” Thaddeus said as he watched the pretty little thing standing in front of him slip the narrow sleeves of her camisole off her pale shoulders. Mr. Forrester had done well tonight, and Thaddeus considered giving his secretary a bonus.

“I ain’t never been with a man like this before,” the woman said shyly, lowering her eyes to the richly carpeted floor. “You’re my first…you know.”

Thaddeus doubted the truth of her statement. She might not be a prostitute in the strictest sense of the word, but she’d certainly done this before. The large nipples visible through the material of her camisole and the roundness of her belly attested to previous childbirth. Not that Thaddeus cared. In fact, he preferred experienced women. Just not worldly.

“You don’t have to be nervous, my dear.” He played along with her pretense. “I promise to be gentle.” And he would be gentle. Until the end.

She lifted one stocking clad foot and placed it on the edge of the pinstriped settee, near to his leg. Thaddeus felt himself stirring and smiled. He might be past his prime and have only half the hair atop his head he did at twenty, but he’d not yet lost his ability to perform.

Reaching out a large hand, he stroked her smooth, and surprisingly muscular, calf. “Why don’t we see what we can do about removing this stocking?”

The woman — he couldn’t quite remember her name — pressed a knuckle to her lips. “It were a long walk here from my place. Can I use the…the…chamber pot first?” It clearly pained her to have to ask for the convenience.

“Of course. It’s in there.” He pointed toward a door leading to his sleeping quarters.

She ducked behind the door, quiet as a mouse. No sense wasting time, Thaddeus thought and kicked off his boots. Next, he stood, removed his pants, and tossed them aside. They landed haphazardly on the elegant cherry wood rocker he’d had shipped all the way from Boston last year. By the time he completed undressing, he’d begun to wonder what was detaining his lovely guest.

Wearing only his long underwear, he walked to the door of his sleeping quarters and knocked. “Are you all right, my dear?”

His only answer was a soft scuffling sound.

“Hello.” He knocked again, and the brass knob twisted. Thaddeus smiled and moved away from the opening door. “There you are.”

“So, I am.”

The door swung wide, and the smile on Thaddeus’s face died as the end of a Colt revolver was jammed into his protruding gut.

 

 

 

About the Author

As a sophomore in high school, NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid won a local writing competition with her self-illustrated children’s book. Who knew that small triumph would eventually lead to a career writing contemporary romances with over 1.3 million books sold? With forty-seven titles to date, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins recently married her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world four years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking men who ride the range or fight fires or hunt creatures all while sweeping the girl off her feet. It’s a tough job but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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Ends March 27, 2019

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A Quick Irish Read for St. Patrick’s Day


A sweet and sexy vignette from Staci Troilo!

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici!

I know… seeing an Italian greeting on an Irish post is just weird, right? Couldn’t help myself. That’s how I always greet my friends.

Today, I should have said: Dia dhaoibh ar maidin. (It’s pronounced like this: JEE-uh DEE-iv air MA-jin and means “good morning.”)

Heck with it. Here’s a greeting that works for any of us:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I know I focus a lot on my Italian heritage, but I’m also part Irish. A fact I should celebrate more and never fail to celebrate on March 17.

Because of that, a few years ago, I decided to write a series of vignettes honoring (some of) my dad’s roots. I ended up with twelve, one for each month. That series was edited into Laci and Del: 12 Months, 12 Chances.

Here’s an excerpt from the March vignette:


On Monday evening, Laci’s doorbell rang…

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Forever My Hero by Sharon Sala #BookReview #Reading


“Sharon Sala is a consummate storyteller.”—DEBBIE MACOMBER, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author for A Piece of My Heart

Every storm they’ve weathered…has led them to each other

Dan Amos lost his wife and son years ago, when they inadvertently got in the way of a death threat meant for him. He’s never had eyes for anyone since, and he doesn’t want to. But fellow Blessings resident Alice Conroy sparks something inside him…

Newly widowed, Alice was disillusioned by marriage and isn’t looking to fall in love anytime soon. Then a tropical storm blazes a path straight for the Georgia coast, and as the town prepares for the worst, Dan opens his heart and his home. The tempest is raging, but Alice and Dan are learning to find shelter…in each other.

Biography

Sharon Sala is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 100 plus books in print under her name and her pen name, Dinah McCall. She is published in five different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. First published in 1991, she’s an eight-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence, winner of the Heart of Excellence Award, as well as winner of the Booksellers Best Award. In 2011 she was named RWA’s recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books are New York Times , USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

My Review

The small town of Blessings, Georgia is the setting for a sweet contemporary story from award-winning author Sharon Sala.

This is the first book I’ve read in this series but had no trouble connecting with the characters and their fascinating lives. I enjoyed learning about Alice Conroy, her children and dog, Booger.

The drama came from an impending hurricane and the preparations the town takes to ensure the safety of its citizens.

Excessive head-hopping drew me out of the story here and there, but otherwise an enjoyable read.

I give Forever My Hero 4 lovely kisses- a good second-chance romance!

Sending a thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this story.