Tuesday, January 22, 2019

BOOK REVEAL: Swan Song by Allie McCormack


SwanSong
Allie McCormack
(Sons of the Desert, #1)
Publication date: March 4th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance
Sarah Pendleton was born into a life of wealth and privilege, raised in the shadow of her famous soprano mother and her father, an equally famous composer. Shy and retiring, Sarah has left behind the world she grew up in to make her own life in the coastal town of Santa Barbara, California.
A visiting University professor of Arabic literature from the small oil-rich country of Taqara, Khalid Al Mansour is the eldest son of a Taqaran diplomat and an independent American artist. He’s never settled down in one place, but that’s because he’s never found what he wanted… until one evening he sees the lovely bellydancer at a small, smoky cafe downtown.






Author Bio:
A career medical transcriptionist, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. As a single mom, she raised a wonderful daughter who's recently married and there are plans afoot for grandchildren. A disabled veteran, Allie now lives in the beautiful Sorona Desert in southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full-time.
Allie says: "A writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories."

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BOOK BLITZ: Kissing Princeton Charming by C.M. Seabrook & Frankie Love #GIVEAWAY


Kissing Princeton Charming
C.M. Seabrook & Frankie Love
Publication date: January 17th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
We have reputations for a reason.
His?
Spencer Beckett:
Princeton Charming. Ivy League Playboy. Rich AF.
Hers?
Charlotte Hayes:
Campus sweetheart. Virgin. Working her booty off to get through this last semester.
When a bet pushes these two together it’s fire and ice … and Charlotte is melting.
Fast.
But Charlotte has a chip on her shoulder. She doesn’t believe that fairy tales exists in the real world.
One kiss tells her this is a bad idea.
Two kisses tells her he’s too good to be true.
Three kisses and she’s royally screwed.
Spencer Beckett might be everyone else’s Prince Charming but can he sweep this princess off her feet.
EXCERPT:
His eyes are bright, like he sees something he likes, something he wants. It takes me a moment to realize that thing is me.
His hand cups my cheek. “You are an enigma, Charlie Hayes.”
I draw in a tight breath. “And you are very smooth.”
Wait, how does he know my last name? Or for that matter where I live. This whole thing is unnerving.
“You like smooth?” His mouth is so close. His lips practically on mine.
God, I want him. But warning bells blare in my head. I should tell him to leave. Instead, I stutter over words, “I’ve never had smooth.” It’s the truth. I’ve had boys kiss me who didn’t know what they were doing, sloppy and unremarkable. I’ve had guys kiss me who were desperate and trying way too hard.
But Spencer Beckett is neither a high school boy nor a clingy college guy. He is something else entirely. He knows what to do as he lifts my chin ever so slightly. As he licks his lips, tempting me to lick my own. His eyes search mine and for a moment I feel found — or at least seen.
“You said yes before,” he rasps, blue eyes searching mine.
I whimper, “I…”
“I’m going to kiss you now, Charlie.” His head lowers, and his lips brush against mine before I have a chance to change my mind.
One kiss and I know I’m in trouble.
One taste and I know my resolve is gone.



Author Bios:

Frankie Love writes filthy-sweet stories about bad boys and mountain men. As a thirty-something mom who is ridiculously in love with her own bearded hottie, she believes in
love-at-first-sight and happily-ever-afters. She also believes in the power of a quickie.
Author links:
Website / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest
--
Amazon bestselling author C.M. Seabrook writes hot, steamy romances with possessive bad boys, and the passionate, fiery women who love them. Swoonworthy romances from the heart!
Author links:
Website / Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter


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Monday, January 21, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: False Start by Meli Raine #GIVEAWAY


False Start
Meli Raine
(False #3)
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

This isn’t how my life is supposed to end.
Then again, a case of mistaken identity got me here. No one is ever who we think they are. Especially my kidnapper, a man whose entire life is designed to deceive.
Powerful people want my rescuer to die. I’m just a lure. A pawn. An object.
But objects hold meaning. Emotions attach themselves without logic.
Like love.
I now know that Duff will do everything to protect me.
If he gets here in time. And if I can hold on long enough.
Because my body can only handle so much. Pushed to the limits, it’s finally giving out. Giving way.
Giving up.
I know Duff, though.
He never will.
Blink.

Read the stunning conclusion to USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine’s False series, told from both Lily and Duff’s points of view.

FALSE MEMORY (Book 1)
Now Available
Apple Books Exclusive / Goodreads / Bookbub

FALSE HOPE (Book 2)
Now Available
Apple Books Exclusive / Goodreads / Bookbub
EXCERPT:
Being locked in a room with a dead body is not on my bucket list.
Being locked in a room with a faceless corpse, the dim light making his exposed, bloody skull bones gleam like rubies, is definitely not on my wish list.
The scream that wants to come out turns inward, helplessness stopping it somewhere in my chest, com-forted by my heart, which only wants it to go quiet. Screaming won’t fix this. I can’t find an escape by making noise.
Reality has a way of dominating.
I look down at the dead man.
Who is very, very real.
I move gently on the chaise, taking the deepest breath I can, holding it for too long. Suspending myself in time and space feels like the only out. I can’t actually leave. Second best is closing off my air supply, shut-ting my eyelids, not moving. Freezing in place gives me an illusion to grasp, the fleeting seconds im-portant.
My hand slides under a throw pillow. The cool haven of hidden fabric makes me shiver.
A black spider, all too familiar, comes off the pillow my hand is under.
That makes me shiver even more.
I jump up, shocked by the intrusion of another living being.
The door calls out to me.
The spider crawls down one leg of the chaise, then makes its way dispassionately along the tip of the dead guy’s shoe.
In order to get to the door, I have to go around the dead body. In order to move, I have to feel the sensa-tion of his blood on my skin. When I bend my arm, the dried blood on my shoulders and neck crackles. It puckers, like child’s glue spread over skin and allowed to dry for fun. For amusement.
This is anything but amusing.



