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Posted in Books

Fall Beside You

Title: FALL BESIDE YOU
Author RILEY PARKS
GENRE: M/M Romance

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BLURB:

Gideon Valsecchi had done the impossible when he busted out of the grueling poverty and pre-ordained existence his life had been on the South Side of Chicago. His free ride at college is the stepping stone to a career with a professional soccer team. And when his dream comes true it’s not what he expects—sacrifice shouldn’t taste this bitter, especially when the love of his life is what he’s missing and can’t seem to hold on to.

Elijah Tucker wants to give Gideon Valsecchi the world on a silver platter. And he has the means to do it. But Eli is learning the truth of the maxim that the way you hold onto the thing you want most is to let it go. And while his heart breaks into a thousand pieces, he doesn’t come apart even when the worst happens. Because, even as cliché as it sounds…true love does find a way.

Excerpt:

“I love you,” Elijah whispered, rubbing the bar of soap over Gideon’s chest.

To Gideon, those words were a hot shower, full stomach, and a hat trick combined; a phrase that he couldn’t remember ever hearing in his life. His father certainly hadn’t shared the sentiment with him, and while he couldn’t be certain whether his mother had or not, he somehow doubted she was ever able to see beyond her drug-induced hazes to recognize he existed to begin with. “I love you” was foreign and formidable. It felt like the promise of forever, which was what Gideon wanted and feared. He didn’t want to give up his fight and fall into forever, where life was comfortable and he was complacent. He didn’t want to let himself go.

“I probably do, too,” Gideon replied quietly, the statement he made when he felt too guilty to not muster a response.

“Yeah?” Elijah asked, his eyes bright with excitement.

It killed Gideon that his boyfriend was eager for any scrap of verbal affection. Endlessly, he admonished himself for not being able to lavish Elijah with more.

“Yeah,” he confirmed. Elijah never pushed or prodded. He was tirelessly patient and understanding. Though Gideon was grateful for that patience, he almost wished that Eli would put more pressure on him. He worked well under pressure; he thrived in situations where he had to perform. As much as he wanted to get there, he knew he needed several shoves in the right direction. Being moderately self-aware, Gideon knew if Elijah goaded him, it would lead to epic arguments and his signature obstinance, but then maybe there would be a breakthrough.

“I feel it,” Elijah murmured as several beads of water dripped from his eyelashes. He tucked his face into the crook of Gideon’s neck and kissed the slick skin. “That’s the important thing.” From his tone, it seemed the statement was more a reminder for himself than reassurance for Gideon.

“Do you feel it?” Eli asked. “I mean, I tell you, but do you feel that I love you? Do I show you?”

“Of course you do,” Gideon replied, taken aback by the question. “You’re so good to me, so perfect,” he promised, slotting his mouth onto Elijah’s.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, Riley writes novels that focus on LGBTQ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation depicting lives, loves and triumphs in all facets of fiction.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17307417.Riley_Parks

https://www.facebook.com/riley.parker.3766

Buy links:
http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/fall-beside-you 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F23MTV8
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fall-beside-you/id1404629972?mt=11
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fall-beside-you-riley-parks/1128975657?ean=2940155313823
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fall-beside-you
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/870650


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Posted in Books, Teasers

Fiery First Chapter Friday Her Cyborg Champion

Host’s Note: Please check out Fiery First Chapter Fridays. Sometimes there will be giveaways, always there will be a good time.

Title: Her Cyborg Champion
Author: Anne Kane

Tag Line An intergalactic game of hide and seek, with a sexy human female as the prize.

Blurb: Zoe is five feet, six inches of green-eyed, red-haired militant activist. A deeply ingrained need to help those who can’t help themselves — human and otherwise — motivates her every move. She snuck into the Mailon research facility to investigate rumors of experiments being conducted on a rare and highly intelligent species of sentient mammals. Now she finds herself in need of help to rescue one very sick little battle rat.
Greyson is six and a half feet of ruggedly muscular cyborg with a penchant for violence. He loves to fight, and he fights to win. What he hates is being sent to the Mailon research facility on a petty errand. When he catches a glimpse of a former lover flitting around the facility like an impossibly sexy cat burglar, he is intrigued. What is the saucy little wench up to, and why is she stalking him through the corridors of the alien laboratory?

