Release Tour – A Fortune to Die For – Liza O’Connor

 

A FORTUNE TO DIE FOR

Book 1 of The White Oak-Mafia Series
AUTHOR: Liza O’Connor
GENRE:  Contemporary Mafia Suspense Thiller (with touches of humor)
Megan Clarke had a good life until she wins the Mega Times Lottery and discovers the prize comes with a curse. Worse than the many money-hungry suitors, a serial killer has her in his sight. She changes her name and moves to Iowa with plans to buy their last major forest of white oaks and turn it into a State Park. Unfortunately, the Lottery Curse doesn’t stop at state lines and someone there wants her dead, as well. Good thing a disturbingly handsome law officer is just as determined to keep her alive.
Megan Clarke set the package on her kitchen counter with great care. “It’s probably nothing,” she chided herself. Opening a letter that came in the same mail delivery, she changed her mind as she read another threat to kill her. She hurried to the phone and hit her speed dial for the local cops. Her hands shook despite her mental self-assurances that everything was okay.
A female voice answered the phone. “Danville Police.”
Recognizing Margaret’s voice, she replied, “Hi, this is Megan. Is Sergeant Adams around?”
“No, he’s on vacation. You get another death threat?”
“Yeah, but there’s also a package. I know it’s stupid, but I’m afraid to open it.”
A heavy sigh sounded over the phone. “I swear, all your troubles since you won the lottery has made me afraid to even play scratch-offs. Hold on.”
Megan pushed her blond hair behind her ears. The craziest part about her winning the Mega Times Lottery was she never played games of chance—thought it a great waste of money. She had already become a millionaire by her own efforts. Why did she want to be richer? She had more than enough.
Then one day, while in a New York shop buying lunch, her friend, Terry, a bona fide lottery junkie, had insisted she buy a ticket. “It only cost a dollar. Stop being a miser!” Not wishing to argue, she passed the clerk a dollar. “Just give me a random number,” she instructed the fellow, then frowned as her friend filled out ten cards. “You do realize if I win, you have to take the money,” Megan warned.
Terry stared at her with rounded eyes. “No way! You can’t give away your good luck. If you win it, you have to keep it. Otherwise, you and the recipient will have bad luck the rest of your lives.”
So when the stupid ticket turned out to be the only winning number for a $987-million-dollar pot, all the bad luck stayed with her alone. Honestly, she wouldn’t wish her “new” life on a dog, nevertheless her best friend.
Since she was a financial expert, she took the $463 million upfront and invested half of it, planning to donate the other half to charities. Only problem was, whenever she delved into various charities, she didn’t like the way they used their money, so thus far, she’d only managed to give away a few million.
“Miss Clarke, I’m Detective Steve Williams,” a pleasant voice came over the phone. “How may I help you?”
“I received a package today. It has a name and address I don’t recognize.”
Complete silence answered her.
“Are you still there?”
“Yes, ma’am. I’m just a little confused. Marge said you had a letter threatening your life.”
“Yes. I have one of those, too. It doesn’t have a return address. Nor is it signed. But the letter and the package came in the same post.”
“So you think the package may be from the sender of the death threat?”
“This one or one of the hundred other angry letters I’ve received.”
“Mind if I stop by and take a look?”
Mind? Why did he think she was calling? If only Sergeant Adams were there. “I’d greatly appreciate it.”
Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.

AMAZON ✯ WEBSITE ✯ FACEBOOK ✯ GOODREADS ✯ TWITTER
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Ghost Lover—Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
Saving Casey— Cass wakes up in the body of a troubled teen who has burned every bridge imaginable. Her only choice is to turn this life around, but that’s much harder than she ever imagined.
Untamed & Unabashed—The youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice. Warning: Lydia does not behave.

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.
The Hardest Love — Is to love oneself. Sam’s story.
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?
The Mesmerist — The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.
Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.
Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.
The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.

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Filed under Blog Tour, contemporary, excerpts, Humour, Promo, Series, Suspense, Thriller

Release Tour – Ravaged River – Lindsay Cross

Release of RAVAGED RIVER

 

BOOK 6 IN THE MEN OF MERCY SERIES
AUTHOR: Lindsay Cross
COVER DESIGNER: Kim Killion
EDITOR: Angela Polidoro
OFFICIAL GENRE: Romantic Suspense, Military (hot heat level)
PUBLICATION DATE: January 30, 2016
Special forces operative Hoyt Crowe wasn’t just damaged… he was broken. After suffering brutal torture in captivity, his once lively spirit is shattered. Now his greatest adversary isn’t some unknown terrorist in a foreign country, it’s himself.
Hayden James watched Hoyt slide into a private purgatory of post-traumatic stress disorder, taking her heart with him. No longer warm and loving, he is cold. Hardened. A shell of his former self.
When an old enemy threatens Hayden’s life, Hoyt must find the strength to slay his inner demons or lose the woman he loves forever.
Ravaged River: Men of Mercy Excerpt

By Lindsay Cross

Hoyt Crowe tilted back the bottle of whiskey as he faced his reflection in the bedroom mirror. The man staring back was so poisonous he destroyed everything around him. Friends. Family. And, fucking worst of all, himself.

Hoyt didn’t deserve to be alive. Not anymore.

A car door slammed outside and he jerked, almost dropping the bottle. Goddammit. His control was gone. Destroyed. How could he protect his team if he flinched at every little sound?

Sweat drenched his body. Hoyt lifted the bottle for another drink, spilled some liquor on his chin. His once sniper-steady hand shook like a new recruit on his first mission.

Laughter erupted over the music from the living room, thrusting Hoyt back to that shack in the woods on Crowe Mountain. Three months ago, he and Jared had taken a trip to their past and returned to their former home–the place they’d fled as kids. Of all the mistakes he’d made in life, it was the one he regretted most. He’d been captured and tortured by his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend, who’d mistakenly thought he could give them the deed to the mountain. They’d trussed him up and the bitch had taken a flaying knife to his skin. He’d never forget the look of glee in her eyes as she sliced into him. Her shrill, screeching laugh. The same sound that was streaming in from the living room, except this time it was lacking the edge of madness.

And just like that untrained newbie would have done, he’d blubbered and begged for his life.

He took another swig, praying the fire from the whiskey would burn through his shattered nerves, and spilled more on his shirt. He ripped it off and threw it in the corner. Bile clawed up his throat, lacerating him from the inside out. I can’t even take a damn drink without shaking.

His reflection was a mockery of what it had once been. Sliced and diced – he could write the manual. The deepest wound was on his face. The bitch had made sure he’d remember her every time he looked in a mirror.

Now his lips pulled in a sideways smile even when he frowned. Not one smooth inch left.

How could Hayden look at him, let alone want to be with him? She didn’t deserve to be tied to this. I am a weak, disfigured monster.

Of course, monsters weren’t afraid of the dark, so he couldn’t even call himself that. Hoyt’s twisted lips pulled into a smile that didn’t reach his pale blue eyes.

A knock sounded at the door. Hoyt ignored it. He wasn’t ready to face anyone.

“Hoyt, it’s Hunter. I need to talk to you.”

Christ. Hayden’s brother and his team leader wanted to talk to him in private. Hunter James wasn’t the type of man who was easily ignored. Hoyt staggered over to the rich oak dresser against the far wall. The mirror resting on it was as big as the dresser. There was no escape from his ruined reflection.

“Open the damn door or I’ll kick it in.” Hunter’s voice rose over the pulsing music.

Open your mouth and answer him. “Give me a minute.”

Hoyt set the bottle down for long enough to rip a shirt from the drawer and yank it over his head. He glanced down at the Grateful Dead logo on the front of the tee. At least it fit him.

He picked up the bottle and stalked to the wood door, the rustic hardwood creaking beneath his bare feet, and jerked it open. “What do you want?”

“Jesus.” Hunter towered over Hoyt by at least three inches, and his black hair was cut short, military style. “You stink of alcohol.”

Hoyt lifted the bottle in salute and took another chug. “Maybe this is why.”

“What are you doing? Your house is packed full of people waiting to see you.”

“I didn’t want them to come.”

Hunter crowded into Hoyt’s room and shut the door behind him. The dark look on his face suited his nickname—the Grim Reaper—but Hoyt wasn’t afraid of him. No, his fears were all wrapped around that cabin in Crowe Mountain.