Author Bio:
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.


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Sunday, January 20, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: Going All In by Thomas Briar #GIVEAWAY


Going All In
Thomas Briar
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Young, beautiful, and college educated, Lena hides startling secrets. Secrets that set her apart from everyone else and make it almost impossible for her to find true love.
Slightly older than Lena, Trevor’s a handsome and dominant man. The kind with a successful career, a residence of his own, and a secure future. But he’s keeping startling secrets as well.
On their very first date, they’ll bare their souls to each other, indulge in sizzling hot sex, and make an unbreakable emotional connection.
But great sex alone can’t lead two lovers to their very own happily ever after. Can it?






EXCERPT:
Lena thought it time to spill the despicable secret. Her lips parted, but no words came out as fear clutched her heart. She winced at her cowardice.
“What is it?” Trevor asked, features turning sympathetic. “You can tell me, whatever it is.”
“I don’t know how.” She forced a smile.
“Just say it.”
“I was thinking I like you. A lot.” She sighed, nervously fluffing her long blonde hair. “And I don’t want to scare you off.”
“How would you scare me off?” His stare became intense, gaze never wavering from her face.
She took a deep breath, bolstering courage. “I’m not normal. Not like everyone else.”
His grin was filled with indulgence, making him more handsome than before. “If I wanted normal, I would have asked normal out. Instead, I asked you.”
“But you don’t really know me. I’m different.”
“I’m different too, if you haven’t noticed?”
She had. All throughout dinner and dessert, he’d not looked at any other woman in the room, not even the waitress when ordering. His mesmerizing gaze had remained on her.
“I need certain things. Things normal women don’t want.” She looked down at her hands in her lap, not believing she was going all in this soon.
“Tell me,” he insisted. “I won’t judge. Whatever it is.”
Author Bio:
Edgy and provocative in his erotic writings, Thomas Briar strives to exalt the virtues of love and lust in every story he creates. To date, he's written a wide variety in the subgenres of New Adult, Contemporary, Historical, Interracial, and BDSM. He also takes great pride in the fact that he writes the type of erotic stories that twist and turn as the hero and heroine strive wholeheartedly to get exactly what they want from each other.
Which means most of his stories run on the hotter side of the erotica genre with his characters indulging in the type of sex that some would call smutty. For, without a doubt, writing scorching hot sex scenes is Thomas' absolute favorite thing about writing erotica. Well, that, and making sure his characters end up living happily ever after.
Feel free to check out his website at http://thomasbriar.com to find out more about Thomas.


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Saturday, January 19, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: Hot Justice by Lynn Raye Harris #GIVEAWAY


Hot Justice
Lynn Raye Harris
(Hostile Operations Team #14)
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She’s searching for justice. He’s searching for peace.
What they need is each other. They just don’t know it yet…

Dean “Wolf” Garner is the kind of guy who loves hard and leaves fast. From the moment he rescues reporter Haylee Jamison in the Guatemalan jungle, he can’t stop thinking about the dark-haired beauty. His life is too complicated for romantic entanglements though–and not even a woman like Haylee can convince him otherwise.
Haylee wasn’t supposed to be in the drug cartel’s compound, but she was captured while on a mission of her own: find the trail of fake opioids entering the US and halt the operation. Back home in DC, Haylee can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous military operator who rocked her world for one steamy night before leaving. But when she uncovers a conspiracy and finds herself in danger, there’s only one man she trusts to keep her safe.
It’s easy for Wolf to risk his life to protect Haylee and give her the justice she desires. The hard part is taking a chance and admitting what’s in his heart before it’s too late.
Before he loses the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
“Lynn Raye Harris is the undisputed Queen of Military Romance because her Hostile Operations Team series just keeps getting better and better.” ~ Diane B.
EXCERPT:
Mexico-Guatamala Border
Dean “Wolf” Garner waited for the jump command. He was standing nut-to-butt with his teammates, all of them suited up and ready to go. This was a HAHO jump where they’d fall out of the aircraft one behind the other, open chutes about fifteen seconds in and then coast for forty miles to the landing zone. Cade “Saint” Rogers was team lead and he’d be first out the door. Wolf was second. Echo Squad would stack up behind the leader while they were airborne and follow Saint’s lead as he guided them using GPS and landmarks.
The C-130 Hercules doors were open and they’d switched over to oxygen bottles. HAHO jumps were hell on the body, whether from the minus-zero wind temps, the lack of oxygen and threat of hypoxia, or the incredible snap of the harness when the chute deployed. It was a necessary evil when trying to sneak up on the enemy, though.
They were currently at T-minus two. The PT had cleared them all to jump and the jumpmaster was about to give the signal.
“You bastards stick with me,” Saint said into their earpieces. “Let’s go get those hostages and get the fuck out.”
Seconds later, Wolf was free falling into the sky behind Saint. Wolf deployed his chute, grunting as the harness snapped him hard against the restraints. Jesus. He was carrying a hundred pounds of gear and weaponry, which made the experience even more fun.
He sighted in on Saint and lined up. The rest of the team followed, everyone checking in, and then they were gliding under canopy toward the LZ.
The sun perched in the sky behind them, sinking quickly toward the horizon. Everything below was bathed in golden light that faded into darkness the father east Wolf looked. It was a beautiful sight and he never took it for granted.
The terrain here was mountainous and green and a river cut through the landscape, marking the border. This was the area where the Mexican cartels got their rocket-propelled grenades and grenade launchers as well as other military-grade equipment they used as they fought each other for territory. It’d be fine if all they did was kill each other, but unfortunately civilians often got caught in the crossfire.
Sometimes those civilians were American, and sometimes they were held for ransom. Like now. A group of dentists and opticians on a mission to provide services to an impoverished village had been swept up in the raid and HOT had been tasked with getting them out.
It took twenty minutes, but the team touched down and shrugged out of their chutes. They buried them, along with the special jumpsuits and oxygen canisters. Then they slung their M4 rifles across their chests and started the trek toward the camp where the cartel was holding the hostages.
HOT had pictures of the camp from drone photography and they knew the layout and the approximate number of people who guarded it. Echo Squad wasn’t just there to extract hostages—they were also there to take out the cartel members who were in the camp. At last count, that had been twenty.
Wolf didn’t feel sorry for the men. They were rough, evil, nasty men who terrorized innocent civilians. They killed indiscriminately, and they left messages in the form of headless bodies dangling from bridges and trees.
No, Wolf had no problem with killing them. It took Echo another forty minutes to reach the camp. It was dark by then, and the cartel men were drinking. The hostages were nowhere to be seen, but HOT knew they were being held in a rough concrete structure in the center of the camp. Ten men and women from somewhere in Alabama, on a church mission to help the poor. They were no doubt terrified and probably dehydrated and hungry.
“Like we planned it,” Saint said into their earpieces. The team split up and fanned out around the camp. Wolf and Noah “Easy” Cross slipped silently toward their target. They waited for the signal, then glided toward the men they’d marked. A quick slip of the knife and two cartel members would never harm anyone again.
A man emerged from the building where the hostages were, dragging a woman with him. She was small and dark-haired and she fought mightily. Wolf stiffened as the man thrust her against the side of the building and dropped his mouth to her neck. She wrenched her head to the side and tried to hit him but he caught her wrist and pinned her to the wall.
Wolf signaled Easy that this one was his. Easy nodded, lifting his rifle to provide covering fire if necessary as Wolf crossed the distance. The cartel members were falling quickly as his teammates took them out. Soon, Echo would converge on the building.
The woman was fighting hard when Wolf slipped up behind the man. Before Wolf could grab him, the man grunted and stumbled backward. His hands dropped to his crotch and Wolf nearly laughed. Smart girl. Brave girl.
He yanked the man back and stabbed him in the kidney, dropping him to the ground. The woman’s dark eyes widened. She was wearing a stained white button-down shirt that had been torn open and jeans with tennis shoes. Her black hair was wild and her skin was golden, and his heart thumped once before he clamped down on the reaction.
“You’re American?” she asked in a soft southern accent. “You’ve come to rescue us?”

