Friday, December 28, 2018

2019 TBR Challenge Pile Goals!


This is my second year participating in the official TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader and I'm so excited! Below you will find my 12-book TBR list and two alternate books! If you'd like more information or are interested in joining click here!


My 2019 TBR Pile Challenge List:
  1.  Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (1999) | My Review
  2. Masquerade by Cambria Hebert (2011) | My Review
  3. Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your Identity In Christ by Mark Driscoll (2013) | My Review
  4. IT by Stephen King (1986) | My Review
  5. Possession by Jessica Hawkins (2014) | My Review
  6. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (2010) | My Review
  7. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (2013) | My Review
  8. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (2010) | My Review
  9. Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones (2013) | My Review 
  10. You by Caroline Kepnes (2014) | My Review 
  11. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (2008) | My Review
  12. A Love Letter To Whiskey by Kandi Steiner (2016) |  My Review
Alternates
  1.  Paper Towns by John Green (2008) | My Review
  2. The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation (2009) | My Review
My Progress: 02/12 Completed

Teasers & Giveaway: Countdown to Love


Countdown to Love
Publication date: December 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance
Ring in your New Year with ten heart-clenching, sexy stories across multiple genres, that will keep you wanting more.
All proceeds will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand to help fight childhood cancer.
COUNTDOWN TO LOVE
10. Kimberly Knight – By Invitation Only
9. Melissa Toppen – Crazy Stupid Love
8. Regina Bartley – Dirty Nails
7. Lucia Franco – Hold on to Me
6. Savannah Stewart – If Love was Fair
5. Mila Cole – Lighter
4. Barbara C. Doyle – The Choices We Make
3. Micalea Smeltzer – The Game that Breaks Us
2. Bayli Lane – What If
1. Fabiola Francisco – Whiskey Nights
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
100% of proceeds of this anthology will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand to help fight child hood cancer!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

The graphics in this post have been Designed by Freepik but edited by me to fit my content.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Stone Awakened by Judith Sterling


The Stone Awakened
Judith Sterling
(Guardians of Erin, #2)
Publication date: December 19th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Since moving to Ireland, Ashling Donoghue has tackled one challenge after another. Now the mystery of her parents’ disappearance seems unsolvable. Are they dead or only missing? No one—not even the godlike Breasals—has a clue. Hope and fear war inside her, but she’s determined to find answers and stay strong for her siblings. Even as she hones newfound powers, her banshee-in-training sister Deirdre needs her support.
Ashling could use a little help herself. She’s struggling to navigate her first romance, and while Aengus Breasal stirs her body, mind, and soul, his nemesis Lorcan does too. Both men harbor secrets about her past life as Caer. One has ties to Aoife, the scheming wind demon whose influence is on the rise.
As the Stone of Destiny awakens, so does the conflict within.
EXCERPT:
Thunder shook the night as the Dullahan’s black stallion reared beneath him on the sweeping lawn below. The horseman thrust his severed head toward the sky and called out the names of those he hunted.
“Dylan Donoghue! Maeve Donoghue!”
Powerless to stop him, I watched from the bedroom window. The glass panes infused my palms with the chill of death itself. Out of sight, my parents screamed, then fell silent. The sound of laughter followed.
Exultant. Spiteful. Malignant.
Aoife! The wind demon whose foul plot shattered my family with a single blow.
Hate and despair welled inside me. “No!”
“Ashling, wake up!” My sister shook me awake.
She switched on the lamp between our beds, and I scanned the room. The same sash windows as in the dream. The same luxurious décor in shades of periwinkle, white, and gray. Even my slippers beside the bed were the same. But the night was quiet, and there was no immediate danger.
Deirdre tucked her long, blonde hair behind her ears and gave me a knowing look. “Another nightmare about the Dullahan?”
Nodding, I wiped the sweat from my brow. “And Aoife.”
“Sounds almost as bad as my dream the night he took Mom and Dad.”
“We don’t know he took them.”
“We don’t know he didn’t.”
“They’re not dead!” Dread clutched my heart, and I pushed out a long breath to calm myself. “They can’t be.”


