Tuesday, January 21, 2020

BOOK BLITZ: Sister of Embers & Echoes by Annie Anderson #GIVEAWAY

Sister of Embers & Echoes
Annie Anderson
(Rogue Ethereal, #4)
Publication date: January 17th 2020
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Demons, murder, and a trip straight to Hell…
I thought I’d get a little time off before the veritable poop hit the fan, but fate — or rather the Fates — have other ideas. The witch who tried to have my sister possessed has escaped, and not only do I find him dead, but I don’t have a clue who he was working with. Or working for…
Now I have a Council Member in human jail, a ragtag bunch of stuffy law-abiders to lead, and a solid inkling that the next person on the chopping block is me.
All of that would be bad enough, but I’ve got bigger problems. Maria isn’t quite right after a demon almost stole her body, and I have a hunch it’s going to require a trip to Hell to get it fixed.
Time to sharpen my athames, vacation time is over.
My eyes narrowed over the rim of my teacup. My grandmother crossed her legs, matching my glare as she sipped her own tea. In all likelihood, she was holding in a laugh. Bernadette had seen oceans rise and fall, empires crumble to dust, entire civilizations wiped from the face of the earth. As one of the first demons in Hell, nothing short of a full-blown apocalypse was going to phase her.
Especially not my paltry little glare.
Fair enough.
Uncrossing my legs, I folded them underneath me, sucking down another sip of my tea as I settled deeper into the overstuffed armchair. I wasn’t a big tea kind of person, but the herbal blend I’d concocted in a fit of nerves last week seemed to be growing on me. I’d been doing a lot of things like that—things that Maria would have done herself if she’d just freaking wake up.
“I’m not setting foot in Aether until Maria wakes up, and that’s final.”
Like that word ever stopped my grandmother. I was pretty sure if she had even a single shred less class, she’d have given the Fates the old double middle-finger salute while telling them to kiss her ass.
That last bit might just be wishful thinking on my part. At least it was amusing to think about.
“It’s been a week, Maxima,” Bernadette chided softly, her voice full of understanding, but her message clear. I couldn’t wait much longer to interrogate Elias. The Fates were running out of patience, and I was running out of time.
“Have they gotten anything out of him at all?” I asked, unable to keep my gaze from shifting from Bernadette to Maria’s closed bedroom door.
I didn’t like being on this side of it. I didn’t like that I wasn’t watching her.
I didn’t like that I couldn’t figure out a way to help.
A week ago, Elias Flynn tried to use my sister as a sacrifice by offering her up to a demon as a host. Bernadette helped me stop him, but Maria still wasn’t awake. The longer her sleep lasted, the more I realized we might not have been as successful as I once thought.
If we were successful at all.

Author Bio:
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she'll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life... interesting.



Monday, January 20, 2020

BOOK BLITZ: The Escape Artist by Kitty Thomas #GIVEAWAY

The Escape Artist
Kitty Thomas
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Claire was held captive for 43 days by a man who did unspeakable things to her.

Three years after her escape, she gets her revenge. The only problem is, she’s got the wrong man.

God help her if he escapes.
Claire pushed the memories away, gripping the leather arm rests, willing her heartbeat and breathing to calm. That was him. She had him in a cell. That was the guy. He had a scar where she’d cut him. How could he lie to her with such a straight face when they both knew he had that scar and how he’d gotten it?
Because he’s a sociopath, Claire. He isn’t like normal people.
She couldn’t let herself forget that—what he was. She couldn’t let herself be tricked by the beautiful monster into setting him free and losing her own life. She got up and went to the kitchen, taking another bottle of beer from the fridge. This one she drank all the way down until a light pleasant buzz of calm skated across her skin. She took a long, steadying breath and grabbed the broom and dustbin.
When she returned to the cell, at least the arrogance had left his face. Maybe he was starting to understand his situation, that the tables had turned and he was now at her mercy. Let him lie about things, as long as she could wipe the smug smile off his face.
She silently swept up the shards of the beer bottle. The last thing she needed was for him to have a weapon. That had been his mistake with her after all.
“You can still let me go,” he said. His voice was so gentle and soothing. Calm and reasonable.
He’d never spoken to her like that in the basement. Of course not, he’d had the power then. He has to placate you now.
Claire just laughed. “Right. I’m going to let you go so you can hurt me again. Am I supposed to believe you’re reformed? After me, you stopped torturing and killing women? You realized the error of your ways?”
“What’s your name?” he asked, changing tactics. “My name…”
“Shut UP! If you speak your name I’ll kill you. I swear to fuck I will. I NEVER want to hear your fucking name. EVER. Don’t you try to humanize yourself. You’re a fucking monster, and you know it!”
“I’m sorry,” he said quickly, holding his hands up in surrender.
No he wasn’t, he was placating her.
“What’s your name, then?” he said, trying again.
“You know my fucking name. You used to hiss it in my ear while you were…” she trailed off, unable to say the words. She turned away from him and took a deep breath, quickly wiping the tears that threatened to spill over. She was not going to cry in front of him anymore. She’d cried all the tears for him she would cry.
She had the power now. Not him. NOT him. But she was shaking. She could feel the light tremors in her arms. He must be able to see them. He was the one chained up, and he was going to break her again.
“It’s okay if you don’t have it in you to hurt me. I don’t think you’re that kind of person,” he said gently.
“Just shut the fuck up!” she screamed. “I should starve you, just like you starved me for the tiniest act of defiance.” She turned back to finish sweeping the stray shards into the dustpan.
“Look at me,” he said.
It was a fucking command. He thought he could order her around when he was the prisoner? But she turned and looked at him.
“I would never starve you. Ever,” he said, holding her gaze in his.
He’d already starved her, and they both knew it. These head games… she had to regroup her strategy or he was going to get inside her head and mess with it. If she lost her nerve… if he got free again, he’d kill her this time. She was already in too deep. She had to get her shit together and finish this. It was the only choice.