“Yes,” he told her, turning to place her behind him as he scanned the camp for any stragglers. Someone shouted in the distance and a shot rang out.
“Got him,” Jax “Gem” Stone said in Wolf’s ear. “Fucker.”

“Status,” Saint ordered.
“All clear,” Malcolm “Mal” McCoy replied. The rest of Echo Squad followed suit.
“Let’s get the hostages,” Saint said.
Wolf turned back to the girl, knowing that Easy had his back and that his teammates were converging on the building to extract the hostages. “You okay?” he asked, dropping his gaze over her body, back up to her eyes. Dark, fiery eyes. Angry eyes.
She lifted her chin as she pulled her shirt together. “Yes. Fine.”
“What’s your name?”
“What’s yours?” she shot back.
Wolf grinned. “Wolf.”
She blinked. “Is that really your name?”
“No, but I like it better than my real name. Which is Dean, by the way.”
“Dean.” She paused for a moment. Then she thrust out her hand. “I’m Haylee. Pleased to meet you.”
He took her hand. A sizzle of something electric rolled through him. “You always so polite in dangerous situations?”
She grinned, and his heart thumped again. “I don’t know. This is my first kidnapping.”



Author Bio:
Lynn Raye Harris is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the HOSTILE OPERATIONS TEAM SERIES of military romances as well as 20 books for Harlequin Presents. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former-military husband, two crazy cats, and one spoiled American Saddlebred horse. Lynn's books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." Lynn's books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.


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Friday, January 18, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: Snowed In ~ Ross and Ashton by J.V. Speyer #GIVEAWAY


Snowed In – Ross and Ashton
J.V. Speyer
Publication date: January 5th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Massachusetts State Trooper Ross Huber is giving one last sweep of the roads before heading in for the night. The nor’easter hitting the Boston area is worse than expected by an order of magnitude, and the governor has just issued a travel ban. He finds a wrecked car half buried in a snowbank and rescues its human and canine occupants from carbon monoxide poisoning, but is forced to take shelter with them in a vacant or abandoned house when the roads are blocked.
When he gets the victims indoors, he thinks the human looks uncomfortably familiar…
Ash Machado has been through a lot in his career as a war correspondent. Sidelined by an injury, he’s returned to Boston to take up a job as a news anchor. After he loses control of his car on an icy road, he wakes up in an unfamiliar home, looking into the face of the guy who broke his heart in college.
Neither Ross nor Ash are the same guys they were in college, but they’re trapped in the abandoned house with no place to go. Can they get past old hurts long enough to get through the storm, or will the same misunderstandings that drove them apart years ago make this confinement unbearable?
Are you a book reviewer?
Request a review copy here!
EXCERPT:
Ash moistened his lips and scratched between his dog’s ears. “More or less, yeah. He definitely likes to be on the receiving end of any affection.” He swallowed hard. He could still taste Ross on his tongue, bad morning breath and all.
He lurched to his feet. “I’m going to see what I can do about excavating some space for Porthos to do his business. He’s going to have to sooner or later, and I don’t want to wreck the joint.” Ash had to get up and do something. He had to get away from Ross or his brain might explode.
“Good point.” Ross grimaced and stood up too. “Can you shovel, with your arm like that? Do you want me to do it?”