Author Bio:
Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven, Soul of the Wolf, and Shadow of the Swan are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred and The Stone Awakened are part of her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Under Your Spell by Cynthia Rayne


Under Your Spell
Cynthia Rayne
Publication date: December 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Chloe
After my grand-mère was murdered, I returned to Bayou Noir to find the killer, because the police won’t do their freaking jobs. And I have just one suspect, Xavier Richelieu. But I forgot just how crazy the folks in my old hometown can be. A voodoo priestess, a supposed vampire, and a grumpy gator are on the loose. I don’t believe in crazy supernatural stuff, but I am worried about seeing my old crush again, Saint. And I should be. Somehow, he’s even more drop dead gorgeous than I remember.
Saint
I’m a member of the Demons MC, Cajun Chapter and I’ve got better things to do than follow Chloe around who seems bound and determined to get herself killed. But someone needs to watch her back and I don’t see anyone else lining up to do the job. Once upon a time, she was a chubby kid with a school girl crush. Now, she’s a mouthwatering woman, who wants nothing to do with me. One way or the other, I’m gonna help her avenge her grand-mère and sweet talk her into my bed. Maybe not in that order.
EXCERPT:
“So, is Chloe rentin’ this place out to you?” Saint asked.
“Chloe?” The sound of my own name startled me so much, I dropped the keys.
Saint bent and picked them up, before handing them to me. I glanced up, meeting those startling, swallow-me-whole blue eyes. Somehow, I couldn’t look away.
Saint cleared his throat. “What was I sayin’? Right. Chloe’s the girl who owns this place. Her grandmother passed a few weeks ago. She must’ve rented it out to you.”
“Oh, uh, um, yes.” The lie clogged my throat, and I had to force the words out.
“What’s wrong?” He studied my face.
“Nothing. I’m fine.”
And then his eyes widened. “Wait a minute. No.”
“What?”
“Holy shit.” Saint stabbed an accusatory finger at me. “You’re her.”
“Who?” I played dumb, desperately clinging to the plan.
“No fuckin’ way.” He backed off. “You’re Chloe!”
“Yes, but—”
“But you’re…Little Bit.” He trailed off. Saint had given me the nickname when I was a kid because I’d been short. Not to mention, round. “No, I can’t do this. It ain’t right.” Saint shook his head as if trying to clear the cobwebs away. “Sorry. I have to go.”
Saint raced back down the path. He straddled his motorcycle and then took off, leaving a cloud of dirt and smoke in his wake.
And I was left on the front porch, watching him leave.
Well, that didn’t go according to plan.


Author Bio:
Cynthia Rayne is a USA TODAY bestselling author of the Black Star Security, Kinky Security, Lone Star Mobster, and the Four Horsemen MC Series. While Cynthia was born and raised a damn Yankee in Ohio, her parents hail from Dixie, and she grew up on homemade buttermilk biscuits and southern wisdom. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, reading way too many romance novels, and drinking a truly obscene amount of coffee.


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Sneek Peeks & Giveaway: Kingdom of Glass and Ashes: A Limited Edition Collection of Cinderella Retellings