Author Bio:
KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.
To find out FIRST when a new book comes out, subscribe to Kitty's New Release List: KITTYTHOMAS.COM


Sunday, January 19, 2020

BOOK BLITZ: Silent Threat by Jeff Gunhus #GIVEAWAY

Silent Threat
Jeff Gunhus
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: December 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Thriller

A father charged with treason. A daughter sent to kill him. A shocking conspiracy that changes all the rules of the spy game for a new generation . . .

With more than a dozen kills under her belt, ex-Marine Mara Roberts is one of the Agency’s most reliable assassins. But her latest target—a convicted traitor about to be released from prison—is different than her other marks. He’s a former agent who betrayed his country. He’s responsible for the death of Mara’s mother. And he happens to be Mara’s father . . .

Scott Roberts knows that his daughter was sent to kill him. He realizes he has only one chance to change her mind, to convince her that he’s been framed for treason—and that every member of their family are pawns to be sacrificed, one by one. Mara isn’t sure she can trust her father. He is a master of manipulation, as ruthless as he is resourceful. But when her nephew is abducted, she agrees to follow Scott’s lead and expose the global elites who are pulling the strings. But first, they must infiltrate the highest levels of power. Then, they must attempt the unthinkable: Kidnap the President of the United States . . .

“A brilliantly written thriller. Breakneck twists, political intrigue and bristling action scenes—Jeff Gunhus writes with a gripping and gritty authority.”
—Simon Gervais, author of Hunt Them Down
Mara Roberts knew the Agency would try to kill her father the day he got out of prison, she just didn’t expect they’d ask her be the one to do it.
Before she received the assignment, she would have bet even money he would survive whatever welcome party the CIA had planned for him. Too bad his odds had migrated down to zero now that the job was hers.
She sat in her rented Range Rover, waves of Oklahoma heat shimmering off the parking lot blacktop, bending the prison chain link fence into wavering lines. Coils of concertina wire topped the walls, razor blade edges glistening in the sun, each loop perfectly spaced. Just like inside the walls of the Cimarron Correctional Facility — orderly but lethal.
Behind the security gate was a low-slung building with a copper overhang at the entrance. More like a school administration office than a prison. The schematics she’d studied revealed the facility extended back into eight separate cell blocks. Each one housed more dangerous criminals than the previous one. She hoped they’d put her dad in the worst of the lot.
The car idled, both for the AC and in case she needed to adjust her plans and leave in a hurry. The few guards she saw moved slow and had dark sweat pits spreading under their arms and on their backs. She pegged them as complacent. Washed up. Bored. Just like she wanted. As she analyzed the prison’s weaknesses, she couldn’t help but wonder whether her dad had changed much since she’d seen him last.
Sure, he was past fifty now and, according to the photos in the briefing, finally starting to show his age. Wrinkles at his eyes. A close scalp shave, the kind favored by men fighting a losing battle with their hairline. He was still in shape, though. Surveillance camera footage showed a recent fist fight he’d had on the yard, started by some con paid off by the Agency. Obviously a new guy. Anyone who’d been there longer than knew not to mess with the quiet guy with the broad shoulders.
The video showed her dad could still throw a punch, but the couple of jabs he took to his face also showed he’d lost a step or two. Yet, the old man still had skills. And she wasn’t about to underestimate her target. Hell, four years on the run and the last two months in prison might have even toughened the bastard up. If that was even possible. She wasn’t sure it was.
A routine face recognition search through the US prison system by a junior analyst had turned him up. As she read the report, it made her laugh that assets all over the world were searching for him, and there he was serving time under an alias for manslaughter. Seems he took exception to a group of five young men roughing up a prostitute. Four of them ended up with broken bones and long hospital stays. The fifth wasn’t going to harass anyone ever again. It was just like her dad to risk blowing his cover to save someone. Typical Boy Scout bullshit.
She’d been raised on stories about him. Even in her macho world of counter-intelligence they seemed outlandish. Insanely risky missions. Many of them unsanctioned. Succeeding against insurmountable odds. Like stuff out of bad action movies, and yet people swore to her the stories were true, that they’d seen him do these things with their own eyes.
But they always whispered about him, as if just talking about the man and his exploits might suck them into the same darkness into which he disappeared.
Still, even with what had happened, she always heard a grudging admiration as they told her about the exploits of the great Scott Francis Roberts, the father she barely knew. The man she was about to kill.