“Why are you here? My big brother send you to pull me out of my cave? He can’t stomach looking at me anymore.” Hoyt let his face fall into the sneer that had become his signature look, the one that always sent Jared away. It could make milk curdle.

“Your brother would kick my ass if he knew I was back here. He’s got some misconceived notion that he has to protect you.” Hunter crossed his arms and the veins on his arms popped across his massive muscles. “But I’ve got the feeling he might need protection from you, not for you.”

Hoyt snarled and bared his teeth, feeling every inch the feral animal he’d become. “I’d never hurt my brother.”

“Just like you’d never hurt my sister? Look at yourself.” Hunter advanced, prowling closer and closer, menace pouring off him in waves.

“I look at myself every damn day.” Heat radiated outward from his chest, but his hands were shaking. He took another slug of the cheap rotgut, needing the numbness only oblivion could bring.

Hayden. Hadn’t he done right by her? He’d broken it off, or had Jared to do it for him. Hoyt couldn’t lie to her face and tell her he didn’t want her any more. Not without revealing his true feelings. It’d been two months since that day he’d sat on his bed, listening to her cry from the next room while what was left of his soul bled out.

Hunter stopped pacing, and Hoyt watched the anger slowly slide from his features until the only thing left was pity. Fucking pity.

“Don’t look at me like that.” He wanted to shout the words, but all he could manage was a strangled whisper.

“I’m sorry, man, I shouldn’t have gone at you like that.”

“No. Don’t you back off now. Finish what you came here to do.” Hoyt was the one getting up in Hunter’s face this time, like mouth-to-mouth close.

“I’m done.” Hunter didn’t move.

“Fucking. Finish.”

“Fine. You need help. You went through a lot. If you don’t get help on your own, I’ll take care of it for you.” Hunter hit the deadpan look he’d perfected, everything about him locking into a concrete wall.

“That’s not why you’re here, is it?” Hoyt got up on the balls of his feet, bringing him to eye level with his team leader.

Hunter growled but didn’t breach the invisible centimeter-wide wall separating them.

“Why don’t I just say if for you? You came to tell me to stay away from your sister.” Hoyt barely held back from launching a punch into Hunter’s spleen to punctuate the words.

But Hunter took a step back, breaking the tension, getting his shit under control, and said, “Promise me you’ll continue to leave her alone. She’s out here right now and she’s not ready to give up on you yet. She deserves better than you can give her right now. You know it. I know it.”

Hoyt lowered down from the balls of his feet, needing to feel the solid floor beneath him. He knew he didn’t deserve her.

He didn’t deserve any woman, let alone one as perfect as Hayden.

But he wanted her like he wanted to breathe.

Hoyt took in a deep breath, accepting his fate. Getting comfortable with the heavy pit of emptiness in his chest.

He couldn’t be mad at Hunter. They all knew Hoyt’s body wasn’t the only thing that had been ruined in that cabin, but Hunter was the only one with the guts to say it. The rest of the crew had been treating him like he was a china doll with a crack in its head. Yes, he appreciated the truth, but it hurt to lose what little hope remained to him. “I promise. I will never lay a hand on her again.”

Hunter stood there, lips parted, studying him. For a moment, Hoyt thought he might relent, but then he stalked out of the room and shut the door behind him.

Hoyt stood there in silence for a moment, catching his breath, and then turned back to face the monster in the mirror. He’d never been a coward before, and he wouldn’t start now.

He couldn’t hold a sniper rifle steady. He couldn’t hold his woman. She could no longer be his woman. He couldn’t even hold his shit together without pills and alcohol.

His friends were here to celebrate his recovery. They were in the living room eating, drinking and having fun like the old Hoyt was back. Like he was normal.

His chest felt like a thousand-pound wench was cinched around it. And now he couldn’t breathe in his own bedroom, the large open space as tight around him as a layer of shrink wrap.

The walls closed in, trapping him, robbing the room of oxygen. His throat closed with it. Hoyt gasped, helpless to stop the panic, just like when he’d been helpless to stop the torture. Strung up like a piece of meat in that shack in the woods.

Can’t breathe.

Can’t think.

Can’t stop.

“Fuck you!” He threw a desperate punch, and his fist shattered the mirror. Shards of glass flew everywhere like shrapnel. His shoulders pinched tight and he threw the bottle of whiskey.

Nothing could help him. Not the pills. Not alcohol. Not Hayden.

Hoyt sank to his knees amidst the glass.

No amount of counseling would fix him. He was as broken as the mirror and if he didn’t do something, he’d destroy his loved ones.

Hoyt picked up a shard of glass.

He was a burden. A disgrace to his team. Worthless.

He wouldn’t give them the choice to try to save him. He didn’t deserve it. Besides, he knew Hayden enough to know she might not stay away. He didn’t want her to waste her life on him.

Hoyt stuck the tip into his skin and sliced down his arm, making sure to slice the right vein.

He’d been a coward when they’d tortured him. He’d begged. He’d pleaded. He’d given up his identity.

But not anymore. This was the way he’d reclaim himself.

A wave of dizziness hit and he fell to his hands. Blood gushed from his arm. He dropped flat on the floor and let it all go.

No more nightmares. No more panic attacks. No more pity. Just darkness.

Lindsay Cross is the award-winning author of the Men of Mercy series. She is the fun loving mom of two beautiful daughters and one precocious Great Dane. Lindsay is happily married to the man of her dreams – a soldier and veteran. During one of her husband’s deployments from home, writing became her escape and motivation.

An avid reader since childhood, reading and writing is in her blood. After years of reading, she discovered her true passion – writing. Her alpha military men are damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and determined to win the heart of the woman of their dreams.

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Filed under Blog Tour, contemporary, excerpts, New Release, Promo, Romance, Series, Suspense

Promo Tour – No Going Back & Angel to the Rescue – Petie McCarthy

MYSTERY ANGEL ROMANCE SERIES by PETIE McCARTY

Official Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance

NO GOING BACK (Book 1)
Kellen Brand’s inheritance turns out to be a whopper — one dilapidated farm in West Virginia and one guardian angel! Since Kellen is convinced no sane woman would choose to live in Riverside, she vows to sell her farm and quick.Her handsome and reclusive neighbor Luke Kenyon must block the farm sale or risk exposure of his family’s secrets. While Kellen has located one potential buyer, she faces a town full of objectors. Someone is trying to frighten her off, and Luke is forced to step in and rescue her more than once.

Unfortunately, Kellen can’t seem to stay out of trouble. She stumbles onto a clandestine hazardous-waste-dumping operation next to her farm, and she prays Luke has one more rescue up his sleeve. It’s her only hope of staying alive.