Chapter One

“I’m sure you will find our new process fascinating.”
Greyson tried not to let the ingratiating tone of the scientist’s voice get under his skin. How had he managed to land himself an assignment where he had to tolerate this ass-kissing lump of alien-bred flesh?
He was a warrior, a fighter. His place was with the Terras Five Outer Rim Defense Fleet, not wandering down the halls of some obscure research facility with a fake smile pasted on his face. When he returned to Terras Five he’d make damn sure his name never came up for one of these assignments again.
“Here we are.” The ass-kisser stopped in front of a gray metal door and motioned Greyson to proceed him into the room.
A split second before he moved, flash of color in the very edge of his peripheral vision caused Greyson to turn to the left, but whatever it was had disappeared before he could see it more clearly.
He walked through the doorway, replaying the movement on his neural net, slowing it to a tenth of the speed. The replay showed a female, most likely human, gliding silently across the open space between one corridor and the next, her attention on some object beyond his vision.
Now that was interesting. There was an intruder in the facility. Certainly didn’t do anything to impress him with their security. He replayed the snippet again, studying the female.
She didn’t look like the usual type of intruder, a burly thug intent on stealing assets or secrets and able to fight their way out of the facility if necessary. She was small and pale skinned with a mass of shining red hair flowing down her back. The angle of view made it impossible to see her face. The vid clip was short, and the female moved with a silent speed and grace that reminded him of a dancer. Something about her stirred his male instincts.
What in the stars would such a creature be doing skulking around a Mailon research facility?
“We’ve created a process that allows us to improve the response speed that the synapses use to transfer messages to the muscle tissue, and I’m sure your government would be happy to have exclusive access to the new technology.” The smile on the Mailon’s face could only be described as oily.
Greyson repressed a shudder. As a cyborg, he’d long ago learned to ignore emotional response but a gut reaction was different. In battle situations a gut reaction could mean the difference between survival and destruction. His gut was telling him not to trust the man in front of him.
Then again, this was hardly a battle situation, unless you considered it a battle to keep his attention focused on this creature’s inane chatter.
Smile pasted firmly in place, he silently retrieved a still image of the intruder, studying it on his neural overlay while the Mailon continued to prattle on about the supposed improvements his cohorts had made to neural net technology.
Even from behind, the female looked familiar. He deftly cross-referenced the picture with his database relay. Within a nanosecond he had his answer.
Zoe Calhoun, a sentient activist. She made the newsfeeds on a regular basis with her crusade to set galaxy wide laws banning the sale or ownership of sentient beings. The latest story had her raving about the ape-like population of a planet that had been found to be rich in several high value minerals. The apes were pressed into service to mine the ore, under conditions that could be best described as slave like. Activists such as Zoe were horrified, and had made such a media circus out of the practice that the mine owners were promising to revise their operating procedures and treat the primates as employees.
She was also the only female who’d ever enticed him to break the unspoken rules of the Cyborg race and have unprotected, potentially fertile sex outside of the cyborg breeding protocols. His only excuse was that he’d been young and stupid and much too idealistic.
He’d actually fancied himself in a state known on the human worlds as love at first sight. Sheer stupidity.
They’d spent two sweaty, magical, exhausting days exploring each other’s every nuance, every quirk, every secret guilty pleasure on a vacation planet just inside the outer rim of the galaxy. They’d had sex in every position, on every possible surface, in every possible place on that planet. It had been the most educational and most character-forming weekend of his life. On the third morning, he’d awoke to find himself alone, a note on the pillow all that was left of the supposed love of his life.
$Got to get back to work. It’s been fun.$
He’d felt so incredibly stupid. He’d meant absolutely nothing to her beyond a warm body to pleasure her for a day or two. He’d returned to Terras Five and took his assigned place in the military. For the last decade he’d done his duty with a dedicated ferociousness that had seen him rise steadily through the ranks until he now captained his own cruiser. The downside, an occasional assignment such as this one, served to remind him just how much he enjoyed a good firefight.
He hadn’t seen Zoe Calhoun since she’d deserted him a decade ago, other than random snippets on the galactic news network.
So what was she doing sneaking around the Mailon research facility? So far, he’d seen no signs of gorillas or monkeys, and he doubted she was there to further her love of science.
It wasn’t that he was under any illusions about Zoe, or that he had any residual feelings for the human female. He just loved a good puzzle.
“So what do you think of our setup? We have been told it’s the best-equipped research facility in the known universe.” The Mailon finally stopped talking for a few precious seconds.
“Nice.” It actually was impressive, if somewhat sterile. “Do you do all of the research on site, or are there other facilities as well?”
“Everything we need is right here.” The biped swept his arm in a wide arc. “If it’s not, then we bring it in. No sense in diluting our assets by spreading them all over the galaxy. Your people can rest assured that only the very best goes into the products we produce.”
Just then, Greyson caught another flash of color. This time, the female hesitated long enough for him to get a glimpse of a bare thigh before she scurried out of sight. A flicker of lust ignited deep in his gut as he remembered how it had felt to have those silky thighs wrapped around his.
Okay. That had been deliberate. What was Zoe up to?
“Do you ever have issues with security? People sneaking in and stealing ideas or prototypes?” He watched the Mailon’s face carefully. Of course they’d never admit it if security was an issue but there were always telltale signs if a person were lying. The shifting of eyes, a slight waver in the voice, a telltale tilt to the head.
“Never. Our security system is one of our own invention. It’s one of the best in the galaxy.”
Zoe reversed her direction, slinking back across the corridor as if to point out the falsity of the claim. She paused, staring straight at Greyson. A ghost of a smile graced her lips, and she winked at him before disappearing once more.
Greyson blinked. Seriously? She’d looked right at him and winked. Was the woman insane?
“Well?”
He switched his attention back to his tour guide. “Well what?”
“What do you think of our facility?”
$I think the security system isn’t nearly as good as you’d like it to be if there’s a redheaded activist waltzing up and down your corridors.$
“It’s interesting and the new tech definitely looks promising. I applaud your research team.” Time to wrap this up and get the hell away from the one female he’d never managed to forget. “I’ll report back to the Ruling Committee and they will let you know their decision.”
The Mailon gave him a quaintly formal half bow. The self-satisfied smile on his face said he had no doubts about what the Ruling Committee’s conclusion would be. “I will await their decision. If they have any more questions, I’d be happy to answer them.”
“I’ll be sure to let them know.”
The Mailon turned, leading the way back to the transit deck while managing to keep up a nonstop conversation. Or monologue. A conversation would have required Greyson to take part in the oratory, wouldn’t it?
The annoyingly sexy human female slunk gracefully out from behind a wall to Greyson’s left and touched his shoulder. When he turned toward her, she promptly disappeared down yet another side corridor.
He should say something to the Mailon, warn him that Zoe was waltzing around the facility unescorted and presumably without an invitation. An activist in a research facility couldn’t be anything other than bad news, especially an activist playing hide and seek in the labs.
Then again, the Mailon was annoying and despite his better judgment, Zoe’s presence intrigued him. What kind of game was she playing?
They reached the flight deck where Greyson’s sleek interplanetary shuttle awaited his return. He turned, grateful to be leaving this sterile hunk of rock. The last thing he needed at this point in his career was to get tangled up with a militant animal lover who seemed to think that rules didn’t apply to her. He was much too mature to be led around by his libido. “Thank you for the tour, and the information. Once the Ruling Committee has had time to study it, they will contact you.”
The Mailon bent from the waist in a formal bow. “We appreciate the chance to work with such a well-oiled society. None of the political red tape that the humans are so fond of. I look forward to hearing from your Committee. I leave you to your departure routines and wish you a safe journey.” He bowed again.
Greyson nodded, and turned to palm the security panel mounted beside the entrance to his shuttle. It pulsed for a nanosecond before settling into an exact match of his palm print.
Interesting. His print wasn’t the last one used on the pad. Someone had been tampering with his ship’s security.
The access panel slid open with a quiet swoosh and he stepped into the familiar vehicle without doing anything to alert the Mailons to the fact that he knew there had been an attempt to circumvent his security and enter his ship without his permission.
The door closed behind him and he strode to the command console, throwing his bulk into the seat and placing his hands on the control panels on either side.