Author Bio:
Jeff Gunhus is a USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.


BOOK BLITZ: Far Reaching Consequences by Anya Summers #GIVEAWAY

Far Reaching Consequences
Anya Summers
(Crescent City Kings, #2)
Published by: Blushing Books Publications
Publication date: January 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Phoebe needs a second chance at life.
In the aftermath of the devastation from her failed marriage, Phoebe returns to her old stomping grounds to open her own bed and breakfast. Starting over is the bravest thing she’s ever done – or so she thinks. But opening her front door to find a blast from her past on her front porch changes all that. The teenager she’d once known has become a jaw-dropping, dominant man in his prime.
He wasn’t looking for a relationship until she blazed back into his life.
Graham runs his own construction business, remodeling homes, and building brand new ones. When his buddy gives him a lead on a new project, he never expects to run into Phoebe, the woman he shared a single kiss with eons ago. Nor is he prepared for the Dominant in him to stake his claim before the end of their first meeting. He wanted her in high school but there had been too wide a gulf separating them. Now, Graham will stop at nothing until he makes her his. But there are larger forces at work, attempting to tear them apart.
When everything Phoebe holds dear becomes a target, Graham will risk it all for the one woman he knows he can never live without.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy second chance romance contains elements of power exchange.
Get book 1 – Lone Survivor – for only $2.99 for a limited time!
The rubber soles of Phoebe’s taupe-colored work boots squeaked against the golden cinnamon hardwood floor. Daisy’s paws clicked as she trotted beside her. Phoebe would have to trim Daisy’s nails again. The plantation itself was in sad disarray after decades of neglect. In some ways, the plantation was strangely like her life—or at least the way it had been, until she made the commitment to fix it. For the last thirty years, this place had stood vacant and unloved. The previous owners had been unable to sell the property and unable to invest in her upkeep. This grand old lady had become a dilapidated ruin of a bygone era.
Phoebe hoped to fix this place up, just like she had her life. She believed, with a bit of elbow grease, she would be able to turn the plantation back into a showpiece—one for which people would pay for the experience of staying there. New Orleans and the surrounding area was a pre-eminent tourist destination that Phoebe planned to capitalize on.
She eventually wanted her own airport shuttle for guests. But that was getting ahead of herself. The first step was a complete renovation.
It was only recently that Phoebe had been able to actualize her dream of owning Riverland to renovate it into a fully operational bed and breakfast. She’d used the inheritance her late grandpa, Ralph Mackenzie, had bequeathed her in his will a year ago. The tidy sum he’d left her had been enough to buy this place outright, along with the small acreage surrounding the old plantation, with money left over for the needed renovations.
Financially, it would be tight at first until she started having paying guests. That was why she waited tables at the strip joint Bayou Sin on Bourbon Street in the meantime. Not because she loved wearing skintight clothes with men trying to grope her, but it helped supplement her income.
This plantation was infused with all her hope for the future, one that belonged to her and her alone.
As she reached what had once been a grand entrance, with its heavy, double oak doors the same warm cinnamon as the floors, she drew the right-side door open, a greeting on her lips as she spread them in a fake smile like the one she wore serving drinks. Daisy’s whole body vibrated, her attention directed at the man on the opposite side of the door. The initial punch of fear disintegrated as she studied him and memories dulled by time and distance surfaced.
He was tall, a good six two, and built like a professional baseball player with broad shoulders and a head full of dark chestnut hair that was a few weeks past needing a trim. His button-down ivory dress shirt was rolled up to his elbows, leaving his tanned, brawny forearms bare. The shirt was tucked into a pair of well-worn blue jeans with a brown leather tool belt slung around his lean waist.
But it was the man’s eyes, artic blue, making her think of frost and snow, in the tan, slightly weathered face that caused a bell of recognition to sound through her and made her lips curl into a genuine smile.
“Graham? Graham Layton, is that really you? You’re the contractor Dante recommended?” Joy filtered into her voice as she stared at the blast from her past. It had been almost nineteen years since the night of the winter formal in high school. The night she had always considered one of the best of her life.