Kingdom of Glass and Ashes: A Limited Edition Collection of Cinderella Retellings
Publication date: December 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Fantasy
A classic fairy tale- but not how you remember it…
What if the stepmother wasn’t the only one who was wicked and Prince Charming wasn’t what he seemed? What if your favourite princess didn’t make it home by midnight?
Be transported to far away lands where fantasy and magic come together and pumpkins and princes are joined by shifters and stepsisters in this captivating collection of one of the greatest love stories ever told.
From the imagination of our authors, prepare to meet Cinderella as you’ve never read before. Kingdom of Glass and Ashes is a spellbinding collection of retellings, written by multiple USA Today and bestselling authors telling their own version of the beloved tale.
Get ready for romance, excitement, enchantment and more than just a glass slipper.
SNEAK PEEKS:
Excerpt from Holly Hook:
I’m Ellia, Syndie’s ugly stepsister. Mother knows this, so she works Syndie to the bone, but this whole time, she’s been waiting. Planning. Syndie wants us on the streets, and despite my kindness, I’m no exception.
Following her to the Courts lands me in the hands of a handsome guard, Jasper. Literally. And he doesn’t seem to notice my corset or frizzy hair. Nervous and secretive, Jasper wants to stop cruel Prince Calvin from becoming King, which he’ll do when he chooses his wife at the royal ball. And now I’m key to a plan that can save my family and the entire Kingdom.
Our weapons? Two magical slippers. One gives false beauty–but only until midnight. Then the other shows the wearer’s true nature. If Prince Calvin even holds the hand of his chosen when the clock strikes twelve, the spell hits him, too. Everyone will see the truth and he’ll never become King.
He and Syndie deserve each other.
I must make her dreams come true. But Mother, my sister, and a kingdom of jealous girls will do anything to stop Syndie from snagging the Prince. But what terrifies me the most is that trapped slipper. I can’t let Jasper see how ugly I am, but if it all goes wrong, I’ll have to give myself to its magic.
The Kingdom must be saved at all costs, even if I must sacrifice my happily ever after.
Blurb from Emma Savant:
Hidden in the city of Portland, Oregon, is a shimmering world of magic—one faerie Olivia Feye doesn’t want to touch with a ten-foot wand. She’d rather study biology, or garden, or floss her teeth, or do literally anything except pay attention to the Glimmering world and her internship at Portland’s premier faerie godparent agency.
But when her supervisor is hospitalized after a flying pumpkin carriage accident, Olivia is thrust into the middle of a case. And this one won’t be easy: Her client is Elle, a barista whose plans don’t include an enchanted prom or Prince Charming.
The reward for a happily-ever-after is enough gold pieces to get Olivia out of the Glimmering world forever. But as she comes face-to-face with the complexities of faerie godmothering, she’s forced to wonder: How much is she willing to sacrifice for her own happy ending?
Blurb from D.L Pitchford:
A modern day Cinderella with a twist…
High school seniors Noah Barton and Eden Prince have competed for top of their class since age seven. When their academic rivalry ruins a thermodynamics demo, their physics teacher decides to help them get along. By forcing them to be lab partners.
As graduation approaches, Noah and Eden are too busy figuring out college to deal with each other. Noah’s football-loving dad sabotages his chance to win a big scholarship. Eden’s traditional mother cares more about finding her a husband than encouraging her dreams.
Winning big at the regional science fair is their last hope.
Will Noah follow in his mother’s footsteps? Can Eden show her parents the environment is more important than a boyfriend? Will Noah and Eden finally learn to work together?
Follow Noah and Eden’s budding romance in this emotionally charged, gender-swapped retelling of Cinderella.
Blurb from Cate Dean:
Sometimes, you have to create your own happily ever after…
Elle Summers spends her days taking care of her stepmother and stepsisters, but she is secretly working on her escape. With the help of her best friend, she plans to act her way to freedom.
When she auditions for a local production, her life is turned upside down by entrepreneur and producer Henry Winters. He needs a new leading lady for his Broadway production, and he wants her. He sweeps her off her feet and to the Great White Way, where she finally has her chance to shine.
But in the whirlwind of her new life, she forgets one thing – her stepmother and stepsisters.
While she starts to live the life she’s always dreamed about, they are plotting a way to bring her home. And if their plan works, Elle will fail – in a way that not even a fairy godmother can fix.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Release Blitz: Peyton & Noah ( A Beaumont Wedding) by Heidi Mclaughlin



Title: Peyton & Noah ( A Beaumont Wedding) 
Author: Heidi Mclaughlin 
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Sports Romance 
Release Date: December 18, 2018 




Everyone dreams of meeting their soulmate. The person who completes them. For Peyton and Noah, they grew up together, falling in love along the way. Wedding bells are ringing. And the couple who almost wasn’t, Is going to be. Peyton and Noah invite you into their life. To spend some time with their family. As they prepare to walk down the aisle.