Unless her mother really did leave her a guardian angel…

The trees loomed ahead, and Kellen raced toward the water. The smell of the river rose up to greet her, and she slowed to maneuver down a low spot in the riverbank. Grinning like a child on Christmas, she untied her sneakers and stepped into the frigid water with a gasp.
Squatting just above the water’s surface, she reached up under the overhanging bank and felt around. Something skittered across her fingers. She tracked the vibration until she could snatch the small critter from its hiding spot. Pulling her hand from the water, she proudly held up a medium–sized crawfish, his pincers stabbing wildly in the air and his abdominal swimmerets pedaling madly as though he still raced upstream.
The soft nicker of a horse sounded behind her. With a yelp, she whipped around and dropped the tiny invertebrate in the process. Luke Kenyon leaned over the neck of the magnificent black stallion and watched her. Same sexy cowboy attire as the day before — dark flannel shirt, worn jeans, though no Stetson today to hide his handsome features or his expression.
“You scared me,” she wheezed.
“Sorry,” he said, though he didn’t look it. “You’ve done that before.”
“What?”
The slow smile curved across his cheeks, and his eyes darkened. Kellen felt the slow flush start at her chest where her heart pounded out a rhythm, and she prayed her neck and cheeks wouldn’t turn pink.
“Caught crawfish.”
She wiped her hands on her shorts and winced. “A few, when I was younger.”
“Where?” He shifted a bit in the saddle, and the black horse side-stepped.
Her turn to smile. “Where was I younger, or where did I catch crawfish?”
He stared for a moment, and his eyes narrowed. A long moment passed, and he suddenly laughed out loud. Dismounting, he stepped to the edge of the bank and extended a hand to help her out of the water.
She hesitated.
“I don’t bite. I’m harmless.” His voice rumbled low, and a shiver vibrated her spine.
I doubt that.
She watched him, but didn’t move. He looked and acted like a man used to getting his own way.
“The name’s Kenyon, Luke Kenyon.” He kept his hand outstretched, waiting for her to make the next move.
He was only being polite, after all. She grabbed hold of his hand, and he pulled her up the bank as though she had the weight of a feather. He kept pulling until she was close enough to feel his body heat. His dark eyes locked on hers, and she couldn’t turn away.
Oh good Lord, was he still holding her hand? 
She should pull her hand back — she really should — but she liked the warmth and security of his firm grip, the connection. No words were spoken yet the silence felt comfortable.
Step back now. He isn’t going to move. 
But she didn’t, couldn’t. She just mutely stared up into his warm, chocolate-dark eyes. And darn it, her finger tips tingled when her mind imagined the texture of his shirt were she to reach out and touch him, his chest , his arm, somewhere to complete that electric connection.
“We didn’t get introduced yesterday,” he said, his deep voice sounding huskier now.
Another shiver vibrated the base of her spine. The edge of his sensual mouth twitched just enough that the tiny hint of a smile set her heart galloping so hard she felt the pulses beat against her throat and prayed he couldn’t tell.
She pulled in a deep — and hopefully unnoticeable — breath. “I’m Kellen Brand.”
He moved now. His jaw dropped, and he nodded toward her farm. “Of those Brands?”
“Yup.”
“Well, I’ll be.”
Unsure what he meant by that, she waited.
“Have you come back here to live?”
Instinct said not to share her plans with a complete stranger, no matter how handsome. “Why?”
His slow smile made her heart flutter. “I never thought I’d find someone so beautiful living here in Riverside.”
She wished desperately for a snappy comeback, but her lips wouldn’t move. His smile kept her mesmerized.
“So? Are you staying or just visiting?”
She willed her lungs to take in a silent and hopefully unnoticeable breath. “Just visiting.”
“Sorry to hear that.” His smile faded slightly, which delighted her. He paused a moment. “Why the visit then?”
“You sure ask a lot of questions.” She leaned down to brush off her knees and to sneak a deep breath or two without him seeing. She was embarrassed this stranger so easily made her heart race — the heart she had kept under lock and key until she found someone good enough, strong enough, and smart enough. Certainly not some cowboy from West Virginia.
“I’m a curious kind of guy.”
She glanced up. He winked. Her heart raced off again.
She needed to escape before he noticed the effect he had on her. Head down, she collected her sneakers and marched past the stallion, forcing Kenyon to ease the animal back a few steps. She kept walking past the tree line and felt the horse moving behind her. At the edge of the field, she stopped and whipped around. The stallion jerked his head up at the sudden movement, and Kenyon worked to steady him.
“Are you following me?”
“Yup.” His eyes twinkled.
He’s mimicking me. Her hands went to her hips, and his eyebrows rose high. Unable to keep a straight face, she broke into laughter, and he joined right along.
“You didn’t think I was just going to let the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in Riverside just walk away, did you?” His eyes darkened to almost black. His deep voice tantalized.
How had he gotten so close? She could reach out and touch him. Her fingertips tingled again at the possibility. She’d better watch her step.
She tilted her head. “What is it you want to know?”
“Why you’re here, and why you’re not staying.”
“This is my mother’s farm. She died a short time ago.”
The smile vanished. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“It’s okay. Mom never sold the old homestead though I’m not sure why. But I’m here to get it ready to sell.”
“Not to the developer!”
Taken aback, she stiffened. “Yes, how did you know?”
“Because he needs my land, too — my grandfather’s ranch.” Kenyon’s expression turned dark and formidable. “You don’t have enough property for the resort he has planned.”
“I-I had no idea,” she fibbed nervously. “My mother’s attorney just said there was a buyer who would be in touch once I got here.”
“That resort won’t be any good for Riverside.” He remounted and sat back in his saddle, stiff and condescending.
“How can you say that? It will bring jobs here, and from the look of this town, Riverside could use a few jobs.”
His frown didn’t flinch. “It will also bring the hangers on you usually find at resorts. People who won’t care about the area or the environment.”
The stallion tried to lean down to eat, but Kenyon yanked the reins taut. “Riverside will be overrun with tourists, and the people around here won’t be able to cope with that much of the outside world. Folks don’t lock their doors in this town. That resort would change everything. You’re not selling.”
“Excuse me?”
“You heard me. I said you can’t sell. At least not to the developer.”
“Listen here, Mr. Kenyon.”
“It’s Luke,” he growled.
“Listen here, Mr. Kenyon,” she snapped. “You don’t tell me what to do. I decide about my mother’s property. No one else. I decide.”
He pulled the stallion up hard, and the animal’s front hoofs lifted off the ground. “We’ll just see about that,” he said and took off across the field.
“Why you arrogant jerk,” Kellen snarled and stomped her foot. Her heel came down hard on a stubble of wiregrass, and she winced in pain, instantly mad as a hornet. “You just watch me sell this place!” she hollered after him and limped back to the house.
ANGEL TO THE RESCUE (Book 2)
Child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation with her newest client — a six-year-old boy who says he can talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel’s Christmas party and takes her young clients hostage.
Police negotiator, Lt. Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly balked at having kids. His kids. Yet when the hostage crisis erupts, Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make — stand back and wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in and try to save her himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for rescue.
Unless Rachel’s little angel-spying client is telling the truth…

 