Author Bio:
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she'd have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a M.A. in History.
Anya is a Bestselling and Award-Winning Author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name, Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the midwest with her two furry felines.


Saturday, January 18, 2020

BOOK BLITZ: Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror {Multiple Authors} #GIVEAWAY

Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror
Publication date: January 10th 2020
Genres: Horror

“A plunge into the agony and the ecstasy, the inescapable nightmare of addiction.”
~ALMA KATSU, author of The Deep and The Hunger

Addiction starts like a sweet lullaby sung by a trusted loved one. It washes away the pains of the day and wraps you in the warmness of the womb where nothing hurts and every dream is possible. Yet soon enough, this warm state of bliss becomes a cold shiver, the ecstasy and dreams become nightmares, yet we can’t stop listening to the lullaby. We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.

Six stories: three novellas, three novelettes, written by a powerful list of talent, all featuring the insidious nature of addiction–damaged humans craving for highs and wholeness but finding something more tragic and horrific on the other side.

Caroline Kepnes author of You and Hidden Bodies
Kealan Patrick Burke, author of Sour Candy and Kin
Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls 
John FD Taff, author of The Fearing
Mark Matthews, author of Milk-Blood
Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs

“Each story uses different techniques and tropes from the genre resulting in a volume that is chilling and thought provoking.” ~Library Journal (Starred Review)
Monsters by Caroline Kepnes
You are a virgin. You are eighteen years old and you’ve never done anything remotely criminal. Yes, you ate too many Devil Dogs, you played alone, and you got fat. But you lost five pounds before starting college. You’ve been there for your mother. You’re there for her right now, in line with her at TJ Maxx. She likes to shop every time she comes home from rehab. You say you believe it when she says, “this time it sticks.” You aren’t lying to her. You aren’t faking it. Every time feels like the time that it will stick and this time is no different. She pays for a bigger bathing suit—detox makes her thighs rub together—and she laughs with the woman at the register. The laughter is a good sign, a sign that it will stick. You pick at pink bubblegum that someone pressed under the counter. It sticks. Gum is sticky. There is no such thing as gum that doesn’t stick.
Your mom swings her bag of new bathing suits in the air. “Come on!” she says. “Let’s get outta here!”
Outside, it’s summer, your first summer as a college student. You walk with your mother like you never left, like you’re the same old kid. She picks up a penny and you never do things like that. You wish you were more like her, that she was more like you. Her sobriety never sticks and your virginity always sticks and she elbows you.
“Why so quiet?”
“You want to get ice cream?”
You don’t want ice cream but you want her to stay home so you say that you do. She drives the car. You ride shotgun, the virgin and the cokehead. You have never even smoked a cigarette and your mother has had so much sex. When she’s clean the men are tidy and cold. They come from the Internet and they don’t stay long. When she’s using, the men are filthy and relaxed, like henchmen in a movie. There was that guy in the wife-beater who pissed on the deck. There was that married guy who wore suits and didn’t take off his wedding ring when he sat on the sofa and hogged your TV.
“Soft or hard?” your mother wants to know.
She giggles like a kid at school. That’s always her joke when you come to this place where they have ice cream that needs scooping and ice cream that comes from a machine.
“Hard,” you say because no matter what you say she’s gonna elbow you and embarrass you in front of the younger girl who’s making your ice cream, blushing. There is no indoor seating area and you are jealous of the girl inside, roofed in. You bet her mother isn’t a cokehead and then you turn red because what a mean thing to think you fucking virgin, you fucking loser.
Your mother’s cone arrives first and your mind is full of dirty words, a car wash in reverse where the vehicles emerge covered in shit, in mud. Your mother licks her cone—vanilla—and if you weren’t a virgin, you wouldn’t notice the tip of her tongue. She wants to sit at a picnic table and she gets everything she wants when she’s clean, when she can’t have the one thing she actually wants: Coke. Blow. A bump.
Your cone isn’t dripping and her cone is dripping and you sit across from each other like two people on a date except this isn’t a date.
“Hey,” she says. “Maybe we should get one of those Slip ‘N Slides.”
A couple of nasty boys who can’t be older than twelve laugh at you, what a loser, he’s here with his mom. You wish you were twelve. When you were twelve you didn’t worry about being a virgin because twelve-year-olds can be virgins.
Your mother crumples up her napkin and hurls it at the boys and they leave.
You shouldn’t disagree with her. Not when she just got home and the sky is hot and she has a brand new bathing suit and rehab is sticking. But those boys got to you, those kids who get to be the kid that you never were, free and mean. You bark at your mother because you didn’t have the balls to bark at them. “I’m too old for a Slip ‘N Slide.”
“Don’t be like that,” she says. “Don’t care so much about what other people think.”
“I don’t care.”
“Yeah, you do and what a waste. What do you care if the neighbors see us having some fun? They’ll probably wanna come over.”