The screen in front of him lit up and the ship’s avatar shimmered into view in the space above the console. “Welcome back, Captain Greyson. Shall I start the launch sequence for our return to Terras Five?”
“Not yet, Gemma. I’d like to run a diagnostic on the security system before we depart. I believe someone tried to enter the ship without my consent.”
He’d named the avatar Gemma because he’d modeled her image on the bioengineered females that tended the bar in his favorite recreation facility on the vacation planet just outside the outer rim energy field. He’d spent a pleasurable few sun cycles with one of them while on R and R and it amused him to have her image represent the highly complex avatar that controlled his ship’s systems. Unlike the default avatars that came standard with this model, Gemma looked and sounded like a sex robot.
“Of course, sir. Do you wish me to access information on the female who entered the ship during your absence?”
“Yeah. That would be good for a start.” Sometimes he failed to remember that the avatar was not actually sentient. It did not provide information he didn’t solicit, so it would not occur to it to tell him about a security breach unless he asked it to share that information.
The avatar disappeared and the screen refocused to show a picture of Zoe, a recent mug shot by the looks of it. “This female humanoid approached me shortly after you departed from the ship. Her palm did not match any of the preset prints to trigger my systems to allow access however she verbalized a factory override reset code in order to command me to open the access panel.”
Interesting. The timing indicated that she knew exactly who he was and what his schedule was like before she’d started playing peek a boo with him down in the labs.
“Once inside, she proceeded to the command console where she inserted extra lines of code into the command procedures before exiting the ship.”
The avatar disappeared and a segment of surveillance video lit up the screen, showing Zoe as she worked her way through the ship.
He straightened in is seat. “Gemma, replay that last segment, and slow it down to a frame by frame shot.”
“Affirmative.”
He studied the screen carefully, concentrating on exactly what Zoe was doing and trying to ignore his gut reaction. She appeared to be accessing the messaging system, then she turned and stared directly at the video camera. He’d missed that part in the initial run through. She spoke, but the video had no sound capability and the stop frame view made it impossible to read lips.
“Gemma, replay the last ten seconds again at half-speed. “
“Aye, Captain.”
Greyson focused on Zoe’s luscious red lips, vainly trying to ignore the thought of what they might feel like crushed beneath his own. Or wrapped around a certain male portion of his anatomy.
“Check this out.”
She knew she was being filmed and that he would be watching. The little minx had used his own security system to send him a message. He felt a grudging flicker of admiration for her brazen audacity.
Problem was, on his planet the females did not go running around breaking into research facilities and playing peek-a-boo with ex-lovers in the corridors. They waited in the palatial splendor of the conclave for their appointed mates to come to them.
“Gemma, access the most recent messages stored in the ship’s logs.”
“From all origins?”
“Yes. All of them.”
One thing about an avatar. No matter how human he made it look, it didn’t have feelings or emotions. He didn’t have to worry about how to speak to it. Gemma would do what he told her, when he told her. He had a feeling the same could not be said about a certain redheaded trespasser.
“Retrieving messages in reverse order of transcription.”
Greyson realized he was drumming his fingers on the edge of the command console like some untried warrior in training and forced himself to still. Something about that woman had him tensed as if waiting for the first move in a battle.
“Hey, Greyson, remember me? Zoe? It’s been a few years but we had a fling a decade or so ago. I know this is a lousy way to reconnect, but I need your help.”
Her voice, low and sexy, filled the bridge and Greyson’s body reacted predictably. It took more than a little effort to ignore the tightening in his loins.
“I found the female and she’s in bad shape. She needs medical attention ASAP. If I don’t get her out of here they will murder her to cover their own asses. Please. I’m going to try to get her out of the labs and down here to the landing bay. I’ve set the surveillance cameras to loop so security is blinded. What I need from you is passage off this hellhole of a planet. If your ship is still docked when I get back, I’ll assume you’re willing to help. Hell, you’d better be there when I get back. I don’t have a plan B this time. You’re my only hope, and I’m not leaving here without her.”
The sexy voice trailed off to silence.
Greyson sat back in his chair, eyeing the vid screen thoughtfully. Definitely the Zoe he remembered and definitely an activist, but he had no idea what female she was talking about. Based on her latest escapades, and the fact that primates made excellent research subjects, he assumed it was a gorilla or some similar creature.
Taking an injured gorilla on board his ship was not his idea of a good plan. An injured gorilla could do a lot of damage to the ship’s systems if it got out of control, and really, how did one control a pain-crazed gorilla? There were no containment crates on board nor did he have a brig. The shuttle wasn’t the type of ship that went out on missions where prisoners were likely to be taken. Maybe he could insist the creature be contained to one of the cargo bays. Yeah. That might would work.
He felt a rueful smile curve the corner of his mouth. Apparently he’d already decided to help Zoe and her mystery companion. Maybe the boredom of this mission was affecting his sanity, but he’d always had a soft spot for the underdog and he couldn’t help but admire a tiny slip of a human female who charged in to help where most, human and other, would look the other way.
A very delectable, irresistibly sensual human female. A decade had only added to her allure. She’d matured from the boisterous young idealist he’d fallen for so long ago. From her mane of flowing red hair to the way her hips swayed as she walked, everything about her aroused the predatory male in him. Centuries of a carefully mandated cyborg breeding program had failed to suppress that primal instinct.
On Terras Five, males were assigned partners who were selected for them based on genetic compatibility in order to assure the strongest, most intelligent offspring. Life-long mate bonds were rare.
Cyborgs weren’t genetically different from humans, they were actually offshoots of the same species. The humans who had elected to form the cyborg nation opted for a rigorously selective breeding program to give their children the best genetics possible. When the males were toddlers, they were implanted with cybernetic enhancements that fused to their skeletal and nervous systems, growing with the child until adulthood.
The females weren’t enhanced, as the scientists feared what those enhancements might do to their reproductive abilities. In reality, there was no genetic difference between a human and a cyborg female.
“We are cleared to launch when ready.” The ship’s avatar broke into his thoughts, and he pulled his attention back to the board in front of him. If he planned to help Zoe abscond with a creature that she’d plucked from under the noses of the Mailon researchers, he’d better be ready to leave on a moment’s notice.
Finishing the preflight checklist in record time, he ran his fingers over the navigation controls and selected his initial destination. No way was he heading directly for his home world with illicit cargo onboard.
There was a supply station in the Gliese system where everyone was welcome and no questions were asked. Yes, that would be the perfect place to go with the Zoe and her rescued… whatever it was. Once there he could point her in whatever direction she needed to go and get on with his own mission.
He was under no illusions about a romantic reunion. Her interest in him was purely practical. She needed an escape plan and he was it.
He felt a twinge of something unfamiliar at the thought of letting the human female continue her escapades. Inevitably, she would be captured by one of the groups she opposed and they were not nice people. They wouldn’t hesitate to hurt or possibly even kill her. After all, she’d exposed their unsavory business practices to the entire galaxy.
Still, she’d made her choices and he had no business interfering. He just happened to be in the right place to give her a hand with this particular exploit.
He heard the sound of the access door sliding open. The little redhead witch had his private access codes? He shook his head ruefully and tried to ignore the way his flight suit suddenly felt a size too small. Of course she did. She’d already been inside his ship to leave him that message.
“The human female is aboard, along with a small mammal of unknown type. The mammal appears to be in some type of medical distress.”
Thank you, Gemma. Prepare to launch ASAP.
“Initiating launch sequence.”
“Let’s get out of here!” Zoe burst onto the bridge, carrying what appeared to be a ball of white fluff about the size of a large feline. She threw herself into the empty chair at the navigations station and fastened the safety harness while still clutching the bundle of fur to her chest.
As if in answer to her command, the ship’s deck vibrated silently beneath their feet and the shuttle craft moved into the launch corridor. The vibrations ceased as the main engines came online. Nanoseconds later, they were hurtling out the launch portal and into the welcoming vacuum of space.
“Gemma, you have the com. Continue on course but alert me to any unusual activity.” He paused. “And let me know if anyone follows us from the research facility.”
“Aye, captain.”
Greyson turned to Zoe, determined not to show any emotion. “So. What exactly is that thing and what’s wrong with it?”