Rachel slid into the Publix parking lot on her way home from work. She’d picked the store close to her office rather than the one near the cottage, anxious to get the chore over with as soon as possible. She pulled out her list and collected the items on it in regimented fashion, aisle by aisle, doubling back only twice.
She checked her voicemails while waiting patiently in the long line at the checkout counter. Breathing a sigh of relief when the bag boy put the last sack in her cart, she wheeled toward the exit and froze.
Jake stood right next to the exit, plastic bag in hand and staring at her with nary a smile.
There were dark circles beneath his eyes. Hadn’t he been sleeping? His hair looked tousled like he’d just run his fingers through it, and his clothes had a five-o’clock-mussed look to them.
He looked spectacular to Rachel.
His eyebrows rose. He was waiting for her.
She pushed her cart slowly forward, taking deep breaths to steady her heart rate.
“Since this isn’t our Publix, I’m assuming you stopped on your way home from work,” he said when she reached his side.
Our Publix? Had he even realized he’d said that?
“You’re right,” she replied. “So why are you here?”
“My apartment’s just around the corner.”
Ouch. 
That simple statement shouldn’t hurt — she knew he had an apartment around here — but it did. She nodded.
“I’ll help you out.” He gently nudged her hands off the cart handle and took over, setting his own bag on top of her stack.
Rachel paced alongside the grocery cart as they moved through the electronic door and was suddenly thankful for her parking spot at the end of the far row. She would have a few extra moments to be with him. How pitiful was that? She eased a step closer, anxious to inhale his unique scent of soap, aftershave, and pure Jake.
He glanced over and caught her staring. She felt her cheeks flush and hoped he didn’t notice.
“Jake, look out!” She grabbed the cart to stop it just short of a car backing out.
He smiled his sexy crooked Jake-smile. “Guess I should keep my eyes on the road.”
Her heart ka-thumped inside her chest. “At least till we get to the car.”
He grinned.
Had she just flirted with him? Had it been that easy to get past the trauma for a few brief minutes?
Sooner than she would have liked, he pulled the grocery cart up at her Honda and helped stow her bags in the trunk, leaving his in the cart.
“Thanks for helping me,” Rachel said.
“I’m glad you decided to stop at this Publix tonight.”
“You are?”
“Yeah, I’m glad I got to see you.” Jake brushed a knuckle gently across her cheek leaving a streak of tingly nerve endings in its wake.
“But I thought you wanted… I mean, I haven’t heard from you in…” She cleared her throat. “…a long time. I thought you might’ve… “
Why couldn’t she manage to finish a sentence tonight? Bad enough she felt pathetic, now she sounded pathetic.
“You thought I might’ve what?”
She swallowed hard. “Might’ve found someone else by now.”
He stared intently for a long moment. “After all we meant to each other, you thought I’d go right out and grab a new girlfriend, just like that?” His mouth hardened to a thin line.
She hadn’t meant to rile him. The last thing she wanted to do was fight with him. Without thinking, she reached up and brushed two fingers gently across his lips, wanting that sensuous mouth to smile at her again.
She startled him, and he jerked at her touch. She whisked her fingers away. “Sorry, I didn’t want you to be mad.”
His gaze trapped hers, his pupils expanding until little of the brilliant green remained. “There’s no new girlfriend, Rachel,” he said gruffly.
“No?”
He slowly shook his head, his now-dark eyes tracking hers. He seemed closer than he’d been a minute earlier.
She exhaled hard. “Not yet anyway.”
He frowned.
Why had she said that?
“No, not yet,” he said flatly.
“I’m glad,” she said quickly.
Screw pride.
“Are you?”
He was definitely closer now. If she eased forward just a few inches, she could press her lips to his, feel that certain sizzle that always flared when they touched. But Jake had walked out on her. His move — though she ached with the want to hold him, if only for a second.
“Yes. Very glad. I don’t want you to find someone else–“
His lips brushed hers into silence, sweeping gently across as though seeking permission, the touch just light enough to make her lean in for more. He didn’t miss the movement and kissed her again, his lips settling against hers and nibbling at her lower lip.
The sensuous teasing had her knees growing weak, and she grabbed the placket of his dress shirt to steady herself.
He didn’t miss that movement either, and he put his palms to her cheeks to deepen the kiss.
Rachel felt dizzy and twisted her knuckles into his shirt to keep him close. She didn’t care if they were kissing in front of God and everybody. If Jake wanted to throw her down here in the middle of the Publix parking lot, she was ready. She could always shop at Winn-Dixie.
Suddenly, he pulled back. She tugged on his shirt, but she couldn’t budge him. He was breathing hard. Heck, she was panting.
There was heat in his eyes and something else. Something dark. “You don’t want me,” he said hoarsely, “and you don’t want anyone else to have me. Is that it?” He peeled her fingers free of his shirt. “Well, you can’t have it both ways, Rachel.”
“No, I–“
But he was already gone, striding across the rows of cars, the cart and his bag forgotten.
“No, I choose you,” she whispered.
She watched him climb into his BMW several rows away and pull out of the parking lot. His small sack of groceries lay forgotten in her cart. She lifted the bag out and peeked inside.
Razors and coffee. No condoms.
She let out the breath she’d been holding. Jake had said there was no new girlfriend, but she’d’ve been devastated if he’d been prepared.
He had to care. You couldn’t kiss like that and not care. He hadn’t asked about the mortgage papers either. She certainly wasn’t going to bring them up. Once she signed them, a period would be placed on their relationship. Maybe Jake realized that, too.
And now she had groceries to take to him. She just had to decide what she would tell him when she delivered them.
Petie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Central Florida, which was no help at all when she decided to write romance novels as a second career. Her particular background did afford her the luxury of many unique assignments during her career as an aquatic biologist, including aquatic plant surveys in Florida lakes and streams by airboat. Many of those off-the-wall assignments provided background for her stories.
Petie spent most of her career working as a biologist at the Walt Disney World Resort, “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” What could be more magical than driving by Cinderella’s Castle on your way to work every day? Living in the heart of the theme park entertainment industry constantly tweaked her imagination and made her want to write. She had the fun of working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her wonderful “day” job to write her stories full-time.
These days, Petie shares her home on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English springer spaniel addicted to green olives stuffed with pimento, and a talkative Nanday conure named Sassy who makes a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue. She loves golf, running, and reads voraciously. That’s Petie, not the conure.
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Release Tour – Valentine Pets & Kisses – Various Authors

Valentine Pets & Kisses: Fourteen All-New, Sweet Valentine Romances
Make your Valentine’s Day tail-wagging and purr-fect with 14 brand-new romances from award-winning and bestselling authors.
A fashion designer and her basset hound puppy convince a burned ex-firefighter that beauty is never skin deep and neither is love.
The Crazy Girl’s HandbookDelSheree Gladden 
Watching her nephews was supposed to be fun and a relaxing weekend for Greenly, not a never-ending disaster all witnessed by the best blind date she ever stood up.
The Vet’s Valentine GiftJ.L. Campbell
A veterinarian is caught between his job, an ex, a menagerie and love. Can a little Cupid fix things by Valentine’s Day?
Years of faithful dog-sitting pays sweet dividends when a struggling sports writer scores tickets to the Super Bowl and encounters her favorite football player.
InflamedJade Kerrion 
A firefighter running from his past convinces a hard-luck single mother to believe in happy endings.

Remember WhenHope Welsh
A couple headed for divorce discovers common ground for joint custody of their Akita.
Your Biggest Fan?Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Snowed in with the man of her dreams, a football fan and her dog find love.
The Feline FixCaroline Bell Foster
A scientist questions her cat’s loyalty when it comes to love and a hunky policeman.
Trembling HeartsSuzette Riddick 
A daring young woman crashes into the life of a disfigured recluse and his pooch. Can love be far behind?

Valentino, Be MineTina D.C. Hayes
Sparks fly when two people who can’t stand each other wind up dog-sitting a rambunctious little Yorkie that needs a new home.
Stuck with her ex’s puppy, a young teacher meets a new man after a series of unfortunate events.
A small town girl survives San Francisco after she hits a cat and falls for a handsome veterinarian.
19 Ivy LaneAubrey Wynne
A mysterious woman and her cat befriend a postman and set tongues wagging on Ivy Lane. But when he delivers a long-awaited letter, will his heart be “returned to sender?”

Three Plus ThreeCindy Flores Martinez
A grieving widow and her beloved doggie meet a handsome widower the day before Valentine’s Day.

Rachelle Ayala From romantic suspense to sweet contemporaries, I write from my heart and love to include children and pets in my stories.

DelSheree Gladden is a USA Today bestselling young adult and romance author, whose writing includes everything from dystopian and Native American mythology to sweet and funny romances.
J.L. Campbell is an award-winning author who writes sweet romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, new and young adult novels.
K.L. Brady is a multi-award-winning author of sweet and sexy romantic comedies, young adult romance, and a spy thriller series based on her career in U.S. intelligence.

Jade Kerrion writes frequently award-winning, occasionally best-selling science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance novels.
Hope Welsh writes romance fiction. Her first love is paranormal. She’s been writing since she was in third grade and has never looked back.

Sydney Aaliyah MIchelle is a contemporary romance writer, a voracious reader and movie fanatic who hails from Texas.
Caroline Bell Foster writes contemporary women’s fiction with themes of substance that defy convention.
Suzette Riddick is a wife, mother and nurse practitioner who enjoys writing romance novels with a touch of reality.
Tina D.C. Hayes writes romantic suspense and cozy mysteries while her pampered pooches and parrots stand guard against writer’s block.
Jeanne Bannon is an international best-selling author of paranormal and romance fiction with twenty-five years of experience in the publishing industry.
Susan Oloier is a mother and educator who writes memoir, as well as adult and young adult contemporary fiction.
Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night.
Cindy Flores Martinez writes sweet romantic comedy and inspirational romance in both English and Spanish.

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Release Tour – Aurora’s Song – Cherime MacFarlane

AURORA’S SONG

AUTHOR: Cherime MacFarlane
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
Algen is finally home after spending most of her teen years, and young adulthood in Washington State. She has never been clear on the reason she was sent to live with her father’s relatives. But she has a job she loves and can finally live in the place she loves. The Aurora Borealis fascinates her; Algen has missed the lights and winter terribly. The Grannies want her to be careful. Should she be careful of the new hire at the native corporation? She’s sure if he gets too close her heart is going to be in grave danger. The cultural anthropologist is pursuing her with the single-mindedness of a big predator. Gunrik is too smart, too much of a hunk and far too tempting.