You used to stay with the Pyles who live up the street when your mom went away. You picture Mrs. Pyle in a one-suit, wet, in your back yard. “No they won’t.”
Your mother shrugs. You’re right. No one in the neighborhood wants to come over. They’ve seen too many random cars in the driveway, sometimes black and whites with the red lights blasting shadows into the other homes. It’s too quiet now. Your mother is bored of her ice cream, but she eats it anyway. You can’t think of anything to say to her and you worked so hard to lose all that pudding on your belly this year. You don’t want the ice cream but you eat the ice cream because you’re a bad son. You don’t believe it will stick. Not anymore. Not with her wanting to slide on a plastic tarp in the back yard. That’s who she is, isn’t it? She wants to slide, she doesn’t want to stick. She pulls at her bra strap.
“Well, we have to do something. The weather guy says it’s only gonna get hotter tomorrow and we can’t get the AC fixed. I have to pay the electric, the gas bill, too.”
Your house isn’t yours, not really. Your grandmother gave it to your mom when she died, when you were in pull-ups. It still smells like a grandmother, like the house doesn’t want to belong to you, to your mom who can’t take good care of it. The words plop out of your mouth like upchuck. “I’m sorry.”
Your mother stares at you. Her hair is wiry and her eyes are clear. They’re so much scarier when she’s clean, when she sees you, when she’s not looking at you through a hazy veil of bloodshot eyes with her nose dripping and her skin sweaty. “Sorry for what?” she wants to know.
You can’t think of anything smart to say and you don’t want to say anything stupid and when she decides to go out later that night, it is your fault. All you had to do was say you wanted a Slip‘N Slide. When she comes home loud and not alone—he’s filthy, he wears boots in summer—she is high and you know she’s high by the sound of her giggles. She’s a toilet that won’t stop running and there’s nothing you can do to slow the pace of her speech, to stop the chop, chop, chopping of her credit card. You hear him next, whoever he is, kicking off his boots and snorting your mother’s stash. So you stay in your room. You don’t play music to block out the sound of them fucking. You deserve to listen to it. You are a criminal, the worst son on planet earth. You are a virgin and everything bad in this world, in this house, in your dirty mind, in your mother’s bloodstream, it’s all your fault because she was clean until you turned your back on her at that picnic table, until you refused to get on her side. When the filthy guy sticks his dick in her, when he grunts and you hear the headboard slam into the wall, you get hard and you put your hands on your body and those boys were right to laugh at you today. They’re normal. You’re the freak.
Lizard by Mark Matthews
“Do you know what I am going to do to you? Agent Baker asked in a voice that had sunk seven layers deep.
Baker stepped forward. Amy had no room to retreat. She was fully cornered, exposed, and sat helpless as Baker took hold of her trembling hand. With a fingertip, she traced Amy’s vein, inching slowly from her wrist toward the sweet spot of the needle mark. She reached the syringe, grasped it inside her fist, then plucked it out.
“Do you know what I am going to do to you?” Baker repeated.
Amy shook her head, because she didn’t know.
“I am going to help you. You will never be sick again. Never.”
Never sick again. Never sick again—the phrase somehow made Amy’s fear bleed out of her body, and she looked up at Baker like a starving baby waiting to be fed. Baker was an infinite mother, a sexless lover, knowing her in ways never before possible. The feel of Baker’s fingertips had been surprisingly soft, warm, tender. It brought back memories of Joshua as an infant, his flesh pressed against hers when he was minutes old, fresh from her womb, moist with the miracle of life. The breastfeeding that followed was abandoned too early when dehydration hit.
But it was okay.
Joshua was going to be okay. Everything was going to be okay.
Baker held the needle with the tip sticking out between her fingers, and plunged the syringe towards Amy’s eye. Her eyelid snapped shut, but the needle poked right through the tiny film of skin. Pluck. She could hear it penetrating into her moist eyeball, the pain piercing as if she’d been stabbed in the heart. Baker tugged it out, just a touch, and then pushed it in deeper, right through her eye socket, again and again, until she finally pulled the needle out entirely. The syringe dripped with moisture.
“You’ve had your chance. Baker attacked again.
Amy raised a hand but was too slow to defend her other eye when the syringe stabbed inside. A milky-white liquid mixed with crimson blood leaked out her eye, dripped down her cheek, then streamed into her mouth which had opened to scream. With each new stab, a new pitch out of her mouth, screaming Joshua’s name to help her, pleading apologies, rattling the bathroom walls with howls, sure that the gods would hear her pain and save her, but instead the snake bites of the needle came in rapid fire to all parts of her body. Baker pulled the needle out each time and found new, fresh skin to puncture.
Amy collapsed to the ground a ripped-open ragdoll. Her veins had been sliced apart, her flesh speckled in bloody red holes, her arms held out in front of her as if in offering. Her face was stuck in silent peace, a permanent sleep, the fluid of her life running in tiny red streams and puddling on the white tile. She’d been blinded and unable to see the bathroom door swing open and her son standing in the doorway, looking at her one last time before she died.