Ash forced a little smile. Ross’ words cemented his worst fears. Ross hadn’t kissed him out of affection or even nostalgia. He’d kissed Ash out of pity. It turned Ash’s stomach. “No, thanks. I’ll be sore, but I really want to move around a bit.” He ran for the
back door as fast as he could.

Was this really what life was going to be from now on? Pity kisses from guys who occasionally wanted to throw him a bone, and who didn’t have any better options? A sedate anchor job covering sedate local news from the safety of a swanky downtown newsroom, instead of being out in the field like he’d been born to do?

He struggled into his coat and pushed the intrusive thoughts out of his head. The doctors had warned him about this after his injury, both in Turkey and in Germany. Intrusive thoughts were normal. Bouts of depression were normal. He’d survived a major explosion, and he’d had to make some major lifestyle changes as a result. It was okay to be upset, and it was okay to be frustrated. Ash should be patient with himself, they said. And they also acknowledged it would be a challenge for
him to find that patience. He knew exactly what to expect.

He attacked the snow with vigor. He’d made it out alive when plenty of others had not. He was not going to squander his second chance on self-pity and pining for a guy who’d dumped him almost a decade ago. He was here, breathing free air. He might be in pain, and he might not have full use of all of his limbs, but he could use most of his parts and that was enough. He was a lucky man. He just needed to remind himself sometimes.
He hacked into the snow, using his anger and his grief to power through the pain. Okay, sure, this sucked, and he’d need more surgery on his shoulder eventually. He’d get it. In the meantime, chances were that he’d find himself in a position to need to shovel. He needed to get used to it. He needed to toughen up, and get used to doing things for himself. Two hours later, he’d carved out enough space to function as a doggy outhouse. It would be foul soon enough, but it had become almost like a little snow cave. Ash had worked up a good sweat, and he’d accomplished something to take care of Porthos. He hadn’t had to depend on Ross, or anyone else. He’d done it himself. He could be proud of it.


Author Bio:
Want to get cocktail recipes, book updates, and craft beer notes from J. V.? Sign up here:
J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem.
J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game or avoiding direct sunlight. She's learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.


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Thursday, January 17, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: Holli's Hellfire by Tish Thawer #GIVEAWAY


Holli’s Hellfire
Tish Thawer
(The Women of Purgatory #3)
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Will she choose to stay the Reaper she is, or become the Goddess she was?
Holli’s memories of her life as the Goddess Hel are starting to resurface, and the timing can’t be a coincidence.
Her father’s quest continues to threaten Purgatory, and her decision to embrace her past has the potential to save or destroy it all.
Find out in the exciting conclusion to The Women of Purgatory trilogy.



Author Bio:
2017 - #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction (Witches of BlackBrook)
2017 - Top 100 Bestselling in Paid Kindle Store (Witches of Blackbrook)
2015 - Best Cover - Penned Con (The Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 - Readers Choice Award - My New Favorite Book Awards (The Witches of BlackBrook)
Bestselling and Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.
Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).
Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Arizona with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.
You can find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer
A common FAQ: "How do you pronounce her last name?"
Answer: Think "Bower" or "Thow-er". It's Persian!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: Killer Lies by Zia Westfield #GIVEAWAY