Ignoring the question, I sipped my tea and considered exactly what I was prepared to reveal to the man. I decided to keep my cards concealed. “I’ve made an offer, and I refuse to go into details about my reasons. You may accept or reject the offer. I do need to tell you there may not be another.”
“Offer accepted. What time will you be there? May we sit together?”
“We may. If all goes well, perhaps you can escort me to brunch afterward. We shall see.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the game we played. Gunrik interested me. I hadn’t met a man who would spar with me in a long time. He could think fast on his feet. Verbal fencing could be so much fun.
But I sensed he was almost as careful about who he let into his private world as I was. We resembled two tigers playing mating games. When tigers finished mating, the females went off to have and raise their young, and the males went back to their solitary existences.
How would this work out? Would teeth and claws come into play? He had piqued my curiosity, and I do love puzzles.
Although born in New Orleans, I am proud to call myself an Alaskan. I have lived here since 1977. I have seen -40 degrees, hauled water, made bear bacon and I live in a cabin. I have used a fishwheel to catch salmon coming up the Copper River. I was my second husband’s chief mechanic’s helper and roadie. I have cut firewood on shares. I worked as a cocktail waitress during pipeline days in a small lodge on the Richardson Highway.
My second husband, a Scot from Glasgow, was the love of my life. When I write Scots dialect, I personally experienced hearing it from my in laws. When my husband got on the phone to Scotland, after 5 seconds I could barely understand a word.
We moved to Wasilla to get warm. It barely drops past -25 degrees here in the winter. I became a paralegal and worked for over 26 years for the same firm.
Alaska is my home. I never thought I would love it so much, I never want to leave. The beauty of Alaska is a draw I cannot resist. I love the people and the history. I have been captured by a place I came to under duress. Life does play some interesting tricks on one. My love and I were not apart more than 24 hours for 20 plus years. I never wanted to be anywhere but with him. He was a man to run the river with and was my biggest fan.
         

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Book Blast – Worst Week Ever – Liza O’Connor

WORST WEEK EVER
AUTHOR: Liza O’Connor
GENRE:  Humorous Romance
SERIES: A Long Road to Love
What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with an egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?
Book 1 of the 5 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever.
Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant (or as his drivers refers to Carrie: ‘Trent’s brain, left hand, and right hand’). He’s had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he’s threatened to fire her, he’s not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson’s Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form.
(Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.)
Trent’s focus returned to Carrie as he slipped his left arm around the back of the seat while leaning closer, invading the little space she had. Her heart quickened. God, she loved his scent. It made her feel— She shook her head. Get a grip! He’s your boss and he wants to see a Broadway show! “Here’s the review blurbs for each.”
He leaned in even closer, so his chest pressed against her arm. Her face warmed. Between her near death experience and his cologne, her professional demeanor struggled.
You can do this. He’s your boss and that’s all. She breathed in deep, in an attempt to steady her nerves. Unfortunately, she’d fail to account for the effects of a lungful of Trent’s wonderful scent. God, he’s intoxicating. She focused on the reviews, needing to distract herself from his cologne. She smiled as she read the comments for Tall and Tiny. It sounded so good. She wished she had the time and money to see it.
Given Trent began reading before her, he should have finished and made his decision by now. She steeled herself and looked up at him. His gaze focused on her instead of the screen.
“Do you want to hold my iPad?” Carrie knew he hated when people treated him like a child.
A faint smile touched his lips. “No, let’s do the last one.”
“Tall and Tiny?”
He shrugged.
She tilted her head. “If you don’t even know the name of the show, why do you want to see it?”
He smiled as if he’d just done something very clever. “Because you do. I could see it in your face.”
Why would what she liked matter? Then a possible explanation came to her. “Do you want me to go with you?”
He gently tugged on a strand of her hair. “Hey, we just went through war together. We both need a laugh.”
His unexpected generosity shocked her. She felt like the egoistical sun had finally noticed inconsequential Pluto still working hard to race around it.
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She uses all her life experiences to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
      

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Promo Tour – Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team Series = Robin Murphy

 
Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team Series
Robin Murphy
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Psychic Suspense
SULLIVAN’S SECRET
Book 1
Dr. Marie Bartek’s life has been perfect as the local veterinarian on Sullivan’s Island, SC, until her ability to see spirits returns after eighteen years. After confiding in her best friend and realizing their interests in the paranormal, they organize a paranormal investigation team called Sullivan’s Island Paranormal Society, SIPS.Marie learns to channel her ability through the help of one of the team members, who is a medium, but not before learning the spirits are trying to warn her about the murders taking place on Sullivan’s Island. Sullivan’s Secret captivates the reader with murder, suspense, and the world of the paranormal.


Excerpt Page 2
Just before making the cut, Marie spotted a shadow of a little boy out of the corner of her eye. He looked to be six in age and was staring back at her. She immediately closed her eyes hard and tried to push the spirit out of her head. When she opened her eyes, the little boy was gone.
Excerpt Page 11
Her eyes stared motionless into infinity and bulged while her skin was gray and red streaked. Most of her hair had fallen out and her mouth, lips and tongue were swollen. Found floating face down was the description Chief Cory Miller received during the five a.m. phone call Sunday morning that woke him out of a deep sleep.
SECRET OF THE BIG EASY
Book 2
While visiting New Orleans for a conference, Marie Bartek and her friends decide to stay an additional week to do some sightseeing and investigate a few haunted places.

Their vacation turns into something else when Marie has a vision of a woman being tortured and murdered, and decides to contact the police. They soon learn that the woman she saw in her vision has actually been murdered, and after she has another similar vision, Marie and the SIPS team is dragged deep into the investigation.
Are the killings cult sacrifices or something else? Will Marie and her friends be able to figure out what is going on?
Excerpt Page 65
Marie dropped to her knees and the decaying room disappeared when she heard Cory and Gale’s voice yelling for her to open her eyes. As she did, she saw everyone staring back at her while her head rested in Cory’s lap. “What happened? And why am I on the floor?”
Excerpt Page 107
The brilliant moon created a glow through the trees upon the marble altar. He stood at the end of the altar between her thighs and held the dagger in his hands raising it up toward the sky catching the reflection of the moon onto her breast. Carefully he whispered his praise and sacrifice for Beelzebub and set the dagger down between her parted thighs as the golden inverted pentagram swung from the chain around his neck.
FEDERAL CITY’S SECRET
Book 3
In the third book of Robin Murphy’s paranormal mystery series, Dr. Marie Bartek and the Sullivan’s Island Paranormal Society investigate hauntings and spirit activity in the heart of Washington, DC.

Marie develops new nuances with her psychic abilities, bringing more depth and intrigue into their ghost investigations, but this lands the SIPS team in the middle of the mafia, politics, secret societies, and murder.
Through the help of a spirit, Marie discovers that the mafia doesn’t take kindly to strangers taking what isn’t theirs. This story will captivate the reader with murder, suspense, and the world of the paranormal.
Excerpt Page 74
There was a thud of an outside door opening and Kelly immediately decided to play possum as she quickly got back into her original position and closed her eyes. If nothing else, she may be able to fool them into thinking she was still unconscious and catch them in an unguarded conversation. As she heard the inner door open she tried to slow down her breathing and hoped they didn’t hear her heart pounding out of her chest.
Excerpt Page 112
“Speak to me in English demon and yes I know this will work. Go away, Seducer! The desert is your home. The serpent is your dwelling. Be humiliated and cast down, for even though you have deceived men, you cannot make a mockery of God. He has prepared Hell for you and your angels.”
SECRET OF COFFIN ISLAND
Book 4
Dr. Marie Bartek and her fiancé, Police Chief Cory Miller, have finally tied the knot. Their wedding festivities are interrupted, however, by the discovery of a headless corpse.

While criminal investigations are Cory’s milieu, Marie and her team of psychic researchers have been instrumental in solving mysteries in the past, and she has already received visions that seem to pertain to the mystery at hand. After suffering a fatal heart attack, her mentor and friend Myra has continued her mentorship from the other side, and Marie takes comfort in her presence and guidance.
Once again, Marie uses her psychic ability to lead the police in the right direction. Are there pirates amiss killing those who betray them by decapitation? And is Captain Kidd’s treasure really buried on Sullivan’s Island?
Excerpt Page 1
The ocean waves pounded out a rhythm that soothed your soul as its spray danced in the air with the seagulls. Crystal-like sands glistened in the sun as the sea slowly melted away the shore. With each ripple of water the sand eroded away the remains of the coffins revealing headless skeletons facing west. Tiny sand crabs scurried in and out of the chest cavities and nibbled on century old plankton and bacteria. The smell of decay mixed with salt gave out a sulfur-like odor even too putrid for the beach animals to ignore, while the sound of a sword sliced through the air. . .
Excerpt Page 30
He stopped his wagon at the edge of the smelly green dumpster and dragged a concrete block that was lying on the other side of the lot to the edge of the bin. He stepped up on the block and shoved the lid up on the top and winced at the pungent stench emanating from inside. He carefully gripped the first plastic bag and heaved it inside and grabbed the frame to keep from losing his balance. As he bent down to grab the next bag he noticed his hands were covered in a red sticky substance.
He wiped them off on the bag, but his curiosity got the best of him as he placed both hands on the frame of the dumpster and slowly pulled himself up to look inside. There staring back at him were maggot filled eye sockets and what appeared to be the remains of a head.
Robin Murphy, of Sharpsburg, Maryland, serves as the Administrative Associate assisting with student admissions, registration, financial aid, and business processes for the Masters programs in the Graduate Studies and Continuing Education departments at Shepherd University.
Robin attended Penn Highlands Community College and is a graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group. She was inducted as a member of Phi Theta Kappa Society, an International Scholastic Order of the Two-Year College in 1997, was nominated to The National Dean’s List in 1998, and received the honor of “New Executives 2000” by the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce.
Robin is an Amazon best-selling author and a paranormal mystery and travel writer. She is a speaker on author platforms, self-publishing, and marketing, and recently became the sole-proprietor of Rookie Writers Solutions. Robin has over thirty year’s experience in the administrative, graphic design, desktop publishing, writing, and self-publishing fields.