Friday, January 17, 2020

B@@K REVEAL: Lock and Capo by Nicolina Martin

Lock and Capo
Nicolina Martin
(Russo Saga, #6)
Published by: Blushing Books Publications
Publication date: January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
You’ll die if you talk.
The warning haunts her every waking hour.
After a rough start, Chloe finally has financial stability, a place to call home, and friends she’d die for. It never occurred to her that the sentiment would be put to the test, but when her best friend gets on the wrong side of infamous mob boss, Luciano Salvatore, Chloe intervenes, sealing her own fate.
Salvatore never intends for Chloe Becker to live. Beaten to within an inch of her life by his most ruthless enforcer, she still stands tall, refusing to bend to his will. Curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to see what it takes to make her lose that last streak of defiance.
He definitely doesn’t intend for her to get under his skin.
When his existence crumbles and one heart stops beating, it kicks his own back to life, but it might be too late for forgiveness.
This is the sixth and final book in the Russo Saga series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.
Publisher’s Note: This contemporary, mafia romance contains elements of danger, suspense, adult themes, power exchange, sensual scenes and is intended for adults only. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.
Previous books in the series:

Author Bio:
Nicolina Martin is a Swedish born author who escapes the long, dark winter nights by writing hot contemporary romance/suspense.
She's a mother of three teenage girls, a medical doctor, a quirky loner, and a social human being. She has traveled the globe, has had more lovers than she can count, has loved and hated, succeeded and failed, has gone through marriage and divorce. She has seen darkness and despair, as well as light and happiness.
All these experiences, she pours into her tales, taking her readers for a wild ride while twisting their minds. She loves showing that stories can be different even if the trope is the same.
Nicolina believes that life is too short for regrets and in looking forward, no matter what. She wants to enjoy every moment, and cherish life.
To find out more about Nicolina Martin, visit her official website.