By the time we stop at the third bridal store, or maybe it’s the fourth, could be fifth because I’ve lost count, I realize why couples elope. The stress of having everything right, everything perfect, is almost too much to handle. The words I’ve heard today are it’s too frilly, not enough lace, the back looks odd, you look frumpy, is enough to make me want to throw my hands up and say forget it. Maybe it’s the champagne talking and being unreasonable in my head. With each store, comes a plate of hors d’oeuvres from restaurants looking to land a contract from me, and champagne from the best vineyards, wanting to supply our reception with their bottles. Because of my dad and who I’m marrying, the A-list treatment is real and all I want to do is pick a wedding dress with my mom and sister and decide on bridesmaids’ gowns that don’t look like they belong in an 80’s prom magazine. Most of all, I just want to marry Noah, in front of our family and friends, in a simple ceremony.
I’m surrounded by mirrors, and my reflection tells me that I’m tired and have had way too much champagne. I want to eat, gorge myself on carbs and ice cream until my stomach revolts. I want everything unhealthy and not listed on the approved list that my uncle Xander gave me. He means well and is only giving me what I wanted when I asked him to help get me into shape for my wedding.
My body jerks to the left or right, depending on which way the saleswoman is pulling the gown I’m trying on. It’s not my favorite, but my mom fawned over it as soon as she saw it on the hanger. In fact, she’s loved just about every dress she’s picked out, as well as some of Elle’s choices. Each one I show her, brings her to tears. I guess this is a mom thing to do, to cry at the sight of their daughters dressed in wedding gowns. I texted Noah and warned him I plan to be the same way when we have a daughter going through this. He replied, telling me how much he loves the idea that we’re going to have children.
I have yet to find the one. Not man, because I found him many years ago, but dress. In my mind, it exists. It’s out there, sitting on some rack, being passed by, waiting for me to try it on. I know I could have had a bespoke gown, designed, and made to my own specifications, if I were to delay my wedding for a few more months. I’m not sure a dress is worth it. My parents are going to spend hundreds, if not thousands, on a dress that I’ll wear for a few hours, send off to dry-cleaning and have stored in a box. It seems frivolous and a waste of someone’s time.
Elle enters the dressing area and crinkles her nose. She gets it. At least, she pretends to. “Do you like it?”
I stare at her through the mirrors, not answering. I don’t need to. It’s a twin thing, she knows how I’m feeling.
“Mom means well. She’s excited.”
“I can’t wait for it to be your turn,” I tell her. “When will Ben propose?”
Elle shrugs, playing my question off. Her relationship with Ben is similar to the one I share with Noah. Lifelong loves with the difference being Elle didn’t realize she was in love with Ben until it was almost too late. Her stubbornness almost blew her chance at happiness but thankfully Ben was determined to win her love.
“What? Don’t you talk about marriage?”
“Not really,” she says. “We’re both so busy. Ben has a really good job, plus he’s helping me launch my career. We’re both sort of focusing on work right now.”
“You want him to ask you. I can tell.”
Elle waves me off. “The commitment would be nice.”
“So ask him. I would’ve had Noah not. I wasn’t going to let him go.”
The saleswoman makes one final tug before she dismisses me to go see my mom. Elle helps me off the large platform and holds the curtains open for me. Mom stands, covers her mouth, and proudly proclaims this is the best one yet.
“Mom, you say that each time,” Elle points out. “How are we supposed to help Peyton choose?”
Mom wipes at the tears falling. “I can’t help it, I just…” she looks from me to Elle, and then down at the floor. “I’m emotional is all.”
She doesn’t have to finish her sentence. I already know she was going to say something like “never thought she’d see this day.” She’s not the only one to think that. Sometimes, I have nightmares about the wedding, about Noah and I. Me sitting in church, watching him marry someone else. I’m there out of obligation because our families have been friends for forever. In this dream, his bride finds me crying in the bathroom, telling me that everything will be okay. She has no idea who I am or that I’m madly in love with her new husband. She just sees a weeping woman in the restroom who needs comfort. When my dreams do show my wedding to Noah, it’s perfect because it’s him and I standing there, professing our love for one another.
“Peyton, do you like the dress?” My mother asks.
I look down and trace the intricate beadwork. A seamstress or tailor spent a long time putting this together and it will be the right dress for a bride that isn’t me. “It’s pretty, but I think it’s too busy for what I had in mind.”
Mom smiles. “We have a handful of other stores to try.”
“Actually, there’s a vintage shop not far from here. I’d like to look in there.”




Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers. Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot. When she's isn't writing one of the many stories planned for release, you'll find her sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games. Heidi's first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Roth, in theaters January 19, 2018. To stay connected with Heidi visit www.facebook.com/authorheidimclaughlin or heidimclaughlin.com

 


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Sneak Peeks & Giveaway: Once Upon the Longest Night


