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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: The Rainmaker

 

The Rainmaker
Petra Landon
(Saga of the Chosen #2)
Publication date: March 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

As they race to untangle the past and thwart a power-hungry Wizard, Tasia must face her toughest decision yet. Can she take a leap of faith and risk her deadliest secret?

Tasia Armstrong is no longer a nondescript, friendless and naïve Wizard flying under the radar on the fringes of Chosen society. With her fate now publicly entwined with that of a powerful Shifter Pack, she must navigate the minefield of Pack politics while keeping her secrets and cover safe from the Chosen who hunt her. With a Pack to defend her, a powerful Alpha to protect her interests and friends to watch her back, her life is a far cry from before. But living with the Shifters holds new challenges for a Chosen more used to the shadows.

The stakes have never been higher as old fault lines, long-buried secrets, Wizard dysfunction, and Lady Bethesda’s ruthless machinations draw the Chosen ever closer to a civil war. While Tasia grapples to avoid the pitfalls and confront her demons, it is an unlikely nemesis who forces her to face her moment of truth. Tasia finds herself at the crossroads – at stake are her carefully constructed house of cards and her tangled relationship with the man who holds her enemies at bay. Will Tasia risk opening Pandora’s Box or will she disappear into the shadows again?

Author’s Note : The Rainmaker continues the story from The Prophecy. The books are not standalone and are intended to be read in order.

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On sale for 99¢ for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

“I …” Tasia paused, choosing her words with care this time. “My work with your Pack …” “Fuck the Pack.” His voice was very even. “This has nothing to do with the Pack. I’m talking

about us — you and me.”

“No.” She shook her head, wishing the noise in her head would abate and allow her to think

more clearly. “There’s no us.”

An eyebrow arched up in the near darkness. “So, that kiss in the cave …”

Tasia interrupted him. “I didn’t kiss you.”

He shot her a look.

“You kissed me” she insisted, responding to that look. “Both times.”

“No” he said unequivocally. “We’ve both been willing partners in this dance. I lead, but you’ve

been with me every step of the way.”

They stared at each other, the air between them charged with an awareness that they stood on

the edge of a precipice. She couldn’t discern his expression but she wondered what he read in hers, with his night eyes.

“Any time you’d like a demonstration, let me know” he remarked sardonically.

Tasia flushed. They’d been leading up to this moment, she realized. This was the dance he talked about. She should have put a stop to it before. Now, she’d have to defuse it carefully or the resulting conflagration would destroy her.

“I’ve been around the block a few times, witchling. You and I — we make our own fire, no tinder required. That’s not it. Something else has you stepping back. What is it?”

Tasia thought furiously, through the fog in her head. “You don’t get involved with Pack” she reminded him.

“I’m willing to make an exception for you” he said clearly.

Tasia blinked, once. He wasn’t going to make this easy for her.

“I did tell you once that I’d ignore my principles for the right person.” It was his turn to remind

her.

Tasia, who remembered the occasion well, said nothing.

“Am I to continue with the Pack?” she asked.

“Yes.”

She hesitated. “What happens if things … uh … don’t work out between us?”

He laughed, a sound singularly devoid of amusement.

“You’ve walked away from the Pack before. I didn’t let that stop me from going after you,

when I thought you were in danger. What does that tell you, witchling?”

Tasia couldn’t refute him. There was nothing to say. He would not let his personal feelings get

in the way of his responsibilities to his Pack or to her, no matter how bad things got between them. Then, something seemed to strike him. “Is it because I’m a Shifter?”

Tasia wondered wildly if he would accept that. Perhaps his pride would not let him pursue her if he believed that she wanted no part of a relationship with a Shifter. It would make her sound like a bigot. But she’d take that.

“Will you let this be if … if I have reservations about Shifters?” she asked hopefully.

“Hell no.” His response was immediate and forceful. “I’ll do my damnedest to change your mind.”

He frowned, something about her answer registering finally. “Is that what this is about — being with a Shifter?”

Again, he was forthright with his query, and Tasia realized she could not bring herself to lie to him. Like him, she too was willing to make an exception. For him.

“No” she admitted softly.

There was a short silence while Tasia tried to get her jumbled thoughts into order. The wild cacophony in her head was now so loud that it drowned out everything but his voice, even the gentle lap of water against the wall and the whoosh of the wind behind her.

“Let me simplify this for you” he said, the gold eyes holding her gaze. “Tell me what you want, and we go from there.”

“What I want?” Tasia repeated mechanically.

I can’t have what I want.

“Don’t tell me you don’t know what you want.” His eyes narrowed in the darkness.

Tasia shook her head, her eyes darting away as if to seek an escape. She’d have to walk away, she thought despairingly. She saw no other way out.