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Filed under Blog Tour, contemporary, excerpts, Mixed Genre, Mystery, Paranormal, Promo, Series, Suspense

Release Tour – Vampire Hunter – Victoria Danann

VAMPIRE HUNTER
Rammel Hawking #1

AUTHOR: Victoria Danann

Official genre of book Paranormal Romance
Content warning 18+
Name of cover designer: Victoria Danann
Photographer: Invita

Ram’s book is My Familiar Stranger retold from his unique point of view, expanded with chapter insights from other significant characters. The story begins the first time he runs away to the New Forest at age ten, follows his recruitment by Black Swan along with his training to be a vampire hunter, and tells the story of the death of his first partner. 

Lan (narrated by Ram’s first partner, Sir Lansdowne)

I had finished my education and chosen to sign on with Black Swan. The ink wasn’t dry on the paper before I was out the door. First assignment was Grunewald, the unit that serviced Berlin. It was close enough by whister to patrol, but far enough away to be secluded. The building was a renovation, or adaptation really, of an eighteenth century grand house, set in the middle of a forest preserve that was off limits to anyone not Black Swan.I had seen a lot of the world by then, but had never been to Berlin. I knew why we had a unit there. Because wherever you find prevalent nightlife, you find active nests of vampire. I didn’t have any personal experience with leeches at that time. But you don’t have to experience a thing personally to believe people when they tell you it’s nasty.

I had never heard anything about vampire until six months ago. They trained our minds and bodies to be precision instruments and occasionally said something vague about protecting the innocent. But crap on a croissant. We had no idea we were preparing to be the only barrier between humanity and monsters that turned out to be real. Our story when we met civilian juvies was that we were in military school. Hel. Close enough. Right?

Anyway, six months ago they clued me in. There are vampire out there. I had two choices when I turned eighteen. I could sign on as a vampire hunter or go home and keep my mouth shut about everything I’d learned. I was told that, if I chose the first option, I’d find that my training hadn’t even begun. I didn’t believe that. I mean how much harder could it be? Really.

They said they took the mouth shut part of option two very seriously. No threat was spelled out, but it was certainly implied. I had six months to decide. So. Sure. I thought about it. A lot.

The day before I turned eighteen I still hadn’t decided. I returned to quarters around ten o’clock, closed the door, switched on the light and nearly jumped out of my skin.

My uncle was sitting there in the dark waiting like some creeper from a film noir movie. He laughed when I jumped.

“Right. Real funny. What are you doing in this part of the world?”

His smile slowly faded away. “Sit. I want to say something.”

Uncle Al wasn’t the sort of guy you said no to. I sat in the chair closest to the sofa where he’d parked his overbearing ass. He didn’t speak at first, just stared at me, and I have to tell you it took every bit of the self-discipline I’d learned to keep from squirming under that kind of scrutiny. But I knew it was some kind of test. I was supposed to be patient and wait it out. So I did.

“You’re going to be eighteen tomorrow.”

I smirked. “So I hear.”

He nodded. “Are you decided?”

I looked away. “Honestly? No. I’ve been hoping for a sign.”

“A sign, huh?”

My uncle didn’t seem to think that was a reliable approach to decision making.

“Well, I don’t know what kind of sign you’re expecting. I thought I’d stop by. Won’t be here tomorrow. So happy birthday.”

“Thanks.”

I stood when he got up to leave. He turned toward the door, but turned back like he’d forgotten something. I could almost see him mentally patting his pockets.

“Anything you want to ask me?”

I wouldn’t have thought so, but since he put it that way. There was something.

“I guess it’s clear what choice you made. Any regrets?”

He grinned. It was a thing so rare I couldn’t think if I’d ever seen him look pleased before.

“A good question for a seventeen-year-old.”

“Almost eighteen.”

“Indeed.” He nodded. “The answer is no. Not one. Hope that helps.”

I thought about it for a second. “Would you feel the same way if you died tomorrow?”

His grin got even bigger. “Definitely.”

With that he left without looking back and, in fact, it did help. Immensely.

Teachers are known to go on every year about how you’d better get ready because the next year is going to be so much harder. But it never is. It’s always the same thing. So when I signed on to Black Swan for life and they told me it was about to get real, I just smirked on the inside and thought, “Yeah. Yeah. I’ve heard it before.”

Looking back now I could slap my little bratty self for acting like a punk. Even if I kept it on the inside. For once the future of dread hadn’t been overstated. It had been understated.

The next four years were rigorous enough to make the first five look like a glide on a paddle board over a smooth-as-glass lake. Naturally, once we understood that we were going to be vampire hunters, and what that meant, we began to pay attention in earnest. But here’s the bare truth of that. Nothin’ they can do or say can truly prepare you for what it feels like the first time you are face to face with a pale-eyed leech who wants to rip you apart with virus-dripping fangs.

My internship was mostly served as backup to the Grunewald Unit knights. I went to Brazil for a few months and did an awful rotation in Central America looking for Chupacabra. Ew. Things give me willies when I think about them. Yeah. They’re even worse than vampire.

I was always sent back to Berlin though. Like it was home base. That was okay with me. There was a lot of action and the Grunewald knights were good solid teachers. They taught me about slaying vampire and they taught me about camaraderie.

Then, of course, there were German girls. I mean, you’ve gotta love girls who have beer with breakfast. Right?

It was a good place to pay my dues and hone my skills.

Three years later, I was told that I was being sent to Jefferson Unit. Rumor had it that I was going to be a vampire slayer in New York, New York.

I wasn’t very impressed when the jeep stopped in front of J.U. It was the farthest thing from Grunewald Castle. A plain brick building with not a single window showing. Looked more like a prison than a Black Swan facility.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t require frills to complete me. It was just an observation. I stopped at the intercom.

“Knock. Knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Landsdowne.”

“Just a minute.”

I heard the buzzer and pushed on the door. My first thought was that there was an awful lot of activity for a place that looked so quiet on the outside. I hoisted my duffel up higher on my shoulder and stopped a kid going by.

“Sovereign’s office?”

“Down one level and turn right.”

I nodded my thanks and headed toward the elevators. The central area was impressive with its three-story ceiling, modern gleam and polish. The place looked like a prison from the front, but once inside it was open and light with a view to what appeared to be a park on the other side of tall windows.

When the elevator opened, I checked to make sure the down arrow was lit, stepped inside and pushed S1. A couple of girls, well, young women I guess you’d say, got in after me in workout clothes. One of them looked me over, taking in the duffel, “Transferring in?”

“Yeah.”

She smiled. “I’m Ellsbeth. I work in medical.” The elevator opened. When I realized they weren’t getting off, I finally got the hint and exited. “See you around.”

The sovereign’s office wasn’t hard to find. The reception area was glass to the hallway, but I checked the plaque just to be sure. Sol Nemamiah, Sovereign.

There was a kid at the desk, young enough to be a student. He looked up when I walked in and dropped my duffel.

“Transfer from Berlin,” I said.

“Go on in.” He pointed to a closed door.

I opened the door, hoping the instruction wasn’t a new-guy-hazing prank.

The first thing I saw was a mess of blond hair. I knew he was an elf because he had some of that hair tucked behind the ears. I guess he could have been fae, but I didn’t know of any fae knights.