Once Upon the Longest Night
Publication date: December 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
The longest night. A vampire’s delight.
The winter solstice, a time of birth and rebirth, life and death, waning light and rising darkness. A time when those who flee the sun and crave the taste of blood find their greatest solace.
But one never knows what the longest night might hold.
Once Upon the Longest Night, a collection of adult paranormal romances, features eight novelettes of lovers and their battles against one of the greatest legends of our time: the vampire. A 15th-century seaman and the love of his life come face to face with a vengeful manjasang. In ancient Rome, a hunted priestess captured by a loyal centurion offers her aid to the enemy. With the help of a handsome Royal courier, a reluctant Romanian princess braves the curse flowing within her noble blood. Danger awaits when a vampire in the far reaches of North Dakota must endure the lethal cold to protect the woman she loves. And in a future New York, a broken general returns home for the Longest Night Ball where he meets a young male witch who might change his life forever.
This anthology combines vampire mythos and affairs of the heart with the sacred symbolism and magic of the winter season.
Sit back and let us tell you a tale. Welcome to the Longest Night.
Heat levels: Sweet to erotic.
SNEAK PEEKS:
From His Last Battle by Sara Dobie Bauer:
Story Blurb:

Suffering from PTSD, vampire general Devlin Frost returns home from the war on Lycans and attends the historic Longest Night Ball. Here, royal witch Elijah Crow must choose three immortal suitors to compete for his love and power. When Devlin is shockingly chosen as one of the three, his immediate attraction to the young witch coaxes him into entering the fray, but this battle is for more than Elijah’s love. The broken general might also win back his ruined heart and bruised soul—if he survives the night.
Excerpt:
Everyone knew Westwyck Coven threw the best Longest Night Ball. Devlin had been there before, six years prior, before heading off on another successful tour to battle the Lycans in Africa. Ever since they’d butchered all the humans on that continent, the werewolves had been trying to invade upon the rest of the world.
He’d only been home for a matter of weeks and had yet to remember how to be normal, although “normal” was difficult to quantify within the bounds of fae high society. As a soldier, the aristocracy frustrated Devlin. He’d spent hundreds of years fighting bloody battles with wolves, yet it was the wealthy that scared him most—with their passive-aggressive posturing and sickly sweet smiles. At least werewolves came at him with teeth bared. Now that he was back in New York, it was impossible to know who wanted to be a friend and who wanted him dead.
And, there was the matter of the posadh.
Some royal witch had apparently just turned eighteen, and as per custom, she was forced to choose three possible vampire mates to compete over her for the duration of December twenty-first’s darkest hours. Deflowering a virgin witch gave vampires increased power—whether that be physical, influential, or financial. That power could last upward of one hundred years, so competition was famously fierce. At least one of the three “suitors” usually ended up dead. It was a disgusting business but part of fae high society. The union benefited vampires, but it also granted witches a vampire’s immortality, ensuring the secrets of magic lived on and on, all part of the treaty’s give and take. Devlin wanted nothing to do with it. Already, he missed the war.
To rectify his unease, he had wandered away from the grand ballroom an hour before. He now perused the quiet back hallways of Westwyck Estate, far from the sound of an impressive all-witch orchestra that played Christmas carols arranged as waltzes and tangos. He sipped a rich mixture of blood and sweet red wine from a crystal goblet as he strolled, taking in the mansion’s interior. In homage to ancient tradition, electric lights had been dimmed for the night, replaced by tall, gilded torches standing at intervals down the endless hall. Their dancing flames cast flickering shadows on the walls, creating what he assumed should be a sensual mood. Instead, he thought of battles long past, bloody fangs in firelight. As opposed to terror, the memory afforded perspective. He would much rather have been at a twilight fight than surrounded by the cultural complexities of a fancy ball.