BOOK BLITZ: The Thief's Gambit by Sarah Mäkelä #GIVEAWAY

The Thief’s Gambit
Sarah Mäkelä
(Edge of Oblivion #2)
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
A thief working for a local mob boss gambles everything…all for the chance to love his boss’s daughter.
Timothy Sands is an experienced thief with an old gambling debt. Working for the local mob brings him face to face with a supernatural threat unlike anything he’s ever experienced. It’ll take all of his skills to complete his assignment and keep his loved ones safe. But his greatest danger will be meeting the mob boss’s daughter.
Letizia Prosdocimi is the only daughter of an influential crime boss. Her life forever changes when her father acquires a long-lost family heirloom. Not all is well since sinister events surround the amulet and her family. After being saved by the mysterious thief, she finds herself falling for him, but those who get too close to her usually wind up dead.
A shadowy entity threatens to tear apart everything Letizia and Timothy hold dear by feeding on the living and turning allies against them. Who can they trust? Only by working together will they have a chance to beat the odds…and let their love grow.
Vibrations on the nightstand shattered the last few moments of my sleep. The dark night peered from the curtains. I cursed under my breath. There was little point in fighting to reunite with sleep’s warm embrace. London didn’t sleep, and neither did those who required my services.
I picked up my mobile phone and cleared my throat before answering, despite the fact it would do little to hide my grogginess from the caller. An unknown number popped up on the screen, but only a handful of people would ring me at this ungodly hour. A grimace spread across my lips as I answered the call.
“Good evening, Timothy. We have another assignment for you, one that requires your immediate attention. If you take this, we might be willing to overlook your lack of payment last week.” The man’s dry, lackluster voice had a crisp accent. He’d never given me his name, never shared many details about my assignments either. He merely brought them to my attention and made sure I paid my debt.
Hallmarks of the city’s darker elements were all too obvious, but what could I do? I owed the local mob boss more than I cared to admit. My old gambling habit had my back pressed tight against the wall, and I still paid for my wild and reckless youth.
“I’ll do it,” I replied, and the unnamed man on the other end of the line hung up.
Now I’d log into various websites and search for public postings in the adult and other less savory sections. Missed connections were very popular with my clients, but risky assignments were something my clientele didn’t want to be associated with. Probably had something to do with recent notices about various three-letter agencies cracking down on this type of communication, driving everyone back to using older, tried and true methods.
I grabbed a cup of coffee before firing up my laptop. When the computer finished loading, I opened the browser and set off to find details on my newest job. It didn’t take long to locate the assignment.
An old lady wanted the company of a young man who had previously helped her in a museum. Apparently, she had been quite taken by the gentleman’s knowledge of the exhibit, especially the old Italian necklace that had been on display.
I chuckled to myself, still shaking the last vestiges of sleep from my mind. So, this ‘old lady’ wanted ‘help’ with the necklace, huh? Not very subtle, but if it made my clients feel more at ease that I’d understand the job… However, I hoped the person who created the listing would be less cheesy next time.
I flagged the posting as fraud and logged out.
My client would get an email notice about being flagged, the sign I had taken the job. No one would be the wiser. No face-to-face meetings to discuss things beforehand, strict anonymity, and, most importantly, full deniability.
A generalized search on the museums in the area revealed only one matching entry based on the item’s description, the Royal Museum of Art. Good. At least there would be no confusion about what the client wanted. Nothing frustrated me more than stealing the wrong item. A mistake I tried my hardest not to make ever again.
On second thought, I rang my brother Sam. It nearly went to voicemail when he answered with his typical gruff tone. “What is it?”
A slight sting of jealousy tightened my chest. He’d been up enjoying his Saturday night, but I no longer had that luxury.
“Hey, Sam. I just wanted to let you know I got another job. My client wants an Italian artifact appraised as soon as possible. Seems he can’t wait until tomorrow. It looks like I won’t be making it to breakfast. Can I catch up with you another time?” I hoped he’d buy into my bullshit about the job. He respected what he thought I did. If he only knew…
Missing our weekly get-together bothered me. Our time to catch up on one another’s lives started when I’d moved out on my own. Meeting with him meant a lot to me.
“Seriously, mate? You’re always hunting for one piece of art or another. Some things are better left buried.” He sighed in my ear. “But you’ve got a job to do. Just be careful. That major explosion wasn’t long ago, and I’m afraid for our country. The MI6 agent still hasn’t been found. He’s most likely dead, or maybe terrorists abducted him. If it can happen to someone like that…” Sam cleared his throat. “Anyway, you can pick up the check next week.” His dry humor almost managed to hide his disappointment, but I knew him too well.
“Fair, I’ll pay for breakfast next time.” I ran a hand through my sleep-tousled hair. “Don’t worry about me. I might not be MI6, but I know how to take care of myself.” My skills had kept me alive while dealing with the mob, but my brother didn’t need to know that. “As for my job, I’ll slow down when I can. I promise.”
“Right. Text me if things change.” He let out a loud yawn.
Unfortunately, I doubted they would. “Get some sleep.” I ended the call and set my mobile on the desk.
Sam didn’t know about my nightly excursions. The less he knew about the darker side of the world, the better. Our parents had died when we were young. Night terrors and mental issues plagued Sam ever since. If he knew I was working on the other side of the law, he’d lose it.
The explosion that took place a few weeks ago returned to my mind.
While driving home after lunch, a building ahead of us had exploded into flames. I barely had a chance to slam on the brakes. Debris plastered the windshield, putting several cracks in it. Sam went white with shock, shaking uncontrollably and refusing to speak with anyone for the rest of the day. It had broken me to see him like that.
I couldn’t let him suffer again, but if I didn’t do my job, the mob might come after him. They knew he was my one weakness. I shelved the uncomfortable thoughts and packed a few supplies into my backpack.
My old, reliable Toyota sputtered as the engine came to life. Most of my neighbors were used to my odd hours, so this departure would be ignored as another student partying late into the night. Sometimes I was glad to live near a university.
The motorway was empty at this time of night, but a dense fog rolling through the area forced me to slow down. An annoyance maybe, but I embraced its presence. It reminded me just how much we didn’t see of the real world.
I pulled into an unlit corner of the museum’s parking lot. The street lamps did nothing to penetrate the fog, which would help me make a clean escape. The museum grounds had a few exhibits tied to the Italian Renaissance, including a collection of marble statues. They were obviously replicas, but their finely sculpted silhouettes managed to portray an air of authenticity.
Stalking through the mists was invigorating, and I relished the moment. The fog would help conceal my shape from any cameras and guards on the property, but it was better to be safe. I slid into my gear and donned a gray and white leather mask. It was old school, but at least I didn’t need to worry about it falling off if I had to sprint through the trees to my car.
Sweeping trails of light shone across the yard from me. Instead of illuminating anything, the cone of light likely made it impossible for the guards to see anything in the fog.
Typical. Guess that’s why I’m the thief.