When he turned around, I had three thoughts. That he was just about my age. That his eyes sparkled with elf mischief. And that the only word to describe him was beautiful.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have a strong preference for the opposite sex and don’t usually think about whether other guys are attractive or not. But this elf had it going and I would have had to be blind to not notice.

I looked past him to the man behind the desk. You could tell it was the Sovereign by the way his jaw seemed permanently clenched. He pointed at the elf. “Rammel Aelshelm Hawking, meet Basil Rathbone Landsdowne.”

The elf stuck out his hand. I took it and shook. That’s when it registered. I laughed and blurted out, “You’re P.P.”

“Excuse me?” he said, with his brow knitting.

I looked at the Sovereign and thought better of saying more. “I’ll explain. Later.”

“You two are getting a try out as partners, attached to B Team, starting,” he looked at his monitor, “Thursday. Mr. Hawking, Mr. Landsdowne’s quarters are next to yours. Show him the way.”

“Aye,” said the elf as he moved toward the outer office. He held the door open to the hall and gestured toward the elevator. “Welcome to worm patrol.”

“Worm patrol? Sounds like I should turn around and ask for reassignment.”

He laughed. “I’ve been told that’s what they call rotation in the Big Apple.”

“Oh.”

Once inside he pushed the third floor button and leaned back against the wall facing me. “So what was the peepee thing?”

I grinned. “Not peepee! P. P. Your reputation is widely known. Parties and pussy.”

He cocked his head and gave a tiny smile. “’Tis what they say about me?”

“Yeah, man. It could be worse. They could be sayin’ you’re a limp dick wanker who’s scared of girls.”

He combined a grin with a sly look that I’d come to think of as Ram’s trademark smile. “Spent a lot of time alone as a kid. I suppose there was some pent-up party in me. Maybe I’ve over-compensated. I would no’ want P.P. on my tombstone.”

AMAZON | B&N | APPLE | KOBO

USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Victoria Danann, is making her debut into Contemporary Romance with releases in May and June 2015, after taking the world of PNR by storm.

Her Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.
Victoria’s paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.
The first book of the Knights of Black Swan Paranormal Romance Series, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by both Reviewers’ Choice and Readers’ Choice Awards. All of her books have opened on the Amazon Best Sellers list and earned Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK awards. Many have appeared on Listopia BOOK OF THE MONTH as #1 across all genres.
For books published in 2013, Black Swan won three awards. 1. Best Paranormal Romance Series 2. Best Paranormal Romance Novel – A SUMMONER’S TALE 3. Best Vampire~Shifter Novel – MOONLIGHT. In 2014, Solomon’s Sieve won Best Vampire Novel.
If you’re interested in Victoria personally, she is also a classically trained musician who defected to Classic Rock music. Until 2013 she was the utility player for Houston’s Roadhouse band, which means she played rhythm guitar, keyboards, sang back ups and female leads. Her band covered everything (note for note) from Styx to Led Zepellin to Rush.
She lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.

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Promo Tour – Infinite Completion – Michelle Dennis

INFINITE COMPLETION
AUTHOR: Michelle Dennis
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Original Release Date: February 14, 2015
On the brink of her twenty-first birthday, Abbie Bennet is finally living the well-balanced life she’s worked hard for. She’s a secretary in a medical center, sharing a house in the suburbs with a friend she went to high-school with and she goes to church on Sundays with her family. She spends her spare time reading romance novels and painting pictures of the places she wants to travel to; at least within the pages of her beloved books. Abbie’s life is uncomplicated, that is, until she ventures away from her comfort zone to join her friends at a local bar.
Set in Perth, 1994 this is a story of love, loss and learning to push aside the immobilizing fear of abandonment in order to find true happiness. Infinite Completion looks at the ways in which events during our childhood shape the way we react to situations and guide our decisions in our adult life. My characters are based on real people and some of the events in this story are based true experiences. Abbie Bennett is a character which many women of all ages will relate to on some level, and Infinite Completion is aimed at any reader who has experienced love and broken relationships – male or female.
When Abbie is dragged out onto the dance floor and becomes face to face with Valentine, her intuition is less than impressed, but her heart leaps forward and forgets just how hard it’s been for her to become ‘balanced’. Just like Alice in Wonderland, Abbie stumbles head first down into the rabbit hole and her whole world is turned upside down.
Valentine is the hunky lead singer of a pub band, with dark brooding eyes. He’s intriguing and charming, but he rides a motorbike and has recently separated from his wife and seven year old son – he’s complicated and everything her mother warned her about.
‘Um, excuse me!’ I say as loudly as possible over the thumping of the music. He doesn’t seem to hear me. I touch him on the shoulder lightly. His skin is hot through the dampness of his t-shirt. I pull my hand back quickly as he turns.
I must look startled.
He smirks and shows his perfect white teeth. ‘It’s okay, I don’t bite.’
I step back a little and he moves toward me.
He bends toward my ear. ‘Do you wanna dance?’ he says loudly.
Instinctively, I move back again, bumping up against another girl. ‘Oh, um, no thanks. Your friend said you may have a business card?’
He lifts an eyebrow and continues standing way too close. He looks a little confused. I assume he doesn’t get turned down very often.
He leans toward me again and says, ‘You might like it.’ I feel my cheeks burn and when I glance at him as I move away, I notice him looking at my neck.
Stepping back, I clear my throat to make sure my voice works and shout over the music, ‘I don’t think so.’
He moves closer again and I feel my heart jolt. ‘You looked like you were enjoying yourself before.’ He’s grinning and looking me over. ‘I promise to be gentle.’
‘I, well, no thanks, I’ve had enough for one night.’ Did I just say that? I sound like my mother.
‘Okay,’ he shrugs, ‘your call.’ He glances around and leans against the bar, his shirt stretching across his chest. ‘What can I do for you?’
I must look a little confused or dazed, or something. I’m trying to place his very slight accent. Irish? But, he looks Greek. I gulp and try to sound calm. ‘My friends and I would like to book your band for a party.’ A smile plays on his lips and I can see he’s watching my mouth as I speak.
‘Sure, but I don’t have any business cards.’ He turns away from me to ask the attractive girl behind the bar something and she quickly hands him a pen. I notice the gleam in her eye and feel an unexpected pang of jealously. Then he writes on a napkin and hands it to me. ‘Here’s my number.’
‘Er thanks…’ This is my comeback. Absolutely no grace and now he probably thinks he’s made my heart flutter.
I push my way through the crowd and back to the safety of my friends. Shoving the napkin into Ethan’s shirt pocket I try to look unflustered, there’s no way I’m calling this guy.
The remainder of the evening is spent hiding in the shadows beside Ethan and trying very hard not to watch the singer. He flirts with a blonde woman from the stage and she’s probably going to share his bed tonight. Why should I care? This is what guys like him do. And I’m beginning to feel like a stalker!
After I begin to complain about being tired and having to get up early for work, everyone agrees to call it a night. It’s been a strange encounter for me with the “real” world and I’m none too happy about the whole affair. There’s a solid reason why I don’t do the pub scene; it’s called being sensible. And speaking of being sensible, I should probably read a little of, Room With a View, before bed, but I don’t really feel like Lucy and Aunt Charlotte – not tonight. I can’t get the vision of the singer out of my mind.
I know I’m being naive about him and as I climb into bed alone, I convince myself he wasn’t flirting with me. Guys like him are not interested in girls like me, it’s that simple.
I struggle through the following week. I find myself imagining the singer on every page I read and on Friday morning I meet Sarah for a coffee. Maybe she can talk some reason into me, now there’s no alcohol involved.
‘I want to go back and see him tonight,’ I say to her.
‘Really? Abbie Bennet wants to go to a pub!? Ha, well you’re smitten aren’t you?’ she laughs, then straightens her face and adds, ‘So come with me tonight then.’
‘I promised Dad I would go fishing with him… what do I do?’
‘Look, seriously Abbs, forget about the guy, he’s not your type. He’s in a band for God’s sake… he probably has plenty of girls,’ Sarah says, with that “keep-your-wits-about-you” look. She’s beautiful; and under that blonde hair and wicked smile, she’s much more intelligent than me – especially concerning the opposite sex.
‘What about Phillip?’
‘He’s different.’ Sarah grins like a kid on Christmas morning. I really don’t want to know.
‘I can’t stop thinking about him,’ I sigh.
‘Oh, Abbs,’ she sighs too.
This is no help at all.
Michelle Dennis lives in Perth, Western Australia; she has always loved reading and in the past few years this love has expanded into creating her own written words and worlds.
Michelle has a love of medieval and fantasy creatures, and her first book, Wolfbaene, revolved around this theme and brought the world of knights, castles and dragons to children around the world.
Michelle is a devoted wife and mother, and fits her writing schedule in around her busy lifestyle. She is currently working on a sequel to Wolfbaene, and when she’s not in the world of dragons and other mythical beings, she can be found listening attentively to the other characters in her head, who are shouting for her attention because they want their own stories to be told.
Michelle shares her home with a very mature Dachshund named Phoebe Rose, a whole pile of cats who are under the impression they are the owners of Michelle’s home, and one small rabbit who is under the impression he’s a cat.

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Promo Tour – The Masterpiece Trilogy – Nikki Lynn Barrett

THE MASTERPIECE TRILOGY
Nikki Lynn Barrett

Official genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE SUSPENSE
Content warning: Suited for age 18+ due to sexual content and language.
A MASTERPIECE OF OUR LOVE
BOOK 1
The first in a contemporary romance with mystery elements trilogy! WARNING: Please note: This is a trilogy that follows the same characters. There is a mild cliffhanger in this book, as a mystery element is not solved in this story. 
Two Lives Torn by tragedy.
Eight-year-old Becca and twelve-year-old Hunter cling to each other and life after surviving a plane crash which stole their families.
Two Souls Seeking Love.
Each year, from the time she was old enough to travel on her own, Becca met up with Hunter on the island that altered their lives forever.
Until he stopped showing.
Her constant. Her link to the past. Gone in the blink of an eye.
Two Lives Bound by Secret.
Suffering more heartbreak, Hunter returns to the one place he’s always sought comfort, the island where he and Becca met. It was the place that stole from him, and in the same instance gave to him. He hasn’t been back or spoken to Becca in four years.
Though he’s sure she must hate him for disappearing, Hunter discovers the girl gone, now a woman in her place. Hunter is determined to prove to Becca he isn’t the same twelve-year-old boy of yesteryear.
But someone isn’t happy about their reunion…
Strange things begin happening. Letters start showing up in their hotel rooms and at home with cryptic messages.
Two Broken Hearts Heal as One.
With the mystery unsolved, Hunter convinces Becca to spend the remainder of the summer back home with him, both for safety and to give them a chance to discover the adults they’ve now become.
Will love get a chance to blossom, or will the past come back and tear the masterpiece of their love apart once and for all?
Hunter followed Becca inside, taking in the sights of her living space. The walls were a plain dull white, but Becca had filled them up with painting after painting, many of which he’d never seen before. Right by the patio door sat a large easel. A beige sectional took up a good amount of space in the living room. “It’s so homey. Very you.” he said, continuing to look around. Why had he never come to see her home before?
“All these paintings… You know I’m going to have to ask again. Why are you not selling these in a gallery somewhere?”
Becca’s cheeks reddened again. She faced him, taking his hands in hers. “You really think I should, don’t you?”
“Well of course.” He pulled her closer, sliding his arms around her waist. “You just wait. You’ll meet people that are going to bow down to your talent. Don’t be surprised if you have a few offers. Then when you’re world famous, I can say with pride that I knew you back when. That I love the most amazing, talented artist on this planet.”
Her eyelashes fluttered and she looked down for a second, then flashed her gaze back to him. “Say that again,” she whispered.
“What? That I knew you back when?” His lips curved up in a grin. He knew exactly what she meant, but had to mess with her anyway.
A MASTERPIECE UNRAVELED
BOOK 2
As love blossoms, twenty year old secrets threaten it all…
Becca and Hunter have always tried to make sense of a tragedy, but they never fully asked why. Why were they on the same plane? Where were they going or coming from? Recent events force them to find out everything they can about the plane crash and the events that led them there.
Becca’s always been strong. She’s always found a safety net in Hunter, the man who saved her as a child and always stuck by her, giving her reason to go on when no one else gave her a chance. Now she fights to keep her strength going, but her fears begin to get the better of her. The facade she tries to hold up threatens to crack.
Hunter is learning to fight his demons and put them to rest, but he can’t help but worry about Becca and the future they’ve just begun to build. She’s become the withdrawn person he’d been for the past few years and he doesn’t know how to help, unless he finds the answers they both are desperate to know.
They’ve always battled every storm together, but a new storm could sweep in and blow the foundation right out from under them…
The second installment of the Masterpiece trilogy is full of twists, turns, and secrets that come unburied…
“Becca? What’s going on out here?” Hunter ran down the sidewalk toward them.
“This woman nearly knocked me over and when I try to help, she goes psycho on me as if I’m trying to hurt her. I didn’t do anything to her, man.” The guy took a few steps back.
Hunter knelt beside Becca, checking her over. “Did he try to hurt you?”
“I didn’t-” the guy started.
Fresh tears in her eyes, Becca shook her head.
“I don’t know. I did bump into him, and when he grabbed me I got scared.”
“Come on angel, let’s get inside then.” Hunter held out his hand and helped get her on her feet.
“Crazies always come out at night. If your girl can’t handle the dark don’t let her out of your sight,” the guy snarled, taking off.
She’d done it again. Panicked when nothing was going on. Practically attacked a guy most likely just trying to help, especially when she was the one who ran into him.
Hunter slid an arm around her shoulders. She limped away, her knee throbbing from hitting the ground. Before they went back inside, he stopped her on the patio by touching her shoulders, keeping her in place. “This isn’t good, Bec. You can’t-“
She stepped away from him. “I know. I can’t keep doing that. You think I don’t know this! I don’t want to be jumping all over everyone when they’re innocent bystanders! I hate losing my mind! I’m afraid I’m going to hurt somebody because I can’t stop thinking someone’s going to come after me again! I heard voices, talking about scaring someone. Part of me thought they were talking about me. Is that what you want to know? I’m paranoid. There, I said it.”
Becca left Hunter standing there in shock as she bolted back indoors.
A FOREVER MASTERPIECE
BOOK 3
Becca and Hunter plan a future without knowing their past…
Few people know the entire truth about Becca and Hunter’s connection. Even fewer are living. One is in hiding, and another is closer than they think. They’re still no closer to knowing everything. Hunter gets a piece of his old life back, while Becca still longs for all the answers.
One terrifying night brings consequences…
Someone doesn’t want them to find the answers and will go to dire lengths to keep the past hidden. The question is, who? With so many people involved, which one of them would go to the extreme to make sure they never know?
The hunter becomes the hunted…
With the one person who started the whole thing in hiding, everyone is desperate to find her and gain the truth or keep her silent forever. It’s only a matter of time…
The final installment of the Masterpiece Trilogy is full of triumph, mystery, romance, and so much more. Prepare for the twists and turns as Becca and Hunter make their way to forever.
Needing to lighten the mood before his heart broke even more, Hunter took Becca’s hands in his. He gave her a light, mischievous smile. “You know, I never did get to bring a girl in my room to kiss her.” Not at twelve. He hadn’t been interested in girls that way, really. Not yet.
Had Becca been in his room when his parents brought her home? Did they bring her here, even for a while? They had to have before bringing her to the Langes. Hunter tried to picture what baby Becca looked like. Had he been curious about a tiny baby all of a sudden in the house? Did they try to keep her hidden, even from their four year old son? So many questions, and not enough answers.
“So what you’re saying is you wanted to take an innocent girl up to your room and seduce her,” Becca said coyly, fluttering her eyelashes at him. “I don’t know. I’m not that kind of girl. You’ll have to really work your way to get a kiss from me.”
Hunter chuckled, loving that she played along. He pulled her closer, sliding his arms around her waist. “Hard to get, eh? I think I can win you over. I’ve got the skills.”
She tilted her head to the side. “Oh? This I need to see.”
He leaned over and kissed her neck, trailing all the way to her jaw. “You know you want to kiss me. I’m one of your painting inspirations.” He blew air on the nape of her neck. Her fingers dug into his back. “Come on, give a man his wish. Do I have to beg?”
A MASTERPIECE OF OUR LOVE
FREE

A MASTERPIECE UNRAVELED
99 cents


A FOREVER MASTERPIECE
99 cents

I’m an avid lover of books. I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first “book” by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I’ll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.

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Filed under Blog Tour, contemporary, excerpts, Promo, Romance, Series, Suspense