Killer Lies
Zia Westfield
(Deadly Encounters, #2)
Publication date: December 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Suspense
Kelsey Tremayne’s life unraveled in the summer of her 16th year when she and a friend were abducted. She came out of the experience alive, but without memories of her abduction and her friend was never found. Rumors that she’d killed her friend in jealousy, and that she was mentally unstable, started and eventually her parents moved her away from Carville. Now, she’s back in Carville to settle her aunt’s estate. However, someone is watching her, playing with her mind. Could it even escalate to murder?
One man is willing to stand by her, protect her, and breach the barriers that have guarded her heart for so long.
Sam Carmichael stays focused on the job and keeps his personal interactions limited. The emotional instability of his wife and her subsequent suicide have made him leery of getting deeply involved with anyone. Even so, someone is targeting Kelsey Tremayne and the roots go back twelve years to an abduction that was never solved. As Sam is drawn deeper into the case, he can’t help admiring Kelsey’s strength and compassion and he vows to do everything he can to find the truth and bring her kidnapper to justice.
Can two people hurt by their pasts survive a criminal’s web to find a future together?
CHAPTER 1:
Sam Carmichael switched his high beams on and eased off the pedal as he drove the narrow mountain road. Fat raindrops splattered the windshield of the SUV in a steady torrent that even the windshield wipers working double time couldn’t keep up with.
The Tremayne mansion drive should be another half a mile up the road. He’d be glad to get there. The mountainside wasn’t known for landslides, but the amount of rain that had been coming down steadily had been causing a number of accidents throughout Carville. Best-case scenario, he’d see the crazy cat lady and get back into town before anything bad happened.
Thunder cracked overhead, followed by a flash of light that lit up the road, revealing towering trees on both sides. He also caught sight of the gate that signaled the Tremayne estate.
He made the turn and pulled up beside the box attached to the wall. He lowered his window, pushed the button and waited for a response.
He’d been out here years ago when he’d been riding patrol. A woman dressed in shawls and surrounded by dozens of cats, or so it had seemed, had answered the door. She’d insisted that he find the person who was trying to steal her cats.
Setting aside his private thoughts, he’d checked the house and the grounds, but had found no signs of anyone having been there.
He’d chalked it up to experience and had forgotten about it until tonight, when the desk Sergeant had roped him into coming to check out a report of a possible burglary before going home.
“Lucky me,” he said into the darkness.
“Excuse me?” The voice crackled across the intercom.
Sam leaned out, ignoring the rain that pelted him, and spoke loudly.
“Detective Sam Carmichael, Carville PD. I’m here about the burglary.” He pulled his head back in and waited for the gate to open. Instead, the intercom crackled to life once more.
“Would you show me your badge, Detective?”
Sam reminded himself that he had become a detective to serve the public, even on foul nights when man and beast knew better than to be outside. He fished his badge out of his pocket and thrust it out towards the camera. How the hell the person on the other side expected to see anything with the rain coming down like it was, he didn’t know.
The gate suddenly creaked and slowly began opening.
“You’re welcome,” Sam muttered.
While he waited for the opening to be large enough for him to drive through, he gave himself a stern talking to. Crazy cat lady or not, he would do his job and be professional. Some days were the pits and today ranked as one of them, but he wouldn’t let it interfere with his job.
He drove up the long drive, noting the overgrown lawn and the creepy vibe given off by the ivy crawling up every inch of the turreted mansion, the branches overhanging the drive, and the coldness that seemed to emanate from the dark exterior. Before he left tonight he would make a point to the person who called the stationhouse to add lights to dispel the gloom.
He pulled the SUV as close to the front porch as he could, but he was still soaked by the time he reached the top step.
He pushed the bell next to the door and prepared to meet the crazy cat lady.
The door opened, and Sam stared dumbfounded. The woman before him was dressed in shawls and a long dark grey skirt, and had one cat in her arms while another curled up on a straight back chair that butted up against the wall.
But she was years younger—younger than him, he’d guess—and punch-in-the-gut beautiful.
None of it made sense and he said the first words that popped into his mind.
“What happened to the other crazy cat lady?”
***
Kelsey Tremayne winced at the question. When she’d opened the door, she hadn’t been sure what to expect. The security system needed a major upgrade. She had barely been able to hear the detective identify himself, and the rain and poor camera quality had made it impossible to see his badge clearly.
Though she’d debated the risk in letting him approach, she had decided to chance it. She gripped the pepper spray she held in her hand which was concealed by the shawls. It hadn’t been easy to call the police given her history with them, in fact, her stomach still felt queasy over the decision, but she needed the incidents on record.
Crazy cat lady, indeed.
“Please come in, Detective.” She stepped back and petted Sabina, the white Persian mix that had sought comfort in her arms when the thunder had started.
The detective entered, dripping water on the wood floor, and surveyed her from head to foot. He was tall, over six feet, if she had to guess, with a rangy build, brown close-cropped hair, and a stubborn jaw.
Kelsey could imagine what he saw. A not-very-tall, not-very-short, brown-haired, brown-eyed female with more cats than friends. Okay, he wouldn’t be able to guess the last, but it wouldn’t take long for him to stumble onto the truth.
Then again maybe he already knew it. After all, he’d asked about the other cat lady.
“If you’d follow me,” she said, and turned to head down the hall to the one habitable room.
For whatever reason, her aunt hadn’t put her mark on the library. Perhaps it had remained a tribute to her aunt’s father, Kelsey’s grandfather. Whatever the reason, Kelsey was grateful for the comfortable furniture and the working fireplace. The heater had shown itself to be temperamental and the fire burning in the fireplace was the only source of heat she had. In a few weeks, when winter dumped snow on the ground, she’d be in trouble if she didn’t get someone to fix it. Lately, she never seemed to warm up, as if the cold lived and breathed inside her, spreading its tentacles throughout her body.
She shivered, mentally relegated the broken heater to the long list of repairs she had written, and focused on the detective.
“Would you like to have a seat, Detective? Can I get you anything to drink?” She knew she’d said the wrong thing from the way his eyes widened.
“Ma’am—”
“Kelsey. Kelsey Tremayne. Ma’am makes me sound old.” She moved a little closer to the fire, wanting the heat to dispel the chill that had taken up permanent residence in her bones.
The detective splayed his hands on his hips and watched her.
“Ms. Tremayne, you called the station and reported a burglary.”
Kelsey wet her lips and wished he’d asked for a drink. Her mouth felt dry and her throat parched.
He wouldn’t believe her. She could tell from his stance and from the way his gaze swept over the room. He had made up his mind about her. Maybe he’d even heard the rumors about her.
He’d obviously heard the ones about her aunt or why would he have called her the “crazy cat lady”?
Suddenly the room seemed to shrink. Her pulse rate increased and sweat broke out on her brow. A panic attack was imminent if she didn’t do something to head it off.
That would be all he would need to see to confirm that she was as crazy as her aunt. She couldn’t let him.
“I’m sorry, detective, for wasting your time. You should go. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Please chalk it up to the horrible weather.” She tried to smile, but her lips seemed to tremble instead. She couldn’t even look him in the eye; her gaze slid away. She marched purposely to the door, hoping he would follow.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
She tried to remember everything her therapist had told her. Her control, though, was slipping. Footsteps sounded behind her and she knew a moment of relief. He would go.
Once he was gone, she could fall apart.
She juggled Sabina in order to grab the doorknob and pull the heavy front door open. Thunder boomed overhead and lightning lit up the sky. Sabina yowled and leaped from Kelsey’s arms, scratching them in her descent. Kelsey tripped on her floor-length skirt and fell backward.
Arms caught her and pain exploded in her head. “Let go!” She kicked and scratched and fought, determined to fight her way free.
One minute she was trapped and the next she was thrust into a hard-backed chair. Detective Carmichael stood a few feet away, looking at her as if she were indeed crazy. She wanted to crawl into a hole and hide.
If only she were a cat-like Sabina, who’d scampered to the top of a stack of boxes further down the hallway and was observing them from her perch.
“Please go,” Kelsey whispered, her voice raw.
Silence pressed in on her, despite the sounds of the storm made louder by the open front door. She’d asked him to leave. Why didn’t he leave?
He walked over to the door and closed it. He blew out a breath and rubbed the top of his head.
“Look, you called about a burglary. Why don’t we focus on that?”
She shook her head. “I was mistaken.” She twisted her fingers in the shawl’s fringe. “You can go.” Maybe if she repeated it enough he’d get the hint.
He bent down and picked up the pepper spray that must have fallen out of her hand when she’d tripped. He put it on the table in the entry, next to her chair. He looked puzzled.
She waited for the barrage of questions. Memories of another interrogation intruded into her mind and once more her control began to crumble. She got to her feet, strode purposely to the front door and pulled it open.
“I’ve asked you to leave. I told you it was a mistake. Please go or I’ll have to call the station to register a complaint.” She wouldn’t, of course. Her days of dealing with the police were at an end. She’d thought she could handle talking to them, after all of her therapist’s encouragement to see beyond her own nightmarish experience. But, again, images and voices crowded into her mind, threatening to push out here and now if she didn’t hang on.
“All right. I’ll go,” he said.
He spoke evenly, and she focused on the words, not wanting to look into his eyes and see pity there.
She expected him to step past her and out onto the porch so she could shut the door. But he paused directly in front of her, facing her, though all she saw was his dark blue shirt tucked into a pair of jeans. She forced her head up to meet his gaze, her hands tightening the shawl’s material around her.
His eyes were gray, turbulent, like the storm outside. Something inside her wanted to shy away from the way he seemed to be stripping away the layers she’d successfully piled on to protect herself. But she made herself withstand the scrutiny.
He shook his head. “You know, none of this makes sense. This,” he waved his hand around to encompass the hallway, “doesn’t make sense. Mostly, though, you don’t make sense.” He reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a business card and held it out to her.
She wet her lips, aware of his gaze suddenly focused on her mouth. She felt the heat rushing to her cheeks.
“If I take the card, will you leave?” Her voice sounded husky to her own ears and she wanted to kick herself. The last person she needed to be attracted to was a police detective.
“Just take the card,” he said.
She reached out to pluck it from his fingers, but he held on to it.
“First, get some light and better security. Second, I don’t know why you called the police, or what’s going on, but if you change your mind or need assistance, my cell phone is on here. I’ll pick up day or night.” With those final words, he released his grip on the card and walked out, closing the door behind him with a snap.
A cat meowed, and she felt the animal rub against her legs. Pulling her gaze away from the door, she reached down and picked Sabina up. She was still holding the card in her hand as she carried the cat to the library where warmth lay. She should throw it away, yet she couldn’t quite rid herself of the image of those gray eyes and that penetrating stare. He’d called her a crazy cat lady, but when he’d zoomed in on her lips, he’d seemed attracted.
Of course, it might all be in her imagination, but that didn’t matter. If she concentrated on how he’d been captivated by her lips, she wouldn’t have to think about who had been in the house and whether they would be back.