Posted in Books

Laura’s Legacy

Title: LAURA’S LEGACY
Author: Lilli Carlisle
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

Boroughs Publishing Group can’t wait to give you a Xmas gift in July. Join the party:

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BLURB:

A GIFT BOUND BY LOVE

While Laura was attending the annual omega celebration, a ruthless ogre attack destroyed her village and wiped out her family. Heartbroken, lonely, and adrift, she was forced to rely on the kindness of the Black Ridge wolf pack alpha for a home. And so were many others, including members of the small Newton pack, and their handsome, strong alpha, Dedric. One brief interlude was all it took for Laura to know she would choose him as her mate.

Alpha Dedric Newton couldn’t believe his good fortune. Beautiful and powerful, Laura was the omega of his dreams. Worried he had so little to offer, he insists she spend time with his small pack as they rebuild their village and homes. Laura and Dedric’s time in Newton strengthens their bond while evil works to undo all of Laura’s gifts, especially her legacy. After finding the greatest love an alpha could dream of, Dedric will do anything and everything to keep Laura safe from harm.

Excerpt:
The next day Laura found herself in the passenger seat of a large SUV heading to Newton. Dedric was driving; Gabi and Lily were in the back, along with two warriors, Jensgar and Drune, in the third-row seats. Laura’s chosen mate held her hand as he drove, leading the convoy forward and further away from the place she’d come to live, and where she’d felt safe.

Since she woke this morning, she had that same grip of fear in the pit of her stomach as she’d had when she’d learned marauding ogres had destroyed her home and village. Dedric seemed to sense her distress and held her hand tighter.

“Are you okay, sweetheart?”

She hated making him worry, but in an effort to be truthful with her partner, Laura replied, “I was finally getting used to living in Black Ridge after my home was taken from me, and now I’m moving on to the pack that I hope to make my home. It’s a bit overwhelming. I’ve moved more in the last six months than I have in my entire life.”

“I promise, I’ll make you happy and you’ll grow to love Newton as much as I do.”

Laura appreciated the sentiment and his effort, but mere words weren’t going to make the dread vanish. The last thing she wanted to do was to ruin his homecoming, so she smiled at him and squeezed his hand in reply. It would take a lot of work to clean and repair the town, but getting Newton back on its feet meant a great deal to the man she loved. “I’m looking forward to being in Newton, really. But there’s been so many changes in the past few months, I hope you understand, this is a me thing.”

“I understand. We’ll make it through this together. I love you,” Dedric murmured, and she knew his heart was true; she could see the love in his eyes.

“I love you, too,” she whispered before kissing the top of the hand that was holding hers.


Author Bio and Links

Lilli Carlisle, lives outside Toronto, Canada. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter, Toronto Romance Writers. Lilli is a mother of two wonderful girls, wife to an amazing man, and servant to the pets in her life. Lilli writes both contemporary and paranormal romance and believes love should be celebrated and shared. After all, everybody needs a little romance, excitement, intrigue and passion in their lives.

Buy links:
http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/lauras-legacy

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/lauras-legacy/id1402875024?mt=11
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lauras-legacy-lilli-carlisle/1128944914?ean=2940155308119
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/laura-s-legacy-1
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/844080

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Posted in Books

Dark Pleasures

Title: Dark Pleasures
by Aja James
GENRE: paranormal, fantasy romance


BLURB:

Devlin Sinclair, the New England Dark Ones’ Hunter, is on a mission to track down the elusive and mysterious Medusa, perhaps the ultimate nemesis the Pure and Dark Ones have been battling in recent years.

But he can’t do it alone.

Grace Darling has isolated herself from the world since a very young age, after her parents’ death and because of her own social disability. Awkward and brilliant, a born sensualist, Grace agrees to a blind date that changes the course of Destiny.
She has the skills he needs. Their chemistry is off the charts, but will she, can she give him the love he craves?

Excerpt:

The taxi jolted to a stop and Grace got out without waiting for Devlin to disembark first and open the door for her.

He never understood this aspect of modern women, in particular American women. Were they so independent that they couldn’t appreciate gentlemanly behavior? Did they never think that some men simply enjoyed being a gentleman?

After some two hundred years, Devlin would always behave according to the principles and manners that had been ingrained in him since birth. Not because they were habits he couldn’t shake off but because they were part of who he was, part of the man he was.

Well, bloodsucker now.

He rapidly scoured his mind for ideas. How could he get this strange, Sphinx-like woman to invite him inside? Surely there was a—

“Come inside,” she intoned with nary a trace of emotional inflection. Not excitement, anticipation or nervousness.

But at least she saved him from thinking up an excuse to impose on her.

Devlin was about to thank her for her invitation when he met her eyes.

Her pupils had fully swallowed her irises. Her stare was so intense now that it actually gave him pause.

Just who was the hunter and who, the prey? Her unblinking black eyes reminded him of a cobra hypnotizing a field mouse.

He silently accepted her invitation anyway by following her down the steps of her basement apartment in a posh part of Soho, and then inside her abode once she unlocked and opened the door with efficiency.

He was well over ten times as strong as she and a trained killer besides. He was certainly not the prey in this scenario.

Just as efficiently, she locked the door the moment they were both within the entryway, working a series of four locks and deadbolts in addition to punching in the codes to a state-of-the-art security system. No one was getting into her fortress unless she voluntarily admitted them.

Devlin wondered if the same applied for getting out.

Review by Emily: This book is *awesome*. I’m giving it a 4.75, and I’ll explain that .25 loss in just a minute. First, though: HOLY CRAP what a GREAT book! The plot is enticing, the sex is hot, the characters, ALL of them, are well-developed, and it leaves you on a cliffhanger as far as two of the subplots go. Who could ask for more?

My only issue with the book isn’t the story but is in the way the author, Aja James, chooses to tell the story. She often fluctuates between two POVs (points of view) in a single scene without warning. This drove me crazy because 1) it’s hard to know whose head I’m in and 2) this is a violation of everything we’re taught as authors. Oh, and 3) it didn’t seem to be for any good reason.

That being said, and even though this is distract me from the story, it was no more annoying than someone snapping their gum a few times during a movie in a theatre. I would love to see the author fix this in future books because it might be as frustrating to some as bad grammar is to me. (Very, in other words.) But the story was so exciting and pulled every character together so well that I just can’t hold this flaw against her too much.

If you like original magical creatures (shadowy ones) and traditional magical beings used in new ways, you’ll love DARK PLEASURES.

***A special note to the author: I will review your books anytime!***

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she’d be the first to admit that those early efforts weren’t particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper!

The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.


Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)
She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.


Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.

Contact Information
Website: https://aja-james.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AjaJamesAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/megami771
Blog: https://aja-james.blog/
Pinterest: N/A for now
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Ice_Baby

Purchase Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Longing-Pure-Ones-Book-ebook/dp/B077993M4N

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Aja James will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Rafflecopter Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2684

Posted in Books

Tempting Beat

Title: TEMPTING BEAT
Author: Brooklyn Ann
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BLURB:

YOU NEVER KNOW…

Bleeding Vengeance’s drummer, Roderick Powell knows he’s a sod for feeling glum, especially after moving into a beautiful new home in a smart Denver suburb. But all his mates are partnered or married, and dreadfully happy. It’s enough to make a rockstar rethink his options. And even though his sexy neighbor has given him the brush-off, he’s decided to have another go – at this point he has nothing left to lose, apart from his heart.

WHAT LIES BENEATH

Gwen Mason’s romantic past has been bumpier than most – twice divorced by thirty, she’s had enough of broken promises. An ER nurse who keeps a brutal schedule, she’s happy to become known as the neighborhood crazy cat lady. But…the most delicious man has moved next door. He’s British, he’s famous, he’s a rockstar. And, hard as she tries, Gwen can’t keep Rod Powell from breaking all her rules, and suddenly she sees a future she never believed possible.


EXCERPT

When Gwen stepped out onto her porch, it seemed her neighbor, Mrs. Kersh, had the same idea. Gwen saw her striding across the street before Gwen looked over and saw the moving truck next door.

“Our new neighbor has finally arrived,” Mrs. Kersh said in a somewhat scolding tone, as if the new homeowner was tardy in taking up residence. “I do wish I’d been home to see more of the prospective buyers touring the property.”

Gwen nodded. As an ER nurse, she worked twelve-hour shifts alternating between three and four days a week and almost always on the weekends, when most people perused houses for sale. She’d been working during the open house, and also missed the people who came after to look at the home. “I hope whoever bought the place is a nice person.”

Mrs. Kersh huffed. “I hope they’re quiet and don’t have a dog. The last people were atrocious, leaving that mutt in the yard to yap all the time.”

The last people were also major jerks, Gwen thought as she watched the movers pile out of the truck and begin unloading furniture. Their barking dog and loud children had cost her precious hours of sleep. Still, she couldn’t help but give Mrs. Kersh a sideways smile and glance down at Molly, the little terrier that was ever at Mrs. Kersh’s side.

Mrs. Kersh’s eyes widened with blatant terror. “Oh no.”

An older silver Honda CR-V pulled behind the moving truck and a man got out with a happy smile and a proprietary gleam in his eyes as he met the moving truck with a fob of jingling keys.

Holy hotness. Gwen almost breathed the words aloud as her belly tilted at the sight of the man striding up the walkway of the house next door. Shoulder-length chocolate-brown hair framed a face that was worthy of a magazine cover. Gray eyes danced with a touch of mischief. His lips were arched and full, making it impossible not to think of kissing.

Which was something Gwen could never do, because aside from that not being neighborly, he was clearly too young for her. If he was older than twenty-five, Gwen would eat her scrubs.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing Romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. After writing historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed “Scandals with Bite” series and urban fantasy in her “Brides of Prophecy” novels, she now explores the chaotic realm of heavy metal music— a difficult world to find love in.

She lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.

Buy links:
http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/tempting-beat
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DJ9MCXM 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tempting-beat/id1394524050?mt=11
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tempting-beat-brooklyn-ann/1128870245?ean=2940155281757
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tempting-beat
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/836518
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Author giveaway: $15 Boroughs Bucks

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2739

Posted in Books

His Untamed Love

Title: His Untamed Love
Author: Anya Summers
GENRE: Erotic Romance

BLURB:

Visiting the Black Elkhorn Lodge and Resort is Mia Evans’s last option. She’s bordering on a nervous breakdown. Everyone in her life she thought she could count on deserted her. And, to make matters worse, she has the foulest case of writer’s block in the history of the world. She figures getting herself out of the prison her apartment in Chicago has become will help jar her life and her writing out of the rut they are in. But she isn’t prepared for the surly, sexy cowboy – who looks like her every dark fantasy come alive – riding into her life on his trusty steed.

Cole Stewart only loved one woman in all his thirty-five years, until he lost her forever and swore he would never love another. Since then he’s had a revolving door with the subs at his lifestyle club Cuffs & Spurs, all with the unwritten rule that he doesn’t get involved or do relationships of any kind, period. That is, until Mia Evans, the burned-out, anxiety ridden author, needing to get away from her real life, nearly runs him over with her car. Seeing the haunted expression in her gaze and a body he craves, the Dom in him knows he must have her, must taste her and feel her writhing beneath him. But will he be willing to risk his heart for the untamed passion he finds in her arms?


Excerpt:
Behind the registration desk was a blonde woman, roughly around her age. But where Mia felt she looked like a bedraggled escapee from the local loony bin, this woman, in her pretty ivory blouse and pinstripe navy blue blazer, appeared to be a calm and confident businesswoman.

Mia wished she had a tenth of the woman’s poise.

Her face lit up at spying Mia and she said, “Hi, welcome to the Black Elkhorn Lodge. I’m Billie. How can I help you today?”

“I, um, have a reservation,” Mia said in a pained whisper. She kept herself from wringing her hands together, but just barely.

“And your name, hon?” Billie asked, not showing any sign that she thought Mia was crazy.

“It’s Mia. Mia Evans.”

Billie’s smile widened at her name. “Miss Evans, yes, I have you down here as arriving today. It looks like you are going to be with us for a month, correct?”

“Yes.” If she made it that long. She might be carted off to the asylum before then. So…

“Perfect. I will just need your driver’s license and a major credit card for any amenities, since you’ve already paid for your stay in full. We’ve put you in cabin D, and it is just the sweetest little place that I think you will adore. Here are your keys. It’s one of our luxury cabins and an absolute peach. We stocked the refrigerator and pantry as you requested. I put together this packet of all the information about our tours, what to do with your trash, whom to contact if you need after-hours maintenance, and some of the local attractions in the area. If you have any questions about any of the information, just let me or one of the other clerks know and we can help you out. The Elkhorn Restaurant is open until eight every weeknight and nine on the weekends. Trust me, you will want to experience Chef Emily’s cooking. It’s simply out of this world.”

“Okay, thanks.”

Billie whipped out a map and circled a building with a pen. “This is where we are, the main lodge. To get to your cabin, take the road here, make a right when you come to the three-way split in the road, and your cabin will be the last one at the end of the drive.”

“Great.” That way, if she had a total meltdown, there would be fewer people around to witness the spectacle.

“And if there’s anything at all that you need or have a question about, don’t hesitate to contact us here at the front desk,” Billie said and gave Mia a friendly smile.

Perhaps a padded cell or a personality transplant?

But Mia just nodded and replied quietly, “Okay, thank you.”

She scooped up the packet, the map, and keys. Then Billie handed her license and credit card back. With everything clutched in her hands, Mia headed back out to her SUV, setting the packet on the passenger seat.

She started the engine and began backing out of her space—only to slam on her brakes.

Shit! Crap! Dammit!

She blanched. She’d nearly taken out a guy on horseback.

Mia could imagine the headlines now: Famed Author Mows Down Innocent Cowboy! More in the news at eleven!

Web Host Note: This excerpt is really good. If this book ever comes up for review, put my name in!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher http://www.maggiemaegallagher.com/. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit her website here:
www.anyasummers.com
Visit her on social media here:
http://www.facebook.com/AnyaSummersAuthor
Twitter: @AnyaBSummers
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15183606.Anya_Summers
Sign-up for Anya Summers Newsletter
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/anya-summers
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/anyasummersauthor/

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers and Blushing Books!

Dungeon Fantasy Club Series
Her Highland Master, Book 1 https://www.amazon.com/Highland-Master-Dungeon-Fantasy-Club-ebook/dp/B01E9UB8SO/
To Master and Defend, Book 2 https://www.amazon.com/Master-Defend-Dungeon-Fantasy-Club-ebook/dp/B01FNG23HI/
Two Doms for Kara, Book 3 https://www.amazon.com/Doms-Kara-Dungeon-Fantasy-Club-ebook/dp/B01GXGOAK0/
His Driven Domme, Book 4 https://www.amazon.com/Driven-Domme-Dungeon-Fantasy-Club-ebook/dp/B01IIUY8Y2
Her Country Master, Book 5 https://goo.gl/YWhLqm
Love Me, Master Me, Book 6 https://goo.gl/QlTE9u
Submit To Me, Book 7 https://goo.gl/Or8pYr
Her Wired Dom, Book 8 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRJY9TF/

Pleasure Island Series
Her Master & Commander, Book 1 https://www.amazon.com/Master-Commander-Pleasure-Island-Book-ebook/dp/B06Y5SVVB9/
Her Music Masters, Book 2 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711R9D1H/
Their Shy Submissive, Book 3 https://goo.gl/ufyJLn
Her Lawful Master, Book 4 https://www.amazon.com/Lawful-Master-Pleasure-Island-Book-ebook/dp/B073SRDNNT
Her Rockstar Dom, Book 5 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VSGP8Q
Duets & Dominance, Book 6 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075TG9RYC
Her Undercover Dom, Book 7 https://goo.gl/HKhVba
Ménage In Paradise, Book 8 https://goo.gl/qce2BD
Her Rodeo Masters, Book 9 https://goo.gl/HDZw6v

Cuffs & Spurs Series
His Scandalous Love releasing March 8, 2018
His Wicked Love releasing May 8, 2018
His Untamed Love releasing July 9, 2018
His Tempting Love releasing September 6, 2018
His Seductive Love releasing November 8, 2018
His Secret Love releasing January 8, 2019
His Cherished Love releasing March 8, 2019

Purchase Links
Amazon https://goo.gl/6KLva3
Nook https://goo.gl/2kZhzM
iBooks https://goo.gl/aJ1E2B

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Anya will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Rafflecopter Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2726

Posted in Books

Tempted by the Viscount

Title: Tempted by the Viscount
Author: Sofie Darling

Review by Amber: I am going to give this novel 4.5 stars. Sofie Darling brings another fun, romantic and drama filled to her historical novels. I have read her first book and this one is just as good. The characters are strong and the attraction between Olivia and Jacob is immediate and fiery. There are a few times I think the author could have made more exciting or cut.

Poor Jacob never wanted to be rich, but as he is he only surviving male from the l, he is thrust into society instead of following his desire to sail.

My heart became mush at how much Jacob loves his daughter, Mia. Which is one reason he does not want to fall in love with Olivia. Since Olivia has her own scandals following her around and to get the best for Mia’s education and fit into society.

Another wonderful historical romance that leaves me wanting to know what happens next. I highly recommend the books by Sofie.

Author Bio:

Sofie Darling is an award-winning author of historical romance. Her debut novel, THREE LESSONS IN SEDUCTION, won the Writers’ League of Texas’ Manuscript Contest in the Romance Category in 2016.

She spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized she simply had to write the books she loved, she finished her English degree and embarked on her writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

Connect:
Site: https://sofiedarling.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sofiedarlingauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sofie_darling
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/sofiedarling

Book Blurb:

London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Purchase links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2yEhE75
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2trcdDA

“And what in this world doesn’t a woman under the protection of a duke have at her fingertips?”
Her own Mayfair townhouse, she didn’t reply. Instead, she pressed her lips together and held his piercing gaze.
A possibility stole in. He wasn’t only a man. He was an opportunity.
She and he each had something the other wanted. And they each had the power to give it to the other. It was simple.
Misgiving seized her. This was Lord St. Alban. Nothing would remain simple with him for long. She felt it in her bones. But how badly did she want her independence?
It felt like a test question. And Lord St. Alban was the correct answer.

Giveaway Info:

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjA4ZWI4ZWQ3NTUyM2VlYWJhMzFjOTYxNDNhZTI1OjE3MDY=/

Posted in Books

Nothing is Predictable

Title: Nothing Is Predictable
by Adalina Mae
Genre: Autobiographical Novel – Memoir – AutoFiction

BLURB:

Zara is eight years old, her father, in a drunken rampage, accidentally shoots himself dead.

Her childhood memories leave her struggling with romantic attachments and hinder her from developing healthy relationships.

Seeking answers, She meets a monk for wisdom, and a gypsy for insight.
The journeys Adalina Mae takes us on are interspersed with heartbreaking moments as well as hilarious escapades.

This is life and nothing is predictable. The story keeps you on your toes and offers mysteries to solve.

Why does Zara have recurrent nightmares of her last night with her father?

Why does she struggle with love?

Excerpt:
“Please, try your best, then when you are ready, come to the pavilion and find me. This discussion is not over. I need you to do this first, okay?” She stood up, nodded humbly, and started walking down the hill.

“Don’t forget, drop it like a sack of potatoes, and focus on your breathing!” she called back politely.

She wanted me to grasp the moment, and to focus on cultivating the art of a controlled mind, to increase wisdom and mental awareness. In return, that should give me the ability to focus on my childhood years with controlled thoughts that would no longer affect my emotions, if I learnt to have empathy and to forgive.

“Oh God, how on earth am I going to forgive? Okay, let’s try,” I mumbled to myself.

“Drop it like a sack of potatoes, drop it like a sack of potatoes, sack of potatoes, potatoes. Oh my God, I feel like French fries.” Clearly, meditating about the sack of potatoes wasn’t helping. I tried again, closed my eyes and began to focus on my breathing. Then I took myself back to my childhood years to try to find a way to forgive all that had happened to me. I failed endlessly with that task; a minute of silence seemed like an hour. I kept getting distracted, thinking about French fries and what bills I’d forgotten to pay.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Adalina Mae is the author of the published novel Nothing Is Predictable and soon to be released Nothing Can Last Forever.

After leaving the corporate world of management, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion to write.

She’s also a lover of movies and hopes that her novels become a motion picture.

Adalina wrote Nothing Is Predictable to inspire optimism and positive thoughts, reminding us we are strong and can overcome life’s challenges. Particularly those who suffered childhood trauma like she has.

She is determined to spread the inspirational message of her story.
Her life’s incidents have taught her that,

Nothing Is Predictable and Nothing Can Last Forever.

Website: www.adalinamae.com

Book stores Link: http://bit.ly/bookstoreslink

Amazon only link: http://bit.ly/buybookfromamazon

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/goodreadsbooktitle

Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/ILoveThisStorySpecialEdition

Facebook: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorFacebook

Instagram: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorInstagram

Twitter: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorTwitter

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Adalina Mae will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2662

Posted in Books

The Secret Lives of Royals

Title: The Secret Lives of Royals
by Shalini Dua
GENRE: New Adult, YA, Fantasy

BLURB:

Olivia can’t take it anymore. She’s had enough of the big city and it’s lack of fulfilling her dreams. Then, just when she’s about to give up and move home, out of the blue, she is offered her dream job. Olivia is suspicious but that could just be the New York in her. She decides not to pull at threads. Despite her best efforts to remain blissfully oblivious, the secret to her life upgrade is soon uncovered when she finds herself invited to be part of a secret society.

Olivia learns that there is a thin curtain separating our world from theirs. Just beneath the surface, an entirely different one exists. One that is controlled by those of Royal lineage. The chosen ones, the Royals, hold the fate of the world in their hands. Will Olivia be able to bear the weight of the crown?

Confessions of a Shopaholic meets The Adjustment Bureau, this contemporary fairytale is both relatable and aspirational. Taking a look at the current balance of media and power with a healthy dose of humor, fashion, food and wanderlust.

Excerpt: Connor cleans up nicely in dark jeans, a black blazer paired with a white shirt and, shockingly for him, no tie. He’s shaved for the occasion to reveal perfect skin that appears baby smooth. I want to reach out and touch it to see if it’s as soft as it seems, but I resist. Actually, Connor is hot. If you like that smolderingly handsome type. It’s so annoying because he is such a difficult person. I try to ignore the attractiveness because I find his personality extremely abrasive, but I’m being nice because I need to follow his lead and learn as much as I can about what it is exactly that we do.

“Shall we?” asks Connor, offering me his arm in an annoyingly chivalrous move, one he will soon live to regret. I begrudgingly take it, discomfited by the fact that he can be equally charming and exasperating and that I never quite know which to expect.

“A host shows us to our seats and we meet our dining companions. One I recognize as Gloria, the daytime TV talk show host with the ability to change anyone’s life with a wave of her hand, and an army of assistants; and the other is some sort of political big-wig whom I don’t recognize at all. Gloria air kisses all of us and promptly decides Connor and I are a couple.

“Young love is soooooo sweet. I just love it! Don’t you just love it? I could eat you both up,” she exclaims until Connor can’t take it anymore and cuts her off.”

“We’re not together,” he informs her brusquely. There’s a beat of silence as Connor’s tone kills the conversation.

“We’re colleagues,” I helpfully add to try to soften the atmosphere, “at Le Salon.” Gloria seems shocked, and not just a little offended, momentarily silenced in what I’m sure is a very rare occurrence for her. Although, whether it’s because no one has ever cut her off before or by the way Connor seems so hostile about the fact that we are not together is not clear. I, too, do not care for Connor’s tone. To ease the tension and to bug Connor, I give her a women-in-cahoots smile and tell her, “We’re on a break,” and add in hushed tones, “Connor isn’t taking it well but since we work together, we both got roped into attending this event.” That explanation seems to satisfactorily explain Connor’s behavior and Gloria moves on to more pressing matters.

“Oh men! Who makes your dress, darling? It’s to die for!” Sophia has not briefed me on my outfit. I must remind her about that next time. I’m not clear if she works for me or vice versa and what, if any, authority I have over her, so I decide I’ll just be super nice about it but firm. My new strategy is fake it till you make it because, well, I’m not exactly sure what else to do.

“I was styled by Sophia Garcia,” I respond and leave it at that.

Gloria and Senator Broughton, as I learn, know each other from various events. They exchange pleasantries about their families, lives and pets before Gloria gets bored and turns her attention back to Connor and me.

“Tell me about your story, honey.” She seems really fascinated by ‘our story,’ which I suppose makes sense as that is what she does for a living and it’s probably hard to turn off. And I, encouraged by my first glass of wine on a relatively empty stomach, get a bit carried away and keep fabricating details.

“Well, we met in a Starbucks when we both ordered the same obscure secret menu drink.” I look fondly over at Connor. “When our fingers touched and our eyes met for the first time, I just knew.” I put my hand on his arm. Connor squirms uncomfortably and goes a bit red. I can’t tell if it’s from anger or embarrassment.

“Oh My God. What happened? You sound perfect for each other!” I wonder if Gloria always thinks she’s being filmed, presenting to a live audience. I sigh.

“We’re on a break. I got hired at Le Salon and Connor couldn’t put his professional life aside for our love.” I dab at my eyes with my napkin for effect. This is fun. Maybe I should try acting, but it’s getting to be a little too much for Connor.

He finally interjects and sort of quietly yells, “We are not together.” At this point, and I’m not sure what prompted this, I burst into full-fledged tears and then, get this, he grows redder still and tries to comfort me, probably because I’m making a scene.

Gloria eats this up, and by the time the first course, a delightful butternut squash and lobster soup spiced just right with hints of cinnamon and red pepper, is served she has become my best girlfriend and protector for the evening, giving me lots of helpful, if generic, relationship advice, like,

“You don’t need a man, darling.” Though, it’s unclear why not. And “You’ll find yourself a better man.” Although, I am pretty convinced I don’t need one at this point, and now I’m confused.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

An international upbringing and a love of stories laid the foundation for wanderlust. Shalini aspires to spend her time country-hopping and consuming pop-culture, comedy and good food but the reality is often frantically downing coffee, meeting deadlines at exactly the last second and working her unglamorous corporate job to fund all of the other pursuits.

The Secret Lives of Royals is Shalini’s debut novel. Her other work includes published poetry and scripts only she has read.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITE LINKS

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/ShaliniDuaBooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaliniDua126

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ididntmeantofeelanything/

Website: www.shalinidua.com/books

BUY LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HxD1uZ

iBooks: https://apple.co/2w0APXd

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Shalina will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2706

Posted in Books

A Hasty Grave

Title: A Hasty Grave

By Jessie McAlan

GENRE: Amateur sleuth

SPECIAL NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99.

Blurb:

Finding a large hole on one’s property is one thing; finding a body in it the following day is quite another.

Rona and her ex-husband, Johnny, also discover a sheet of paper at the gravesite, symbols looking like code or treasure hunting glyphs. What’s it mean? Does it have any bearing on the man’s death?

Add to this mix the old Finley-Tennet feud and an elderly Finley’s nebulous recollection of James/Younger outlaw days. Does she have the clue to the cache’s location?

When a second death pushes Rona and Johnny into a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the killer, she learns—nearly too late–just how deeply Johnny still loves her.

Excerpt:

She’d set her laptop on the coffee table and was getting out dessert plates and mugs when the bell to the side door rang. She cracked open the window, saw it was Johnny, then ushered him inside.

“First time in quite a while I’ve been given the eye.” He gave her a light kiss on the cheek. “Wouldn’t a peep hole in the door work better?”

“I just wanted to be certain it was you. Can you install a peep hole?”

“Nothing to it, especially for a man who’s put in those picture windows in his shop.” He flung his cap onto the kitchen table and shrugged out of his jacket. “Why the precautions all of a sudden?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I’m not busy the rest of my life. Except for October 28th. I’ll be occupied with the gallery’s opening that day. But the other ten thousand nine hundred fifty days are yours.”

“How long is that?

“Thirty years, give or take a leap day or two. I want to make sure I’m not skimping on our time together.”

“You plan on living to one hundred seven?”

“I don’t see why not. I have to make up for our year of separation and divorce.” He dished two servings of the pudding cake into the bowls, set them and the mugs on the tray, and took them into the den. “So, what’s this long story that requires precautions? I love stories. I was brought up on stories.”

“This isn’t Little Red Riding Hood. Sorry to disappoint you.”

“So it’s something else with a big bad wolf.”

Review by Emily: I’m giving A Hasty Grave four (4) stars. The greatest part of this book is the character development and the strength and authenticity of Rona, the main character. She’s definitely not a TSTL (Too Stupid To Live). Rona reacts to threats in different ways and all of these are honest and perfectly fit her character. The secondary characters are equally as well-developed.

The dialogue is great. I hate to use the word “authentic” again but it’s the only word that fits here. It’s a joy to read.

The setting is enjoyable—a small town on the banks of the Mississippi. It’s definitely a unique place to hold a murder mystery.

I also like the red herrings. LOL, ‘nough said. (They really make the book more entertaining.)

Unfortunately, I had two problems with the narrative. The first is minor. The author tends to head-hop, briefly delving into another character’s point of view even though the book is obviously in Rona’s point of view. This is only a small distraction.

The second problem is more challenging to get around, and that’s pacing. This book stops and starts, offering brief jolts of action followed by long expository passages.

These two things aside, if you like hints at romance, well-developed characters, and a gradual but progressive plot, you will like A Hasty Grave.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A family trip to the Big Spring area in the Missouri Ozarks introduced Jessie to the wonders of nature. Her summer stints as a camp counselor and canoeing instructor cemented her enthusiasm. This love of the natural world and the river flows through her Linn House mysteries.

In 2001 Jessie graduated from Webster University with a BA degree and departmental honors in English.

She lives in the St Louis, MO area, and spends as much time as she can writing mysteries and watching the barges on the river.

https://www.amazon.com/Jessie-McAlan/e/B0725KQ4WT
https://www.facebook.com/Jessie-McAlan-Mysteries-257832941350367/
http://www.jessie-mcalan.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16850946.Jessie_McAlan

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Jessie McAlan will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2671