Author Bio:
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author and a life-long paranormal fan who still sleeps with a night light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies, and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.
Want to learn about new releases? Sign up for my newsletter! http://bitly.com/SarahMakelaNewsletter


Thursday, January 16, 2020

BOOK BLITZ: Hung Up on You by Marie Landry #GIVEAWAY

Hung Up on You
Marie Landry
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Julia is single and happy, thank you very much. Try telling that to her happily-coupled bestie, though. She’s so determined to pair Julia off, she brings an extra guy friend along on a weekend getaway, in what’s clearly a set-up attempt. Julia’s interest is immediately piqued by sweet, sexy, nerdy Zack. There’s just one problem: he’s still hung up on his ex. Big time.
Despite knowing that – and despite her attraction to him – it doesn’t stop her friends from throwing them together every other second, insisting they’d make the perfect couple. But Julia is determined to friend zone him. At least until he suggests they pretend to date to get their respective friends off their backs.
At first, their fake “dating” is more friendship than fireworks. But as they get closer, the lines begin to blur between them, and Julia realizes she has to either shut down her developing feelings for Zack or let him in. The question is: can she fully trust him with her heart? Or does his heart still belong to his ex?
Todd frees himself from the jumble in the hall and comes forward to kiss Dee’s cheek, then mine. Kai follows suit, giving Dee a peck on the lips before stopping in front of me. He grips my shoulders lightly, the way he always does when we see each other, and bends to kiss both my cheeks. “I’m happy to see you, Jules,” he says in his deep, measured voice. “I’m glad you could come for the weekend.” He leans forward and whispers, “Don’t be too mad at her. You know her heart is always in the right place, even if she tends to overstep.”
I don’t get a chance to ask what he’s talking about before he steps to the side, giving me my first look at the mystery stranger in the hall. His glasses have fogged up after coming in from the cold, but as the mist clears, I get a better look at his dark-blue eyes. The uncertainty on his face likely matches my own as he looks between the two couples. His eyes land on me next, and the crease in his forehead eases slightly, his frown morphing into a tiny, shy smile. He takes off his hat, revealing thick brown hair that stands in every direction, even after he attempts to smooth it down.
My stomach does a little flip. I get it now: this is a setup. I should probably be irritated, and that’s clearly what Dee expects, but this guy is cute. Really cute. He has a bit of a nerdy vibe, which isn’t my usual type, but there’s something about his shy, almost boyish smile that piques my curiosity. I usually resist Dee’s attempts to fix me up, but maybe I’ll cut her some slack this time. I’m single, I’m young, and there’s nothing wrong with a weekend hookup every now and then, right?
Dee steps forward and gives the guy a quick hug. “I’m so glad you decided to take Kai up on his offer to come. We’re going to have so much fun!” I’m vaguely aware of butterflies taking flight in my stomach as Dee turns to me. “This is Julia Coleman, my best friend. Jules, this is Zack Clayton. He and Kai work at the same insurance company.”
Zack steps forward, pulling off his right glove to shake my hand. Warm skin, good grip. His smile gives me a girl-in-a-romance-novel reaction: weak knees, heart fluttering, skin buzzing with awareness. Up close, I can see the crinkles around his eyes and the shallow dimple in his right cheek. I’ve always been a sucker for a cute smile.
“Nice to meet you, Julia.”
Oh god, and his deep, sexy voice. It’s the perfect complement to those beautiful eyes and adorable smile. I’m a goner.

Author Bio:
Marie Landry's life revolves around books; when she's not writing them, she's reading them, taking pictures of them for bookstagram, or blogging about them. An avid reader from a young age, she loves getting lost in characters' worlds, whether they're of her own making or someone else's. She particularly loves coming-of-age stories with as much of an emphasis on self-discovery as on romance...but don't leave out the romance!
When not doing bookish things, Marie can be found daydreaming (in general, but often about traveling through Europe), marathon-watching shows on Netflix, and taking photographs. She lives in a cozy apartment in Ontario, Canada with the best roommate ever, and only sometimes imagines it's actually a flat in London.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

B@@K REVEAL: Counting on Forever by Screaming Mimi

Title: Counting On Forever
Author: Screaming Mimi
Genre: Contemporary/Military Romance
Cover Designer: SM Graphics & Design
Release Date: March 15th 

 How did I get here? What happened to my carefully laid plans? I was destined to marry my high school sweetheart, my very own hero. I was counting on forever, not becoming a widow before I ever became a bride. Now I'm alone and pregnant by my former fiancée’s best friend. Where did it all go wrong? Or did it go right? Only time will tell...

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Photographer:  SCPhoto

    Screaming Mimi is a retired Army wife, who lives in Texas with her husband of twenty years, their two daughters, and two dogs. Although she writes a variety of genres, she has yet to publish anything other than Romance currently. 
    These days she works full-time at the local Community College in their online college department while working on her Bachelors degree with Texas A&M. Somehow she still finds time to write, craft, and do the occasional photo shoot. She's a believer in going after your dreams, all it takes in one leap of faith to get you started. 

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