Author Bio:
Zia Westfield creates suspenseful, exciting stories with romance at the heart of them. There is nothing more thrilling than watching two people fall in love despite the odds and the danger surrounding their every move.
She makes her home in Tokyo with her husband and three sons. She holds a full-time job, volunteers too much because she doesn't know how to say "no," and generally finds peace between the pages of a book or when she's writing out the stories in her head.






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Monday, January 14, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: Phoenix by Carolyn Anthony #GIVEAWAY


Phoenix
Carolyn Anthony
(Flames & Ashes #1)
Publication date: January 7th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Valentina.
When Jaxxon Reginhardt walks into my gym, my rigidly structured existence begins to crumble. He’s a beast of a man, the personification of power, and more beautiful than any man has a right to be. He’s everything I avoid. Everything I fear. Yet, the second I see him, something deep within me roars to life. He makes me want. He sets my body aflame with just a look, and makes me wish I wasn’t a damaged shell no one will ever love.
I don’t have time for men when my whole world is built around self-preservation. But Jaxxon breaks down all of my strategically constructed boundaries like no one ever has.
How can I give into these new cravings, when there is a half-remembered demon from my past waiting for me to fall asleep, preying on my vulnerability?
If he ever knew the truth, he would run, and it would destroy me …
Jaxxon.
The last thing I need in my complicated life is a snarky, frustrating, spitfire of a woman like Valentina Durare. As if that isn’t bad enough, there’s something haunted about her. My head says stay the hell away, but I can’t seem to get on board with that logic.
Something about me scares her. I can feel it. She’s a beautiful enigma I ache to understand.
The closer we get, the more she responds and draws me in. It can’t be me she fears. There must be something else … Something tied to the scars she refuses to show me.
But I’m stubborn son-of-a-bitch. I want all of her—not half. Because when we touch, nothing less will do but her complete surrender.
I need her to trust me, before her fear destroys us.
EXCERPT:
He moved his hands to my back and unhooked the chain holding the back of my gown together. As the sides loosened and fell open, my muscles strung tight, but I stayed where I was.
Resting his hands on my shoulders again, he slipped his fingers under the sides of the loosened sleeves. “Look at me, sugar.”
I leaned back enough to see his face and crossed my arms over my chest, which earned me the shit-eating grin that both got under my skin and made me wet as hell.
With his eyes locked to mine, he inched the top of my dress down my arms, causing my breasts to push up over the neckline.
“When’s the last time you came?”
I couldn’t stop my mouth from falling open. He wrapped his hands around my wrists, his fingers warming my overheated skin. “I think that’s a bit personal.”
“Sweetness, we’re about to get very fuckin’ personal. You’re straddling me. I can feel how turned on you are, and I’m trying not to freak you out. It’s a legitimate question, given what you’ve told me.” He kept his hold loose, but still held onto me.
When I looked down at our hands, my vision blurred…
Cuffs. Leather cuffs. Metal table. The images flashed like slides in an old movie reel and I jerked away from him on a gasp.
“Valentina!” My name came out in such a hard tone it jolted me right out of the dark place. His thumbs dug into the pulse points of my wrists, before I fell back. “Where’d you go, sugar?” His eyes searched mine, the concern visible even in the dim light. “You okay?”
I gave a quick nod. Fast, it was so fast, so clear—but enough …
No! Not now … Please, not now!
“You sure?” Letting go of my wrists, he brought both hands to the back of my head.
“Mmm-hmm. Yes.” I covered his hands with mine and interlocked our fingers, holding onto him like a lifeline.
“When, baby?”
“I—I don’t remember.”
Please, Jaxxon. Please, take it away …
He nodded. “Then that’s way too long.” He pulled me against him.
I wedged my arms between the back of his head and the cushions. The warmth of his bare skin, the strength of his huge arms, transferred to me as I pressed my body harder against his.
For a while, he simply held me. When my breathing regulated and the shock of the memory waned, the contentment to simply be held faded. His erection lay pressed against my throbbing clit. A simmering heat built in my core and spread outwards. I buried my face against his neck, brushing my lips under the tender part of his ear, lightly at first, but when he started rubbing my bare back with firmer, more aggressive strokes I sat up in his lap.
No more preamble needed, he slid the top of my dress down my arms, dragging the material between our bodies. The seam of the neckline scraped over my swollen nipples. I inhaled quickly at the twinge of pain, and embraced the pleasure it left behind.