His initial fury having abated, Raoul was starting to use his connection to her, much as he had before, when he’d been so attuned to her unspoken words. He had realized it almost immediately, taking it in stride. He wondered if she had picked up on it yet.

“You told me once that you don’t run away” he reminded her, picking up hints of her roiling emotions.

Tasia said nothing.

“If you run from me because you don’t want to deal with whatever is between us, witchling, I will come after you.” His voice hardened as a spike of anger flared in him. “I won’t stand by again while you run recklessly into the fire.”

Tasia looked away from him. There seemed no way out of this impasse. He would not back away, not without an explanation from her. She could not give him one, not without endangering all sorts of secrets, and she was very much afraid that, unless she convinced him to walk away first, she’d eventually succumb to him.

Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire!

Raoul stared at her, puzzled by her inexplicable desire to deny that which sizzled like a living entity between them. He tried to piece together what he could sense from her.

Suddenly, it hit him. “You’re afraid!” he muttered incredulously.

This was the primary emotion he sensed from her, overriding everything else. He had sensed many emotions from her before but terror, the kind he sensed now, had thus far been reserved exclusively for the Clan.

She said nothing, neither confirming nor refuting his statement. Jolted, he took a step back. “Of what?”

Tasia stared at him mutely, her hesitation palpable.

“Of me?” he asked, his voice hoarse.

 

Author Bio:

An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel, loves the outdoors and reads everything she can get her hands on, time permitting. Her taste in books is very eclectic – she tends to like stories with vivid and quirky characters that have elements of fantasy, adventure, romance and mystery interspersed together. A good book for her is one that makes the reader think long after it has been finished and set aside. And, one that draws the reader back to it, again and again.

To share the tales that have lived in her imagination for so long is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for her.

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Android Love, Human Skin

Android Love Human Skin.png

Android Love Human Skin - ALHS_FrtCvr-wBrdr_339x517px_HomePgFeat Android Love, Human Skin
by Richard Godwin
Black Jackal Books
Publication Date:  March 17th, 2018
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Welcome to a world of four genders.

A dystopian science fiction novel that explores the nature of gender and sexual conflict and the addition to pleasure in a virtual world.

Welcome to the four genders in a future with no planned conflict, a utopia of pleasure engineered by the union.

Society has been revolutionised by gender control and the technologisation of man and woman. In a future where a biochemical weapon has removed the skins of the population, the rulers hunt for the beautiful ones, those men and women who still have skins. The union is the new government, a faceless body of politicians who were behind the order to use the weapon that backfired on them, leaving them skinless.

In the glass citadel, the new utopia, where the only surviving humans with skin are placed, they recreate the world of gender by offering humans four types of robot with which to have relationships. All the humans are placed in relationships with machines, apart from Gerald, who appears to be a spy for the union and is filming the humans, and Elliott, a robot programmer. The union watches it all, political voyeurs in a totalitarian state of enforced sexual ecstasies.

Humanity falls into four categories…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Android Love Human Skin - 20180222_101034 Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Ersatz World, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied, Buffalo And Sour Mash, Locked In Cages, Crystal On Electric Acetate, The Glass House, Android Love, Human Skin, and Insincerity. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. He also teaches creative writing at University and workshops. You can find out more about him at his website http://www.richardgodwin.net , where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.

Blog – http://www.richardgodwin.net/blog

Twitter – https://twitter.com/stanzazone

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/stanzazone/

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competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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bookreview

 

3Penguins

Quick Reasons: interesting plot; intriguing story/characters; weirdly written snippets that read more like mini-stories than a novel; fascinating world-building

Huge thanks to Richard Godwin, Black Jackal Books, and Rachel’s Random Resources for sending a free digital galley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

This was a fascinating read, for sure. The world-building is intriguing, though I felt like it left a bit to be desired in terms of bridging the gap between characters and the world. While I anticipated there would be a certain amount of bedroom scenes, I felt as if the only place we ever really saw these characters was in bedroom snippets–and I mean snippets literally.

There was a weird amount of very short, very snapshot-like chapters. I didn’t feel we were given a proper amount of time with each character to be able to get to know THEM fully–instead, we got tiny glimpses into their lives, but only in the middle of things like eating and coupling. The outside world was lost to the smallest moments in bedrooms, in dining rooms. While I got the general idea, I felt like there were too many characters being focused on, and therefore not enough actual focusing happening.

This was an interesting and entertaining read, though I felt like it was more “snapshot stories” than “fully realized novel.” The world-building was good, though there was a bit of a disconnect between the characters and the outside world–and quite a large obsession with sexual favors. I’d recommend this read to lovers of erotic sci fi, futuristic worlds, and thought-provoking perspectives. Is your skin real, Penguins…or merely “human?”

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Cover Reveal: Radio Underground

Historical Fiction

Date Published: November 15, 2018

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With swift, bold, and powerful writing, debut author Alison Littman captures the epic and devastating uprising against the Soviet regime in Cold War Hungary, illuminating a time in history when news, rock ‘n’ roll and underground journalism forever changed the lives of those living behind the Iron Curtain. Radio Underground tells the story of a family ripped apart by the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 as a mother and fanatical underground journalist relentlessly goes to battle against the communist government, putting the lives of her daughter and husband at risk when she commits a calamitous murder. She is banished to a secret, underground prison where she faces madness, torture, and a possible death sentence. Years later, her daughter must decide to save the mother who discarded her, or leave her life to fate. A beautiful, relevant novel that explores the lengths and limits of love, family and the power of expression.

“Radio Underground tells a thrilling story of family and loyalty in the face of oppression. Its richly evoked historical setting took me back to the Cold War era, while its warm-blooded characters stole my heart. A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.” — Kim van Alkemade, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl

“Set during the Hungarian revolution of 1956 and its heartbreaking aftermath, this vivid and compelling novel is

a story of courage, family and the importance of “breaking the silence.” — Susan Breen, author of The Fiction Class.

 Excerpt

A black Zis-110 idled ahead of me, the car’s curtains drawn on its passenger windows. I shivered at the sight of the secret police’s hallmark car, thinking of all the friends who had disappeared for no reason, taken away by henchmen in the middle of the night, never to return. It was no coincidence the Zis looked just like a hearse. I scurried onto a side street, dodging the car and the poor captives I assumed sat, trembling, inside of it.

I tiptoed past the Ministry of Interior, where red geraniums lined the building’s windows. In the secret prisons below, police tortured people with whips, limb crushers, nail presses, and scalding and freezing baths. Or else they just executed them. But the geraniums were always fresh.

I slid my fingers across the building’s dusty exteriors, imagining I could somehow transfer my nerves onto the cold, unfeeling brick. I had snuck through the streets after curfew for years, but tonight was different. I could feel the regime sensing our newfound courage, like a dog pushing its nose high into the air, catching the subtle perfume of a rabbit nearby.

After walking several blocks, I spied smoke unfurling in the path before me, like a languid snake expanding as

it digests a fresh kill. Following it, I found Antal, his eyes closed, relishing in a cigarette.

“Antal, it’s me,” I said, coughing on the smoke now choking me.

Antal smiled and opened his eyes, his cataracts reflecting the glow of the street lamps. “Eszter, it’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too.” I kissed Antal on both cheeks, feeling his dry skin against mine and wondering how long he’d been outside waiting for me in the cold.

“Tell me, what information do you have for me today?”

“It will happen tomorrow,” I said. “Today, technically.”

It was already past midnight.

“So it’s here, isn’t it?” Antal said.

“Yes,” I said. “I went to their meeting. The students decided they’re going to march. I heard them talking about gathering arms.”

“How many people are participating in this … this march?” Antal asked as he stamped his cigarette into the ground and lit another one.

“Hundreds, thousands, maybe. I can’t be certain.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to predict how Gerő will react.”

“Gerő will slaughter them,” I said, feeling dizzy as I said aloud what we both knew. Hungary’s leader, Erno Gerő, was a Soviet puppet with an arsenal at the ready. “Without enough people hearing about it and organizing, it will just be a bloodbath.”

Antal fell back against the brick wall, suddenly losing his breath. He was always so levelheaded, so much so it often drove me to even greater heights of anxiety as I tried to compensate for his indifference. His fingers, still clutching the cigarette, quivered as his eyes searched the space behind me.

“The state radio will probably ignore this and just keep spewing out its propaganda,” he said.

“Exactly. We’re going to print with this too. But Realitás won’t reach enough people in time. An announcement on Radio Free Europe is the students’ only hope.” I held on to Antal’s shoulders to steady him. “It has to happen first thing in the morning, so people will have time to plan.”

The closest Radio Free Europe outpost was in Vienna. If Antal left now, he would get there by four in the morning.

“I already have meetings scheduled in Vienna for today,” he said. “I’ll visit our Radio Free Europe contacts as soon as I get there and cancel my other meetings to get back in time for the march. Gerő will think I cut short a routine visit to be by his side.”

Our lives by day were lies—Antal’s more than most. He served as the regime’s Deputy Interior Minister. After being forced to coordinate the executions of his friends—communists who threatened the power structure when they became too popular—he resolved to undermine the regime in any way possible. He began relaying intelligence to the American-run Radio Free Europe. With the freedom to travel at will and deep knowledge of the government’s inner workings, he also became an asset to Realitás, the underground newspaper I ran.

“It’s already one in the morning,” I said. “What will you do when they ask you why you’re crossing the border so late?”

“This is normal for me. I go to Vienna at all times of the day and night, just to keep them guessing. Just in case I run into a situation like this.”

“Smart. Well, you better leave now before Gerő tries to get in touch.”

We both knew Antal’s phone could have been ringing right then. I wondered what it would cost him—or his children and grandchildren—if he wasn’t there to answer it.

“I’ll be back,” Antal said, coughing into his hands, still shaking from what I knew was the fear we all shared.

“Wait.” I pulled out a tattered piece of paper, wincing as the cuts in my hand protested the sudden movement. “Take this with you. A student gave it to me yesterday. It’s a coded list of meeting points and times for the march. You have to get this on air too.”

Antal nodded as I slid the paper into his coat pocket, making sure to secure the meticulously crafted plans of the brave, hopeful students. They probably didn’t even realize that at this moment, Soviet troops were almost certainly readying their tanks at a base nearby.

About the Author

 

Alison Littman lives in San Francisco where she is a writer by day and standup comedian by night. She has contributed to magazines on John F. Kennedy and The Beatles, writing feature stories on listening to rock ‘n’ roll behind the Iron Curtain and the Cuban Missile Crisis. She produces two comedy shows in San Francisco and performs at clubs, bars and alternative venues throughout the city. This is her first novel.

 

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Cover Reveal: The Sign of the Serpent

 

The Sign of the Serpent
Majanka Verstraete
(The Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #2)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: December 4th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Meet Marisol Holmes: High school student, jaguar shifter, and great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes. She’s solved countless supernatural cases, but her next one’s the hardest yet. Why?

Marisol is about to lose her heart.

Two days ago, terrible events shattered the very foundation of the Conclave. Now, Marisol Holmes swears she’ll stop at nothing to destroy the man she once loved: her arch nemesis, Mannix.

But when a cryptic clue left by Mannix leads Marisol to a secret room that once belonged to her father, she realizes that hunting down Mannix won’t be that easy. If she wants to catch him, she’ll have to retrace the steps of her own past and discovers secrets that might have been best left buried.

When the hunt for Mannix brings Marisol to London, she teams up again with Roan and Wyatt on a quest for the truth that leads her through the dark alleys of London, to shady shifter pubs, to libraries cloaked in magic, and eventually to an abandoned castle in Scotland that once belonged to her family.

But Mannix is as sadistic as he’s smart. At every turn, Marisol and her friends face harsh truths and deadly puzzles, and risk their lives to uncover a past that should stay buried.

With the stakes getting higher and Marisol’s attraction to Roan growing, can Marisol deny what she truly wants, even if it puts her new love on a collision course with her villainous ex?

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Author Bio:

The FREE sampler of A STUDY IN SHIFTERS is available now!

Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels.

At MHB, Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

Want the latest news about Majanka Verstraete? Sign up for our newsletter!

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Release Blitz: Flick

 

 

 

Erotica, African American Erotica

Date Published:  May 15, 2018

Publisher: BookBaby

 

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A Create Your Own Erotic Adventure

A collection of short erotic stories where the reader selects how each kinky story ends.

This book is based on that split decision moment when you decide to refrain or give in to something definitively; whether it’s cheating, or revenge, or sexual experimentation. Each story builds up to a decision, then allows the reader to select the direction. It’s an opportunity to explore kinky realms without real consequences. The word “flick” by definition means a sudden movement or to propel as such. In this instance, the reader is propelled into fetish.

About the Author

 

Lola LePaon was born and raised in Bayonne, NJ, and considers the island of Oahu her second home. She’s a self-proclaimed pancake aficionado, Jay-Z’s biggest fan, and blend of fictional characters Carrie Bradshaw and Harleen Quinzel. As a gemini who relishes duality, she believes variety is not just the spice of her life, but the main ingredient. She hopes that her stories reflect her various interests and multifaceted nature. Her second published effort, FLICK, aspires to shine a light on underserved kinks and honor playful escapades.

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Cover Reveal: Knox

 

Knox
Crimson Syn
(Hellbound Lovers MC, #8)
Publication date: May 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance

I’ve loved Jade ever since I first laid eyes on her.

She’s always been mine.

And now a dangerous evil wants to take her away from me.

He wants to hurt her, cage her free spirit.

Over my dead body will he lay a finger on her.

No one takes what’s mine.

And no one hurts what I love without paying the price.

She’s my life, my love, my everything.

And I’ll be damned if I lose her.

I’ve been captivated by Knox ever since I met him.

He’s the only man who’s ever cared about me enough to protect me.

There’s no way I’d ever turn my back on him, or any of the Hellbound Lovers.

They’re not the traditional family, but they’re mine.

I’ll fight tooth and nail for them.

But I’ve been propositioned by an enemy

And now I face my fate.

Protecting Knox is the only things that matters.

No one will take him away from me.

And no one is going to keep me from the man I love. No one.

The last installment of the Hellbound Lovers – Resisting love has never worked out for any of the members of HLMC and Knox isn’t any different. Get ready to fall in love with this irresistibly protective alpha.

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Start the series today with Wolf!

 

Author Bio:

Crimson Syn is a new erotica author. She delves into those hot and heavy stories where her characters are pushed to their sexual limits. Her wicked pen dips into every little niche, even if it’s wrong and kinky. Vanilla, BDSM, BBW and that twisted taboo is what she wants to make you crave.

Her Hellbound Lovers MC series is her first attempt at a bad boy biker series. If you’re looking for sweet and innocent, you’ll find it, but not in that wholesome way you’re used to. No. Miss Syn delivers sex at its best, and the more innocent you are the more her alpha males will attempt to defile you.

Miss Syn is passionate about her family, her friends and her writing. Where she travels is her next setting, and her fantasies and dreams are her inspiration. She writes her alpha males tough and rough, and she expects for her female leads to be independent, bright women with lots of sexy curves.

To be a part of her Synful Fanbase, giveaways, and get juicy bits of her next books in the Hell’s Lovers series join her newsletter here:
http://eepurl.com/cFxRu9

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Cover Reveal: DarkWeb

 

DarkWeb
Talia Vines
Publication date: May 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Someone’s framing her, everyone’s lying to her, and it all leads back to Johanna’s death.

Trauma survivor Wren Bower has learned the hard way that the only escape from pain is to feel nothing. But she has something the FBI needs— the perfect face to bring down Mark Donahue.

Mark’s the criminal mastermind behind DarkWeb, an underworld market rife with drugs, hitmen, and worse. His only vulnerability is the memory of his beloved deceased wife, Johanna.

All Wren has to do is run into Mark with her doppelganger looks, and let his haunted heart do the rest. In return, the FBI will release Wren’s brother from prison.

But Mark’s romantic obsession brings up emotions Wren has spent years suppressing. Soon Wren’s caught in a dark temptation— slip out of her broken life and into Mark’s, or save her brother and betray Mark to the FBI.

She’s got to decide fast. Mark’s arrogant, infuriating, totally hot younger brother, Davis, suspects Wren’s up to no good. And he’ll go to any lengths to uncover her secrets.

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DarkWeb was featured on Cosmopolitan.com!

 

Author Bio:

Lifelong writer Talia Vines left home at fourteen to attend an elite boarding school. She barely escaped expulsion at seventeen. At eighteen, she had her jaw broken and wired shut for three months, which meant she started college knowing how to drink all her calories. Talia met her match at the tender age of nineteen—a California boy with a great smile— but refused to be tied down until twenty-five. The mother of three, she now spends her time as the two-faced goddess of dark biddings and PTA meetings. Find out more at taliavines.com.

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Release Blitz: Where I’ll Find You

 

 

New Adult Romance

Release Date: May 14, 2018

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We’re all a little broken sometimes.

Nobody knows this better than the beautiful and intelligent Hadlee Jameson. She had the love and support of her family until death claimed her father causing her mother to withdraw and become a heartless ice queen.

Burying her past to the point of denial and struggling to live in the present, Hadlee chooses to focus on college, work, and her close friends. That is, until she meets the charming and mysterious Kaisen Sinclair. After their initial meeting, Kaisen begins to show up everywhere, and Hadlee questions his motives. But as Kaisen gains her trust, she ignores her intuition and feels more alive than ever before as she falls in love.

Until…a dark history begins to surface. A history her mother hid from her, all of Hadlee’s life. To make matters worse, it’s tied to the guy of her dreams. As the truth unfolds, Hadlee realizes life is about choices. What decisions will she make? Does she allow the patterns of her past to resurface or does she find a way to forgive and love?

Where I’ll Find You is a haunting story of disturbing secrets and harrowing betrayal. Come along with Hadlee on her journey as she begins to put the pieces back together again. J.A. Owenby will once again delight her readers with this rollercoaster tale of emotional twists and turns.

Excerpt

I looked away from him, embarrassed I’d shared that detail on our first date.

“Hadlee, look at me.”

I slowly turned to face him again.

“The hardest thing I’ve had to do was take the memories that hurt so damn bad and create new ones after my mom died. Everything reminded me of her. Her laugh, the way she frowned when I’d gotten into trouble, her voice as she read to me at night. My heart ached nonstop, and I couldn’t seem to put the pieces back together. I was broken.”

He paused, brushing my cheek with his fingertips.

“Please, let me be a part of the new memories you create—the new ones that make you happy,” he whispered.

His gaze rested on my lips, and I nodded. I wanted that so much. New memories.

“Okay. I can do that.”

He kissed the top of my head as his fingers threaded gently through my hair and massaged my neck. I sighed softly,

and then he pulled me tight underneath the blanket. Maybe I really could look at life differently with him next to me.

About the Author

 

J.A. Owenby lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and cat. She’s a published author of six short stories, and she is currently working on her third full-length novel. She also runs her own business as a professional resume writer and interview coach—she helps people find jobs they love.

J.A. is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult, and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and good wine. And call her crazy, but she loves the rainy Pacific Northwest; she gets her best story ideas while listening to the rain pattering against the windows in front of the fireplace.

You can follow the progress of her upcoming novel on Facebook at Author J.A. Owenby and on Twitter @jaowenby. Don’t miss out on updates and giveaways at www.jaowenby.com.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway– Phantom Pact: The Bearer’s Burden

 

Phantom Pact: The Bearer’s Burden
Chad Queen
Publication date: May 8th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Cade Elegy’s mind is tearing itself apart, crowded with the phantoms of the dead, and he must carry the burdens they could not.

This bond lends him their experience and allows him to bend the laws of the physical world — a power he desperately needs if he is to discover the truth of what happened to his missing family.

The trail has gone cold, but he is given one last chance when he is recruited by a princess to solve a murder. They soon uncover proof that their war with the Wraiths, a hostile alien race dominating their planet, never really ended.

Together with the princess, an overzealous archaeologist, and an ancient computer intelligence, Cade must stop the Wraiths before they annihilate the last remaining cities of Chalice and before the phantoms he bears destroy what’s left of his mind.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

One more day, Cade Elegy thought as the hills before him screamed of battle. One more day to keep the dream of hope alive, or one more day until the dream vanished for good.

They assembled the last of their remaining army to bear upon Gigan’s Hill. Just beyond lay a great structure known as the Thread—the bastion in which the mysterious enemy known as the Wraiths had taken refuge.

Hulking soldiers of the Wraiths, humanoid yet possessing an exoskeleton like a great mantis, swarmed the battlefield. While they looked like giant insects, they also bore a striking resemblance to humans—walking on two feet, and articulating finger-like appendages on their hands. Within seconds, the enemy surrounded their entire legion. There were thousands more than reported. Their intelligence was wrong.

“What are you waiting around for? Move!” Commander Jord Black of the 12th Bearer Corps led the mission. Cade didn’t need to be told twice. The unit advanced, rushing toward the enemy line.

They were the tip of the spear for the assault. The mission was simple in order, but not in execution: kill the Wraith scouted in the area—a message to the world the Wraiths were mortal.

Cade fought, taking down one creature after another, as the rest of his dwindling unit fought alongside him. The smell of gunpowder and smoke hung thick in the air. The clash of weapons and the cries of agony bled together into a nightmarish cacophony. “Get down!” A voice pierced through the chaos. Jord’s voice. Cade felled another creature as he turned to find a Bearer-class grenade hurtling toward their position.

Time slowed to a crawl. Jord snatched the grenade with both hands and threw himself down on the ground.

Cade reached out—a futile attempt to halt the inevitable. A dark, metallic color spread across Jord’s body as the man attempted to harden his body against the blast. As the grenade detonated, the concussive force tore into Jord’s body. Cade looked away.

Selfless to the end, Cade thought. A wave of grief swelled within him, outmatched only by the rage following in its wake. There wasn’t time to mourn; he had to keep moving. He knew Jord, and Jord’s determination to finish the mission. “You will, my friend, you will.”

Cade afforded himself a moment to close his eyes, searching for the phantom Jord left behind in death. It was there, faint but recognizable to Cade amongst the discordant sounds of combat. Cade spoke the words, the ones sealing a pact with his former commander.

Cade, bolstered by Jord’s phantom, fought with renewed vigor. They needed to cut straight through to the camp with their dwindling force. It would be suicide, but it was the only option left.

“Incoming!” a corporal wailed as the body of a soldier hurtled past him.

“Hells,” Cade spat.

A gigantic creature, one Cade had never seen, lumbered toward him and the remaining men. Exposed sinewy muscle and dark metallic plating covered its body in overlapping segments, like the scales of a reptilian beast.

He continued to fight—fight for Jord, fight for the phantoms he bore, fight to live to sing the songs of those who had passed.

His zeal got the best of him. As he struck at the massive creature, he felt the last of the power granted by his phantoms drain from him. The creature lunged at Cade. His vision went dark as excruciating pain enveloped him.

When he came to, Cade found himself hoisted on the shoulders of the soldiers from his unit. He felt his sidearm against him, hot as if discharged, though he had no recollection of firing it.

But it did not matter. They had won the battle. They had defeated the Wraiths.

They could go home.

*

Countless black motes swirled from Cade’s sight as the waking vision ended and he returned to reality. It’s over. It’s over, he thought again to calm himself, his heart still pounding. The war was over.

The drug the military issued to members of the Bearer Corps still brought him these unbidden visions. They called the side-effect “veiling”. Cade was glad he no longer needed the vile stuff.

Protector of the Realm, they now called him. Cade tried on the honorific as the vibrations from the railbus he rode rattled his tired mind. The title didn’t fit. He shut his eyes as he sat in the seat of the passenger car and tried to control his breathing.

He was almost home. His mind raced, still trying to process the end of the war. The king himself had heralded Cade a hero. And his prize, the only one that mattered, lay at the end of this track.

The old metal railbus slowed, and his heart beat faster. The car was near bursting with passengers eager to return home. He was thankful they left him be. The newfound celebrity he gained in Toltaire, the capital of Chalice, was unnerving. He preferred the quiet comfort of his simple home, and above all else the company of his wife and children.

The thought conjured up memories of them, waiting at the table for him. His youngest, Jessa, unable to sit still, bounding from the table and running circles around the kitchen, wooden spoon in hand. Etan, just shy of ten years old, leafing through an archaic tome from the library, one he had already read at least six times before. Cade smiled.

And his wife, Serafina. Her smooth brown hair falling just past her shoulders, her soft green eyes melting him with a simple glance, and her smile. He could see it with perfect clarity, the same smile she would give him when he saw her again. His heart skipped a beat. It still did, even after all these years. She would busy herself with some trivial chore, awaiting his arrival. When she was nervous, she had to keep herself occupied with some task, no matter how menial it might be. She would look out the window, trying to glimpse him walking up the worn red-brick path that led to the house.

The once boisterous passengers settled down as the railbus slowed. Soon, the entire car was silent. Something is wrong, Cade thought. His eyes snapped open, and he rubbed the sleeve of his worn duster jacket on the dirty window. He could just make out the village coming into view. There were many long, colorful banners pulled taut from building to building, congratulating the returning soldiers. But something felt off. He looked at the houses and storefronts surrounding the humble train station.

“Where is everybody?” an old man said, clutching his hat to his chest as if it might fly away from inside the car. Cade continued to scan the village, but not a single person was in sight. It was not a large village, but there were always people roaming the streets, and there should have been a crowd gathered to welcome them home.

The railbus was coming to a stop, and while most of the passengers stayed frozen in shock and confusion, Cade leapt from his seat—not bothering to grab his rucksack—and threw open the door to the still moving railbus. He jumped, tumbling across the

gravel ditch running alongside the tracks. He stood up, ignoring the rising pain from his fall, and cut a path through the center of town.

His head whipped from side to side, trying to glimpse someone, anyone who might have answers as he sprinted down the brick road.

“Was the city evacuated?” he panted to himself as he stopped to catch his breath. The sun was at its highest point, and his heart raced as sweat beaded upon his forehead. It didn’t make sense. The war was over. They wouldn’t have evacuated, not anymore.

The pit that had formed in his stomach grew like a rooted weed. Stay focused, Cade, he told himself. Don’t panic. There must be an explanation for this.

He turned the corner from the main road, down the street to his house. He could see the house now. The faintest bit of smoke trickled from the cobblestone chimney. There, you see? he thought. They must be there. But he did not slow his pace. Cade ran up the steps, trying to peer into the front window. He expected to see his wife poking her head out and then calling to the children, but there was no sign of her. The door was already ajar, and he could see the brass hinges of the front door had been ripped from the frame. He popped the leather strap securing his caster, a rare handgun of ancient origin, and drew the firearm from its sheath.

“No. No, no,” he said as he threw the door aside. “Sera? Etan? Jess?” he called out, going from room to room. No reply. He entered the kitchen, where all he found was a single white plate shattered upon the floor in front of the sink.

Cade wheeled around, frantic, his heart pounding. His right arm, still clutching his weapon, fell to his side. He closed his eyes and tried to control his breathing.

He listened, not for signs of life, but for the absence. His body trembled, not prepared for the answer. As the heartbeat in his eardrums subsided, he heard the music he did not want to hear. It was like the song of a music box, its notes spilling out one by one as the cylinder turned. It was the song of a phantom; of one who had passed on but remained with one ethereal foot planted within the world of the living.

It was the song of his family—gone.

Cade’s knees gave out. He collapsed to the floor, fighting back tears. His family…taken from him—murdered. The entire town, taken. The war was over. Who, or what, could have done this? He pushed his grief down deep within himself, and his face grew hot with anger. He had fought to protect his family, and now he was alone.

No. Not alone. He was a Bearer. One who could ally with phantoms.

He spoke the words his father had taught him long ago. “Song that lingers unfinished,” he said, his voice a hoarse whisper. “The one whose sigh has escaped to the stars…” He could feel the energy of the phantom grow as he spoke. “Allow me to sing your final verse.”

The song—notes drifting from an unfathomable instrument played as if hidden behind a divine curtain—became clear, grew louder, and swallowed him whole. He held his breath as the notes played within him, becoming a part of his own song.

A maelstrom of memories and emotions that were not his own crashed and roiled inside him. He clutched his head with his hands as if to contain the deluge. His mind shifted and transformed as the phantom became part of him, already adapting to

survive within the shared space. The storm retreated, and Cade lowered his hands, breathing heavily.

A faint voice echoed

within him. “Pact accepted.”

 

Author Bio:

I am a new author of science fiction fantasy. By day, I am a game developer of 20 years. I have worked on role playing games like Dungeon Siege, and real-time strategy games like Supreme Commander and Age of Empires Online. I currently work with a truly amazing team at Wargaming.net developing a very exciting AAA project.

I strive to blend what I write with my experiences from creating games. There are games which can evoke an intense visceral energy, and I try to bring that same dynamism to the written page. Having worked on both fantasy games and science fiction games, I found myself compelled to combine those two worlds in fun new ways.

I live in Washington state with my wife and two wonderfully active children whose limitless curiosity is a continual source of inspiration, perspective, and exhaustion.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Sutton Capital Series

 

Legal Ease
Lori Ryan
(Sutton Capital, #1)
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A marriage-of-convenience with a twist

Jack Sutton isn’t about to be backed into a corner by the stipulations of his mother’s will. She might have wanted to be sure he was married by the time he was thirty, but that doesn’t mean he needs to give in. There’s always a way around anything that stands in his way. This is no exception. If only he hadn’t made the mistake of telling his aunt he’d be introducing his fiance to her that afternoon.

When Kelly Bradley walks into the middle of his meeting with his aunt, he can only assume his best friend sent her. She’s the answer he needs, isn’t she? And if Andrew sent her, he must have screened her. Saying yes to her proposal will hand him the solution he needs.

But will her fix end up costing a whole lot more than either she or Jack planned to pay? When her life is on the line, Jack finds himself racing to save the woman he’s fast losing his heart to.

Heartwarming contemporary romance with a heart- stopping twist of suspense. Legal Ease is the first book in Lori Ryan’s widly popular Sutton Capital Series, but it can be read as a stand-alone book.

Series description:

Heartwarming romance meets heart-stopping suspense in NY Times Bestselling Author, Lori Ryan’s wildly popular Sutton Capital Series. There’s a flavor for everyone. The original Sutton Capital books are contemporary romance with a twist of suspense in each. The Sutton Capital Intrigue books take the suspense a little further, and the Sutton Capital On the Line Series has all the heart and romance you want, but the suspense piece stands out in these police procedural thrillers. No matter which line you’re reading, you’ll see family and old friends return again and again through the series. Legal Ease, book one in the Sutton Capital Series, and Cutthroat, book one in the Sutton Capital Intrigue line are both set free at all retailers!

Series order:Sutton Capital:

Sutton Capital Intrigue:

Sutton Capital On the Line:

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

LEGAL EASE SNEAK PEEK:

Kelly’s head was throbbing when she woke, and she felt nauseated and confused. She tried to shake the foggy feeling in her head and rid the cotton from her mouth. Panic set in when she realized her hands and feet were bound with thick layers of duct tape and she was in a room she didn’t recognize. Kelly felt as though a band was tightening over her chest, suffocating her. Waves of panic swept over her and bile burned at the base of her throat.

She was lying on the floor in a typical bedroom; a bit small. It was daylight out. There was a twin-sized bed, and a torn-up upholstered chair in the corner, but that was it. The room was bare, other than those two pieces of furniture.

Kelly fought to pull details from her mind, grasping at threads of memory so thin they seemed to fall from her memory before she could see where they went. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths and pictured herself earlier in the day. It would have been noon when she was grabbed. She had left the clinic at noon.

She could remember walking out the back door of the clinic. Denise had asked her to take the trash to the dumpster on her way out, so she left through the back door even though her car was parked out front. Out front – where her security detail would have been.

She struggled to remember, but felt as if there were holes in her mind; as if her brain weren’t functioning quite right. She could remember someone coming at her from behind as she walked out into the alley, then a strong, sweet smell filled her nose and overwhelmed her before she blacked out. Nothing about the memory seemed right, like trying to put together pieces of different puzzles.

Tears were flowing freely now. Kelly could picture four men surrounding her and she remembered seeing a van before she passed out. The men wore masks….

Staying calm was no longer an option. Fresh waves of sheer terror bolted through Kelly’s body. She closed her eyes tight and tried desperately to calm herself, but she had never felt a level of dread and utter anguish like this. Her mind started running through all the ways that this could end, each image sending her into further panic until she felt like she would choke on the fear. Then one image stopped her catapult into darkness. Jack

 

Author Bio:

Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has fallen in love with writing. She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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