On the walls, papered in forest green, hung massive portraits of Westwyck witches who’d come before—men and women who’d probably died long before the treaty. For all he knew, vampires had killed some of them. Magic and blood fae hadn’t always been buddy-buddy.
He was leaning forward, almost nose-to-nose with the painting of an ugly witch named Galahad, when a hidden door sprang open to his right. A blood-soaked Lycan lunged with jaws wide.
Devlin vaguely heard his wine glass shatter. He punched the monster once in its gaping jaw, twice beneath its hairy ribs, then unleashed his own fangs, prepared to tear the monster’s throat. But a bright green light flashed through the hall, momentarily blinding him. He didn’t notice the pain until his back slammed against a wall, and he melted to the floor.
He curled in on himself, moaning. He hadn’t been hit by a spell like that in… Never. He had never felt such power in his long, long life. He tried to stand, ready to fight more and more—fight forever if he had to—but a tall, dark shape pointed a glowing finger in his face.
Eyes unfocused, Devlin at first thought the tall creature looming above him a phantom until it said, “General Devlin?”
He blinked and tried to swallow around the lingering pain rising from his gut. He tasted blood, but at least pain allowed a little clarity.
Devlin sought his werewolf adversary but saw nothing more than a heavyset thug with a bloody nose, groaning on the floor ten feet away. And the phantom wasn’t a phantom at all but a man.
Though young, he held the bearing of someone who knew how to own a room. Despite being thin and in possession of such delicate features as to appear feminine, he held his shoulders up and back, his chin high—like a soldier bracing for battle. In an all-black suit, the witch was all the more ominous due to his glowing green pointer finger, still directed at Devlin’s nose.
“I’m sorry.” Devlin pressed the heel of his hand to his throbbing temple. “I thought…” The words solidified in his throat. War had followed him home.
After his last tour—when he’d started seeing imaginary enemies everywhere—he’d been forcibly sent home to New York. The doctors said the delusions would stop once away from combat. They said to give it time. Get married. Get settled. Find happiness. But what did doctors know about being a soldier?
The phantom lowered his glowing hand and spoke over his shoulder. “Jesus, stop moping, Lucius. Some bodyguard you are. Clean yourself up.”
The injured “bodyguard” swore and shoved to his feet before disappearing through the door hidden in the wall, leaving Devlin alone with the witch.
Devlin stood slowly—no sudden moves with this witch around—and eyed the man warily. “You don’t seem like you need a bodyguard.”
With a cocked brow, the witch shrugged a slender shoulder. “I don’t, but my mother insists.”
Hand no longer glowing, he reached up to touch the long scar on Devlin’s cheek.
Devlin caught his wrist and squeezed, feeling a powerful pulse radiating into his palm. It tempted him far more than it should have. “Don’t be rude,” he said.
The witch smiled, and Devlin instantly read the question glittering in his eyes: Or what?
Hand still in Devlin’s grip, the witch’s dark eyes drifted over him, taking in the navy blue uniform and cornucopia of medals over his heart. “The great general.” A hint of admiration warmed his voice. “My grandfather used to tell stories about you. But you’ve been gone.”
Devlin still held the witch’s hand. He couldn’t seem to let go—or, perhaps, he didn’t want to. He swallowed hard, realizing how long it had been since he’d stood close enough to smell desire in someone’s blood. He smelled it now. “Only six years,” he said.
“That’s a long time. To me.”
“It would be.”
Devlin couldn’t keep from studying the witch more closely. He had the tender skin of innocent youth, the unbridled passion of a boy on the cusp of manhood, and the eyes of a fearless soul. It was almost too much. Too tantalizing.
Finally, Devlin forced himself to let go. He busied his hands with straightening his suit. “Are you even legal?”
The witch touched his wrist where Devlin’s grip had been, as though he’d felt the heat between them, too. On an exhale, he pushed black curls behind his ear and stared at Devlin, who found such scrutiny unnerving. He would have sworn the witch saw straight to the depths of his dead, empty heart. Based on Devlin’s reputation, the witch should have been scared; instead, he tilted forward, closer. He was recklessly confident for a man his age. But more than that, this magic fae carried something akin to fire beneath his skin.
And Devlin wanted to be burned.