Author Bio:
Carolyn Anthony is a sucker for a dark romance with a dominant, tattooed, alpha man at the helm. Her characters deal with real life issues: the painful, the tragic, the damaging sort of life events that leave both external and internal scars, because she's been there. Her heroines are strong women at the core who will always find what's been lost, taken or exploited: their strength, their self-worth, their identity, their innocence or their love. She writes about women exploring their sexuality, owning that sexuality and enjoying it. Along for the ride, the flawed, yet redemptive and gorgeous men who prove worthy enough to be on that journey with them.


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Sunday, January 13, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: I Blackmailed Her Brother by Jessica Frances #GIVEAWAY


I Blackmailed Her Brother
Jessica Frances
(Love at First Crime, #5)
Publication date: January 2nd 2019
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance, Suspense
I Blackmailed Her Brother (Love at First Crime #5)
I blackmailed her brother, so she took my heart and held it ransom.

I made a mistake.
I did something unforgivable.
I broke her trust.
I shattered the life we were building together.
And I hate myself for the pain I caused her.
But then someone thought they could threaten her,
Thought they could come after the woman I love.
They need to think again.
I am stronger than I have ever been before.
I am determined to win her back,
And no one is getting in my way.
Not our friends.
Not her family.
And definitely not the crazy maniac who is after her.
I will protect her.
I will salvage what we had,
And I will make us stronger because of it.
Not every relationship can be built on solid ground,
And maybe betrayal and blackmail might not make for a great foundation,
But then again, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime.
EXCERPT:
I reach into my pocket and wave a USB in his face. It’s a physical backup I use whenever I’m on the road and Wi-Fi isn’t viable. One of the first things Gemma taught me was to back up everything. Currently, it just has some random files on it, but Wally doesn’t know that.
He eyes the USB nervously. “What’s on that?”
“It has photos of your arrest, as well as police reports on the drugs you were caught with.”
He blanches and sweat beads over his forehead.
“Look, I don’t want to have to do this. Just give us the keycard to room 704, and we’ll be in and out in less than a few minutes.”
“I’ll get fired,” he whines, his voice piercing louder.
I wince, glancing around us, but no one appears to be paying us much attention. Yet.
“You won’t be. No one will know what’s happening. Gemma and I will look like two lovers going up to our room, and we’ll exit without anyone knowing we were there.”
He shakes his head, but it looks more defeated than opposing. “I can’t fucking believe you. I won’t ever forgive you or her. She is dead to me,” he snaps while stabbing the keyboard in front of him angrily.
My stomach drops, and my lungs compact, making it harder to catch my breath.
“Please don’t be angry at her. She has no idea I’m doing this,” I beg quietly.
Wally does tend to exaggerate in most things. His admission the first time I met him that he would die if the snow didn’t let up soon comes to mind. But Wally also loves to create drama. Often, he orchestrates arguments at family dinners purely for his own amusement.
I can totally see him wanting revenge for this, and what better way than to make Scarlett’s life miserable by taunting her over what I have done.
“I don’t give a fuck if she knows what you’re doing,” he hisses as he slaps the keycard on the counter, his stare cold enough to give me frostbite. “You have fifteen minutes before the room is occupied.”
“Thank you,” I tell him, hoping my pleading tone gains me some sort of sympathy, or at least forgiveness.
He doesn’t glance back up at me again.
I like Scarlett a lot.
How is she going to react to what just happened? How the hell is she going to forgive me for how I threatened her brother? Will she understand? Or hate me?
I did this all for the right reasons, didn’t I? I had no choice, not without disappointing Zander. I need to prove to everyone that I am up for this. That becoming a private investigator isn’t a mistake.
But, did I take it too far?



Author Bio:
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

BOOK BLITZ: Professional Courtesy by J.V. Speyer #GIVEAWAY


Professional Courtesy
J.V. Speyer
Publication date: December 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
This is the story of two college professors who share an office and not much else – until the holiday season works its magic.
Eric’s semester hasn’t been going all that well. Not only have renovations to the English Department’s physical space forced him to share an office with the department’s newest faculty member, Mike Kistler, his mother showed up at the beginning of the semester with all her worldly possessions and a U-Haul. It’s not that he doesn’t care for his mother, but she’s disruptive. She keeps wanting to honor traditions they never cared about when he was growing up, starting with the giant antique advent calendar she dragged over from her parents’ house in Hamburg.
Eric has a solution, though. He might not have much interest in his mom’s traditions, but his irritating office mate does. He’ll bring Kistler over, and his mom will have someone who cares, and someone to speak German with, and Eric will be left alone to grade papers in peace.
Mike is the rising star of the English Department. He’s worked damn hard to get from homeless teen to young PhD, he’s proud of his accomplishment, and he loves to give back. He likes his work. He could live without his office mate, who’s attractive but stuffier than an overfull burrito. He’s shocked when Eric invites him to help his mother celebrate Advent, but intrigued by the old traditions. And it’s been more than ten years since he’s had anything like a family to celebrate anything with, so he agrees.
Moving from a cramped office to a family setting shifts things for Eric and Mike, and they start to see each other through different eyes. Can they find love, or will old family issues keep them apart forever?
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EXCERPT:
“Hey,” he said in a feather-soft voice, one calculated to not wake Suzanne. “I wanted to say thanks for last night, but you were gone. Want me to make you breakfast instead?”
Eric could see, in Mike’s eyes, exactly how he’d wanted to thank him for last night. He could see the possibilities for the future stretching out in front of them. His chest hurt as he looked away. “Actually, I think they’ve gotten the roads clear. I’d better take you home.”
Eric heard Mike’s clothes rustle as his posture changed. He stood straighter. His whole body stiffened. Eric couldn’t make himself look at Mike’s beautiful face, but he heard the unmistakable chill in his voice when he said, “I see. Okay, then, let me grab my bag.” He moved swiftly and silently into the guest room to grab his things. A few moments later, he was back, his coat and shoes at the ready.
Eric bit his lip to keep from screaming. He had to do this. If he had to do it, why did it hurt so much? He grabbed his keys and his coat, and they headed over to the garage together in silence. Comm Ave was indeed clear, so Eric pulled out and got them onto the road.
“We shouldn’t have done that,” he said, once they were on their way toward Allston. “I enjoyed it. It might have the best night of my life. But we — I — shouldn’t have done it.”
Mike pressed his lips together. He stared straight out the windshield, without looking directly at Eric. Eric couldn’t tell if he was angry or hurt. He had every right to be either. “Well, we work together. So, I guess that makes sense.” He took a deep breath.
“That’s not it.” Eric gripped the steering wheel a little tighter. “It’s just… my mom. I know she’s nice to you and all that, but she’s never accepted my sexuality. When I came out they didn’t kick me out or anything, but they did tell me ‘not in our house.’ And this is her house now.”
“Okay.” Mike considered. “And you’ve made your choice. I’m not going to try to argue with you or change your mind. But it seems to me like your mother wasn’t very subtle about leaving us alone together last night.”
Eric choked on his own breath. “She didn’t mean it like that. Oh God. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I’ve known her a long time and her brain doesn’t work like that. She doesn’t think that way.” He fought down his nausea. It might have been nice if Mike at least tried to convince him to stick around, but Eric knew it would only be to flatter his ego. Eric didn’t deserve to have his ego puffed by anyone, least of all Mike. Not today.
“She’s your mom.” Mike turned his head to look out the window. His tone was resigned. “Thanks for everything, I guess. I’ll see you when the new semester starts up.”
“You’re not coming over next week?”
“Don’t you think that’s a little much to ask?”
“Yeah.” Eric slouched in his seat. “It is. Mike, I’m sorry. I really am. I just—”
Mike held up his hand. He looked exhausted. “Don’t. Please. Just… just don’t.”
“Okay.” Eric bowed his head and kept driving.
Mike’s street still hadn’t been plowed. It might not be plowed for days. Eric stopped the car at the end of his street and bit his lip again. “Is there someplace else I can take you, someplace you can go?”
Mike shook his head. “I’ll be fine. See you in January.” He hopped out of the car and climbed up onto the snowbank before Eric could argue. Eric couldn’t blame him. He’d want to get away as fast as he could too, if he were in the same position.
He drove home as quickly as he could. He hoped to get in before his mother got up, but she was already making breakfast by the time he walked in the door. She stared in surprise. “Eric, where did you go? I was just making breakfast for you and Michael! I’ve got bacon, and pancakes, and I’ve started the coffee. How late does he usually sleep?”
“I have no idea.” Eric hung his coat up. “He didn’t sleep very late today. I just dropped him off at home. He had papers he needed to correct. You know how it is.” His voice shocked him with its raspiness.
She stared at him for a moment. “I’m surprised he made you go out in all this. He seems like such a nice young man.”
“Oh, he didn’t ask me to. I noticed how nervous he was and I offered.” Eric squirmed. He hated lying to his mother. “It’s his first job as a professor, you know? He doesn’t want to feel like he’s slacking. I wasn’t much different.”
“I suppose.” She gave him a long, measuring look, and then she shrugged. “Well, this is a lot of bacon. I suppose we can use it in sandwiches, or quiches.”
Eric tried to choke down the breakfast his mother has gone to so much trouble for, but he couldn’t make much headway. When he’d done what he could, he excused himself and retreated to his room. There, he could indulge himself in a good cry.
He’d done the right thing. He knew he had. He just wished doing the right thing didn’t hurt so much.


Author Bio:
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J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem.
J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game or avoiding direct sunlight. She's learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.


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