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Derrick by Russell


Derrick
Russell
Publication date: November 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Thriller
In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.
It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities—but one of the victims is most peculiar…
Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.
Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.
Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection.
However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.
In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a killer. But will he make it in time?
WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.
EXCERPT:
Alarmed, the woman’s eyes opened. Her nerves twitched slightly, as if an electric shock rattled her body.
Instantly, an eerie darkness consumed her, and an unusual stillness blanketed her surroundings.
Where am I? the woman wondered.
With her instinctual medical training, she began immediately diagnosing her own condition: blurry vision, raspy breath, citrus acidic taste at the back of her throat, and weak muscles. The signs were a tell-all. She had been drugged. Most likely either clonazepam or estazolam.
As her thick braids fell in front of her eyes, she realized that her body was hanging in midair. Above her, a rope bound her hands. The burning strain in her deltoids ached deep into her lower back.
The air was unusually frigid. Her entire body was trembling. She looked down and realized she was completely naked.
Who took off my clothes? she thought, her mind racing with a fresh wave of panic.
All she could remember was getting home from a run in the cold rain of a late November day that had chilled her to the core. Since the presentation of her dissertation was only days away, she relieved the building stress with those exhilarating runs. They were especially liberating knowing that she had to head back to the university lab. Entering the darkened house, she had sworn she’d left the light on. She recalled a quick shadow slipping just behind her in her peripheral vision. She’d felt a sudden blow to head, had fallen against the wooden banister—
What day is it? The presentation was on Saturday. Did she miss it? A sense of dread engulfed her, then fear. All the seemingly endless months and years of planning her project, all the meetings with that arrogant, dimwitted professor, all those countless hours in the lab…it would all be for nothing. Most importantly, all the sacrifices she’d made with her family, spending so much time away from her daughter—and well, her husband too— would be just a waste.
In the inky darkness, a slight shift of movement awakened her senses.
She was not alone. Attempting to say something, nothing came out except a low groan from her lips. The large figure—a man, no doubt—stopped for a moment. Did he hear her? See her?
Tilting her head slightly, more of her thick dark braids fell to the right side of her face. As her eyes were adjusting to the murkiness, she detected a figure near a square object. A red light blinked incessantly, and with her cloudy vision, it seemed like a floating, pulsating blob. Turning away, a sudden surge of vertigo overwhelmed her and she forced her eyes shut.
As she opened her eyes again, the woman saw a faint light seeping from under the cracks of a doorway on the other side of the space. It looked like long skeletal fingers creeping closer to her.
Footsteps approached her. Suddenly, a smooth gloved hand aggressively grabbed her ankle.
“Hey,” she attempted weakly. Instead it sounded more like “Haammph.”
Below her, the figure worked quickly, tying a rope tightly around first her left ankle, then the right. She wanted nothing more than to kick him as hard as she could, but the drug inhibited her, and her noodle-like legs hung uselessly. As the man worked rapidly, his broad shoulders made him look bulky next to her thin legs. His jerking movements triggered the scent of sour urine that rose from her own skin and stung her nose, and a tear dripped from her eye. Once he finished, he scooted back and moved his head to and fro. Was he on his knees? She couldn’t tell from her angle.
The sound of stone scraped along the floor.
The woman concluded that escape was improbable, and her heart began to race despite the coma-inducing toxin pumping through her bloodstream. A mumbled whimper came to her lips.
Standing up, the man straightened to his full height. His dark clothing constricted tighter against his fit frame, and she could feel his gaze upon her. Was he admiring her? Shaking a braid out of her left eye, she saw that his face seemed unusually dark, but his white skin was visible around the perimeter of his oval face. His chin was rough, scruffy with hair. Was that a beard? Either way, his face was covered in…makeup? She wasn’t sure. Suddenly, he turned away from her and disappeared farther into the shadows.


Author Bio:
Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.






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Monday, December 17, 2018

Cover Reveal: The Beautiful Years Part III by Annie Rose Welch



Title: The Beautiful Years Part III 
Author: Annie Rose Welch 
Genre:Contemporary/ Mafia Romance 
Release Date: February 7, 2019 
Cover Designer: Buoni Amici Press 




There was one secret that I kept from my wife.
The Fausti famiglia was one of the most infamous and powerful crime families in the world. Their rule spanned the thickness of history books.
And I was one of them.
I was the estranged son of the most ruthless man in the monarchy, Lucious Leone Fausti. Only a murderous technicality kept me out of his reach, but there was never any doubt that I belonged to him. I saw his reflection in every mirror. The darkness that lived in his eyes lived in mine.
My dangerous lineage had been hidden until my wife, Scarlett, the curious farfalle that she was, started fluttering around the sleeping giant. She awakened the monsters of my past, and they would stop at nothing to claim what they felt belonged to them.
Using my wife as a pawn in their game to lure me in? Wasn’t going to happen. They underestimated this monster they had created. I’d sacrifice it all to keep the woman I called mine safe—even if it meant my life.
La mia parola è buona quanto il mio sangue. My word is as good as my blood.
Book III in a seven-part Mafia Romance saga.

 

 

 

 


Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her passion for writing began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightning bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.
When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. She currently resides in Texas (where everything really is bigger) with her husband, daughter, and their three peculiar dogs, Boudreaux, Tabasco, and Vanna Loo (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).
For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie’s website: