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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Retribution Release Day Blitz @kimcresswell

Title: Retribution (Book Two – Whitney Steel Series)
Author: Kim Cresswell
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours



THE WAR HAS JUST BEGUN…

Once the top leader of the Sur del Calle cartel, Colombia’s largest drug trafficking organization, Pablo Sanchez has declared revenge against Blake Barnett, the FBI agent who’d killed his twin brother over a decade ago.

After one failed attempt forced him to flee the United States, Pablo has a bold new plan and he’s even more determined to kill Blake and his fiancée, Whitney Steel.

From Las Vegas to the militant infected jungles of Bogota, Blake has no choice but to risk his life and infiltrate the cartel’s inner world and eliminate the ruthless drug lord.

But the price of failure is higher than ever as he’s forced to use the woman he loves as a pawn in a deadly game—where the events of the past and present collide.

WARNING: This book contains graphic language, adult situations, and violence.








Kim Cresswell resides in Ontario, Canada. Trained as a legal assistant, Kim has been a story-teller all her life but took many detours including; working in legal and adult education before returning to her first love, writing.

Her debut romantic suspense, REFLECTION, has won numerous awards: RomCon®'s 2014 Readers' Crown Finalist (Romantic Suspense), InD'tale Magazine 2014 Rone Award Finalist (Suspense/Thriller), UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013), Silicon Valley's Romance Writers of America (RWA) "Gotcha!" Romantic Suspense Winner (2004), Honourable Mention in Calgary's (RWA) The Writer's Voice Contest (2006). LETHAL JOURNEY won RomCon®'s 2014 Readers' Crown (Thriller) and was a finalist in From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW) Golden Gate Contest (2003). Her action-packed thrillers have been highly praised by reviewers and readers. As one reviewer said, "Buckle up, Hang on tight!" Kim recently entered the true crime writing arena. Real Life Evil - A True Crime Quickie (two short stories) was published in January 2014. You can read her latest true crime stories in Serial Killer Quarterly, a new quarterly e-magazine published by Grinning Man Press. She is also a member of The American Investigative Society Of Cold Cases (AISOCC), a non-profit, volunteer based organization of professional investigators whose sole mission is to assist in solving cold cases. To learn more about Kim and her writing, visit www.kimcresswell.ca





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CHAPTER ONE


Death by lethal injection.

Whitney had waited years to hear those four words. Final justice for a man who’d taken so much from her and her fiancé, Blake Barnett. She stood on the concrete steps outside the seven storey L-shaped courthouse waiting for her cameraman, Jerry Maxwell, to give her the on-air countdown. After a last minute microphone check, Whitney drew a deep breath then exhaled slowly.

Jerry held up his fingers. “In five…four…three…two…one.”

“I’m reporting live outside the district courthouse on South Las Vegas Boulevard. Moments ago, District Attorney Jason Kurz announced the jury had sentenced Nathan Shaw to death by lethal injection. Mr. Kurz stated the jury found, unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Shaw is a continuing threat to society.”

She swallowed hard, barely able to get the words out.

“A month ago, Nathan Shaw, owner of ShawBioGen, was found guilty on four counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of attempted murder of a federal agent.”

That FBI agent is the man I love.

The memory of that day was before her in all its bloody glory. The image of Blake shot and left to die played over and over in her mind. Perspiration broke out across her forehead.

Damn it. Not now. Breathe…

“Mr. Shaw had hired a hitman to kill Claire Barnett, a microbiologist with his company, Senator Mason Bailey, George Raines, an editor with WBNN-TV, and District Attorney Kate Leathham in hopes of covering up his illegal human cloning project.” Sadness tugged at her heart. So many lives lost. Her legs trembled. “Nathan Shaw will be executed at Nevada State Prison in Carson City. His attorney, Warren Demotteo, is expected to file a formal appeal later today.”

She paused to take a breath. “This is Whitney Steel. News3.”

Jerry gave a quick nod, his cue they were off the air.

Whitney lowered the microphone and kept it clutched in her right hand as she watched two workers at the other end of the courthouse dismantling the makeshift press conference tent used earlier.

“Are you okay?” Jerry removed the camera from his shoulder and placed it on the ground. “For a minute there, I thought you were going to pass out.”

Her body went limp with relief. Her gaze met his. She smiled and picked up her purse from the step and swung it over her shoulder. “I’ll be fine.”

It’s finally over.

With Nathan Shaw’s sentencing behind her, now she could focus on her upcoming wedding on August second which was less than three weeks away. She couldn’t wait. And neither could Blake.

In the parking lot, Jerry opened the rear door of the News3 satellite broadcast van and loaded their equipment.

Whitney eyed a white SUV with dark tinted windows stop a car’s length away. With the lot full due to the sentencing, the driver appeared to be waiting for their spot.

Jerry slammed the van door shut. “You ready?”

“Yeah, let’s get back to the station.” She glanced over her shoulder.

Three men jumped out of the SUV wearing black balaclavas.

They barreled toward her.

She spotted guns in their hands.

After a brief moment of paralyzing disbelief, Whitney clutched her purse and bolted to the passenger side of the vehicle.

“Get in. Hurry!” Jerry yelled.

She reached for the door handle but a strong arm looped around her neck and dragged her back.

The heels of her shoes scrapped against the pavement. “Let go—of me.”

The man covered her mouth with a leather-gloved hand and pulled her between the parked cars and out of sight.

She felt the muzzle of the gun jab into her back.

Moist breath brushed against her ear. “Shut the hell up.”

Another man held a gun to Jerry’s temple. “You’re going to film this. Live. Understand?”

Jerry held up his hands, his eyes wide. “Okay, okay. But—it’s going to take a few minutes to setup the feed.” He opened the van’s back door again and fumbled for his equipment.

Whitney squirmed.

The man tightened his grip around her neck.

She wheezed and fought for a breath.

Who were these men? What did they want?

The sane voice in her head ordered her to stay still. Even though she had a black belt in karate and was skilled at crushing a person’s windpipe or disarming a knife-wielding attacker, she wasn’t stupid enough to take on three guys that were double her height and weight with guns aimed at her. All she could do was watch, stay as calm as possible, and hope someone would see what was going on and call the police.

When Jerry had the live feed setup, he stood in front of them, camera ready. His voice trembled. “You’re on.”

The third man, the tallest of the group, pulled a red and white bandana out of a small plastic bag he had stuffed in the pocket of his jeans.

He pressed the moist cloth over her mouth and nose and held it there.

She squirmed and kicked but it was useless. Her head started to buzz. The sickly sweet smell mixed with the rotten odor of strong cleaning solution invaded her head.

Blood pounded in her ears and male voices turned faint and distorted.

As her breathing slowed every muscle turned to mush. Then blackness drowned her vision and she realized what the men wanted.

They wanted her.






Monday, April 27, 2015

The Voyeur Next Door Release Day Blitz @AirickaPhoenix

Title: The Voyeur Next Door
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Genre: NA Contemporary Erotic
*Warnings: Strong sexual content & language. (18+ Only)*
Release Date: April 27, 2015
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours

He lived next door. Alison Eckrich was an expert at being invisible. Having been raised by a mother who saw only flaws, she had learned long ago to watch and never participate. Until him. He was gorgeous from what little she could make out through his bathroom window and he awakened things inside her she had always been told was wrong. But she didn’t care. She was addicted. Gabriel Madoc was no stranger to the cold sting of betrayal. His broken heart had left him hard and bitter and that was how he liked it. Until her. She was a vision in the soft twilight. Everything about her called to him. It didn’t even matter he couldn’t see her face. He wanted her. The rules were simple: No names. No faces. No attachments. They both had what the other needed so long as they never broke the rules. But what will happen when the mystery is unveiled and they both come face to face with the truth and each other? Is what they shared in the cloak of darkness enough to keep them together, or will reality tear them apart?









Chapter One


Ali

“God, baby, I need you inside me so bad…” My husky moan fogged the glass, obscuring my view of the deep fried and smothered in chocolate goodness just one creepy glass lick away from being all mine. “But I can’t let you control my life anymore.”

The pimply faced adolescent on the other side of the counter fidgeted uncomfortably, clearly disturbed by my affections, and possibly the drool marks I was leaving on his pristine display case.

“Ma’am?”

Giving the pastry one final glance of longing, I turned to him. “Just tea. Decaf because I apparently hate myself.”

Still looking nervous—maybe he was afraid I would start making out with the register next—he punched in my order, muttered off my total and then scurried off to grab me a pretty white cup and fill it with hot water. I set my money down and waited, all the while casting furtive peeks at the Boston cream pastry eyeing me back with a seductive, chocolaty glaze that all but whispered all the ways it could make me feel muy mucho goodo because that was how all my dirty fantasies started—with my food sounding like Antonio Banderas.

My water and teabag were set on the counter and nudged towards me the way lions were fed at the zoo—with a long stick poking their meals in under a steel cage door. Only the stick was his finger and the counter was the only thing keeping him safe from my all out crazy. My money was swept into a sweaty palm and tossed carelessly into the register. The drawer was slammed shut. Then there was nothing left for me to do but leave. Yet my weakness took that moment to nearly win; I started to open my mouth to order the pastry anyway, to portray that fuck it attitude I only pretended I possessed. But who was I kidding? It would never be just the one and my ass could do without the extra pounds.

Dejected, I took my disgusting drink and shuffled off to find a table somewhere within the air conditioned heaven. No one wanted to sit outside when it was hot enough to fry bacon. But most of the tables in the small café were full by drone-eyed squatters slumped over their laptops and cappuccinos.

Bastards.

Moving quickly down the line leading all the way to the door, I bee-lined for the only available table out on the shaded patio. My scalding water sloshed in the cup, but stayed stubbornly within the confines of the ceramic.

The moment I shouldered open the doors, I knew I’d made a mistake getting tea; it was just too damn hot.

I glanced back over my shoulder at the line. Nope. No way was I standing in that death trap a second time, not even for a Frappuccino with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, which was what I had originally gone in to get, except the beautifully athletic woman ahead of me had ordered a soy, low fat, no foam, something-something-something latte and the guilt had been too much. When the boy had fixed me with those judgy little eyes, I had balked and let myself be swayed by peer pressure and shame.

Resigned, I went to the table and sat. I stuffed my purse into the seat next to me and wondered how to drink my tea without sweating to death. I started by dropping my teabag into the water and watching as dark tendrils escaped and tainted the clear liquid. I adjusted my glasses as they began to slide down my sweaty nose and squinted at all the blinding brightness around me.

The café sat in the middle of a semi busy street catering mostly to restaurants and coffee shops and the occasional art studio. I wasn’t normally a coffee drinker and art made no sense to me, but I liked people. More importantly, I liked watching them … secretly … from a very great distance so as not to have to interact. People fascinated me. The things they did half the time made me question just how much chemicals and hormones really went into our food. But the problem with the artsy part of town was that it was very shiny. Everything gleamed. There were lights everywhere and everyone was dressed in bold, flashy colors that hurt the brain.

Me, in my long black skirt and baggy blouse melded with the décor. I could never pull off bold and sexy. Hell, I couldn’t even pull off one of those. Most days, my face would be lucky to see makeup, just because it was time taken away from something less pointless. No guy that didn’t require coke bottle glasses would ever look in my direction twice. Everything about me was all the things most men never noticed in a woman, unless they were into lobotomizing their dates. I just didn’t have the right looks to get men excited. It was a fact I had come to accept. Me and my lowly little decaf cup of tea.

“Rats!”

The exclamation was followed by the ripping sound of paper and the thud of things striking pavement. I twisted around in my seat just as an elderly man dropped down next to his torn bag of groceries. Pedestrians flocked around him, parting like the Red Sea to avoid stepping on him, or his things. But no one stopped to give him a hand as he scrambled to scoop items off the ground.

Abandoning my untouched drink, I hurried from my seat and dropped down next to him. My hands closed around a bag of apples, a tray of fresh chicken breasts and several cans of corn. I hugged them to my chest as he dumped his armload into the torn paper bag.

“Here,” I said, pulling the bag to me and emptying my things inside as well.

There was a stalk of celery and a carton of eggs that had upended on the sidewalk. I managed to salvage the celery. But the eggs had already begun to sizzle against the concrete.

“I think your eggs are toast,” I told him, stuffing the celery into the bag. “Or fried eggs, I guess.”

The man sighed. “Figures. That’s what I get for getting them free range eggs for about ten dollars more.”

It was a struggle not to laugh at the disgruntled huff.

“I think I have a plastic bag in my purse,” I said instead. “We might be able to fit all of this into it.”

Taking the bag from him, I walked back to my table and dragged my purse over. I opened the first pocket and rummaged inside.

The man shuffled up beside me and whistled. “Now, I’ve seen some crazy purses women carry around, but that right there is a doozy.”

My purse really was unique. When I first found it, it had only had the one big pocket and the one tiny pocket sewn into the inside. By the time I finished with it, it had about twenty pockets in various shapes and sizes and they all carried something. I had everything from a tiny sewing kit, to a paperback novel nestled inside. There were packets of tissue, gum, a small set of screw drivers, several zip ties, different sizes of Ziploc bags. and even a flashlight. I had everything a person could possibly need for just about any occasion. Because of all that, the bag was actually kind of heavy, which came in handy if I ever had to hit someone, which hadn’t happened yet, but I was hopeful.

“I like being prepared,” I told him. “Here we go!” Shaking out the plastic bag, I slid the paper one into it and held it out to the man. “There you are.”

The man squinted at me with one brown eye. The other one was screwed shut against the sun and he had to cup a gnarled hand over his brows to see me properly.

He had to be in his late seventies with big, child-like eyes and a kind face that immediately made a person like him. What little hair he had was combed over the wide bald patch on his head and looked as fine as a baby’s. His frail body was tucked into a pair of beige trousers and a checkered top that was buttoned all the way to his throat.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

Still holding the bag, I smiled. “Alison Eckrich.” I held out my free hand. “Everyone calls me Ali.”

He took it in a surprisingly firm handshake. “Earl Madoc.” He let my hand go and squinted some more. “Listen, Ali, you wouldn’t mind helping an old man get his groceries home, would you? My arthritis is just killing me today.” He rubbed his contorted hand, working the stiff muscles with a grimace deepening his wrinkles. “I live about a block down that way. I would pay you for your troubles.”

I waved away the offer. I was done with the whole fresh air thing and would have probably gone home anyway. Walking him would have been no skin off my nose, especially since he was walking in the same general direction.

I grabbed my purse, threw the strap around my shoulders, and took up his bag of groceries once more.

“Lead the way, Earl.”

Offering me a kind smile, he started forward at a shuffle-limp, like his right leg had been injured at some point and hadn’t recovered properly. I wasn’t sure if that was the case, or if it was just age, but I wondered why he didn’t walk with a cane if it hurt him as much as it seemed to. I didn’t ask. I figured whatever the reason was, it was his business.

We walked in silence for several steps and stopped at the lights.

“So what do you do, Ali Eckrich?” Earl asked as the lights changed and we started across.

“I am currently between jobs,” I replied around a tight curl of my lips. “I just moved here, so actually I’m kind of still looking.”

“No kidding.” He scratched his jaw dusted with a fine layer of white bristle. The sound reminded me of sandpaper. “Where did you move from?”

“Portland, Oregon,” I answered.

Earl’s eyes went wide. “An American!”

I laughed. “No, I was only there for school. I’m originally from Alberta.”

“What did you study?”

I pulled in a breath that smelled of fried hotdogs from the cart we passed and asphalt from the construction crew working on the roads a street down.

“I have my bachelor’s degree in business administration.”

Earl whistled through his teeth. “That’s fancy.”

“Four years,” I confessed.

“And they didn’t teach that here at the schools in Canada?”

I laughed at that. It was the same comment I got from my sister when I initially got accepted to the University of Portland. But at least she had known the real reason behind my need to get as far away from home as possible. Earl didn’t need to and I didn’t need to tell him.

“It was a growing experience,” I said, using my fall back response to most things.

“So you’re good with the books and things of a business.”

I shrugged. “Yes, and marketing and finances.”

“Interesting.” He scratched his jaw again. “Do you know anything about filing?”

“Filing?”

“Organizing,” he corrected.

I had to shrug at that. “I guess. Depends on what it is.”

We turned a corner and started down Pine Street. For a split second, I almost stopped, thinking I was inadvertently leading the poor guy back to my house. But Earl kept shuffling onward and I hurried to keep up.

“I just moved to this street,” I said. “My apartment is further down.”

“Yeah? My grandson did, too,” Earl said.

I started to ask where, when Earl veered left, hobbling his way towards a large, badly painted building that was impregnating the whole street with a powerful stench of motor grease, metal, and sweat. The rusty sign bolted over the trio of wide garage doors spelled, Madoc Auto Body Repair. The bay doors were all open to the bright afternoon. Two were empty. The middle one had a car hoisted on a lift. A man in a blue jumpsuit stood in the trench underneath with a handheld work light.

“It’s all right,” Earl called out to me when he realized I wasn’t following him. “This here has been in the family for near four generations.”

Curiosity perked, I knuckled my glasses back up the bridge of my nose and shuffled after him. Up close, the smell did not improve.

The man beneath the Pontiac banged on the underside of the car with a wrench; the sound swallowed the hum of jazz spilling from the boom box perched on the red toolbox next to the car. I watched him even as I followed Earl up a set of stairs built into the side of the garage, leading into what appeared to be an office cut out of gray stone slabs. It was impossible to tell what was hidden beneath the towers of paper that were layered over every available flat surface. There was another set of doors straight across, painted a harsh yellow that led to what looked like stairs going up. Earl stopped at the bottom, gripping the railing bolted into the side and leaned against the wall, his face flushed.

“The kitchen is straight up,” he panted slightly. “I’d show you, but that heat just about did me in and I can’t trust myself on them stairs right now.”

Concerned by the sheen of sweat glistening across his brow, I tossed a frantic glance over the room. I caught sight of a swiveling chair poking out from beneath the papers and hurried over to it. The wheels grated against the concrete as I shoved it to where Earl half slumped against the wall.

“Here.” I guided him into it. “Why don’t you sit down and I’ll get you some water?”

Earl smiled at me. “You are such a sweet little thing.”

“Will you be okay if I run up?”

He waved me away as he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

Not wanting to leave him alone for longer than I had to, I hurried up the stairs, grocery bag in tow. At the top, I paused as the loft-style space came into view. The layout was straightforward with a bedroom set in one corner beneath a grand, bay window. At the foot of it, was a sitting area equipped with a leather sofa, recliner and TV. Across from that was a kitchenette and a bathroom on my right. I moved towards the kitchen. I ran the tap and occupied myself by shoving the groceries into the fridge while I waited for the water to get cold.

“Who are you?”

The pack of chicken breasts slipped out of my hands with my undignified squeak of fright and hit the top of my sandaled foot. I whirled around to confront the sudden explosion of words from behind me. The booming voice was male, but it was the volume of it, the sheer weight behind the sound that prickled the skin along my spine. My hand trembled as I fidgeted with my glasses, shoving them back into place so the dark, blurry shadow looming mere feet away could come into focus.

I wasn’t blind. I could see most things without my glasses. They just weren’t very clear. Everything had a fuzzy hue around the edges. Kind of like a smudged pastel painting, exaggerating the shapes and size of people.

This guy was not exaggerated.

No less than seven feet with a frame that was clearly stolen from some lumberjack catalogue, he stood blocking my escape. I mean, I could have maybe done some crazy ninja lunge over the counter, but that probably wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I stood there, slack-jawed, staring at the mountain man glowering back at me with a suspicion one would normally reserve for diamond thieves and those bitches who steal all the bikes at the gym just to sit and talk to each other.

He wore flannel, which only made my lumberjack theory all the more plausible. It was undone over a white t-shirt and form fitting jeans that hugged his lean legs the way I kind of wanted to. The hems fell over battered and really ugly boots that needed an incinerator to put them out of their misery and were frayed around the cuffs. His chest strained beneath the thin material with every breath and my gaze was drawn to the hard squares cut of his breast plates and along the wide lengths of his shoulders. The sleeves on the flannel were rolled up his toned forearms and barely concealed the raw muscles underneath.

Definitely a lumberjack.

Shit the man was hot. Screw Boston cream pastries. I’ll take two of him.

“Hello?”

Blinking, my eyes shot up to the head attached to that delicious body and my steamy fantasy bubble popped.

Thick, black hair covered his jaw and mouth in a beard. His hair was the same shade of ebony and hung uncut around his ears and over the collar of his flannel. From amongst all that hair, I could just make out piercing, intense gray eyes.

“Really?” I blurted in clear disappointment, my brain and mouth having lost communication at some point.

It was his turn to blink in surprise. He leaned over and snapped the faucet off with a smack of his palm.

“What?”

There was no helping it. My whole day was officially ruined and it was his fault.

Okay, I had no problem with men with facial hair. Sometimes, it was even hot. But not when it looked like he was going for a yearlong expedition through the Himalayan Mountains, or planned to live with bears out in the wilderness. There was a reason trimmers and razors were invented. And … Goddamn it! The dude was too hot for that shit.

“Are you lost?” he demanded when I could only stand there and silently judge him.

“I don’t know! Maybe you could loan me a compass!” I shot back. “Or a hatchet.” So I was just being crazy and I almost couldn’t blame him for his confounded scowl. I took a deep breath. “I’m Ali,” I said calmly and rationally. “I—”

“Gabriel?” Earl limped up the stairs, clutching tight to the banister until he was at the top. He looked better, I noted. The flush was gone from his face and he wasn’t panting. “I didn’t know you were here.”

Gabriel turned to the other man.

“Really?” I was amazed at how much that single question sounded like mine, full of indignant disapproval. “She’s not even half your age.”

I had not seen that coming.

“Whoa! Wait. What?”

I was ignored.

“Why do they keep getting younger?” he demanded of Earl. “You’re going to break a damn hip … again, and I’m going to have to listen while you explain to the doctor how you broke the fucking thing … again! You’re eighty years old, Grandpa!” Gabriel then rounded on me. “He’s eighty years old!”

“Dude!” I began, putting both hands up to ward off the craziness he was spewing. “I am not tapping that.” I winced and shot Earl a sheepish smile. “No offense.” I went back to glowering at Lumberjack. “So his hip is perfectly safe with me.”

Gabriel looked me over. Actually looked me over with a disbelief that was astounding. Did I have old man hooker stamped to my forehead, or something? Like seriously? I was insulted … and then he added salt to my injuries.

“I guess,” he mumbled. “Did he forget to return a book, or something? I didn’t know the library did house calls.”

How. The. Fuck. Did I go from being a hooker, to a librarian in the span of two seconds?

“Ali was kind enough to help me with my groceries,” Earl piped in before I could kick his lovely grandson in the family jewels.

Swooping down, I hefted up the pack of chicken still lying at my feet and shoved it into his gut with all the force in me. His grunt of pain was only mildly satisfying.

“I accept apologizes in written form only,” I growled through my teeth. “I like to file them under Fuckhead.”

With that, I stomped around him and started for the stairs.

“Ali, wait.” Earl hurried after me, and I only stopped for him. Otherwise, I was ready to make my grand exit, stage left. “Don’t mind Gabriel. His mother drank while she was pregnant.”

“Grandpa!”

He ignored his grandson, which amused me. I was really beginning to like Earl. Enough to sleep with him? Uh, no. But definitely enough to want to give him a high five.

“I still owe you for helping me with my groceries.”

I shook my head. “Really it’s fine. I have to get home anyway and continue the job hunt. But it was wonderful to meet you.”

“Actually!” Earl grabbed my hand before I could leave. “That’s exactly what I want to do.”

I frowned. “You want to help me job hunt?”

“Yes and no,” he answered with a chuckle. “We need someone with your expertise here at the shop and you need a job. I think we can help each other out.”

“What are you doing, Grandpa?” Gabriel demanded.

“I’m getting this place an administrative assistant,” Earl retorted. “Someone who knows how to do the books and filing, because apparently you got my brains when it comes to paperwork.”

Gabriel scowled. The guy was a professional scowler. I could tell. He was very good at his job.

“We’re doing fine,” he grumbled.

“Have you seen the office, Gabriel?” Earl countered. “I found a form the other day dating back to when the shop was first opened. We need the help.”

Gabriel seemed to chew this bit of information over, possibly literally. His face-bush kept twitching. Either that, or some unsuspecting rodent had made a home beneath that jungle.

“Fine. I’ll call someone,” he replied. “There has to be an agency, or—”

“Why when Ali’s right here?” Earl said, waving a hand at me.

Those smolderingly gray eyes darted to me and narrowed even further if possible. “You met the girl two minutes ago. How do you know she’s any good? Besides, she barely looks old enough to be out of school.”

Yeah, this guy and I would never be friends. He made me want to stab him, repeatedly, with something pointy and rusty. That didn’t make for very good friendship.

“I graduated with my bachelors last year,” I informed him sharply. “And spent the last ten months interning at one of the biggest ad companies in Portland. Trust me, I am very good at what I do.”

“And I am a very good judge of character,” Earl added. “I like Ali and since this is still my shop, I’m hiring her.”

Gabriel stared hard at his grandfather. “That’s not how this works. You need references and—”

“I’m not an idiot, Gabriel!” Earl snapped. “I’ve been doing this since before you were born. But she’s the one I want.”

It didn’t even dawn on me that I had just accepted a job at a garage. At that moment, all I wanted was to rub it in Gabriel’s smug little face. Then it hit me.

“Wait, you’re giving me a job?”

Gabriel threw his hands up. “Observant.”

I opened my mouth to tell him I was ten different belts of crazy and not afraid to use all of them on him if he kept pushing me, but Earl touched my arm.

“If you want it,” he said kindly. “It might not be all fancy, but you can start tomorrow. Bring your papers and Gabriel will go over them.”

With that, and a pat on my shoulder, he shuffled back down the stairs, leaving me alone with Mountain Man.

“Are you sleeping with him?”

Unbelievable.

“I don’t sleep with men to get what I want, Jack,” I snapped. “I’m perfectly capable of getting through life without offering my taco to every man that walks my way.”

That seemed to silence him. He watched me like I was some endangered species that just made no sense. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I wasn’t there for his approval. I certainly didn’t want it.

But, at the same time, I did need a job. After three months of unemployment, my savings had begun to grow a happy family of dust bunnies and I didn’t know when I would get another offer like that. Besides, it would only be temporary. I could watch my mouth and temper for a few months.

Gabriel turned his full attention on me, which meant not just his eyes, or his head, but his entire body so we were facing off. I hated that he was taller than me. Pretending to be a bad ass took extra effort when you were stuck glowering at a beautiful man chest.

“My grandfather is eighty years old,” he told me again in a deep, quiet tone. “He’s trusting of pretty faces, but I’m not. I may not have any say in who he hires, but that sure as hell won’t stop me from booting you out of here if I smell even a hint of foul play.”

“What exactly do you think I’m after?” I wondered. “And what exactly does foul play smell like?”

His gaze roamed along my frame, taking in everything from the chipped, purple nail polish on my toes to the messy knot that was my hair bun. I wasn’t sure which of that irritated him more, because his frown never shifted. He seemed to disapprove of all of me.

“Look,” I said, struggling to keep my calm when all I wanted to do was throat punch the guy for making me feel about two inches tall with just a look. “I get it. You think a woman doesn’t belong in a garage.”

“You’re right,” he said evenly. “That’s exactly what I think.”

It took me a full second to peel my jaw off the floor.

“That is the most sexist thing I have ever—”

“Do you know what women are, Ali? A liability,” he went on, ignoring my irate sputtering. “They come into a place and destroy it with the two ton bag of drama they heave around. I don’t like drama. And I don’t like trouble, which is exactly what you are.”

Any other time, any other person and I would have taken that as a compliment. As it were, his condescending bullshit pissed me off.

“And how am I trouble?” I bite out with all the composure I could scrounge up. “Is it the glasses, because I can vouch for their character?” His eyes narrowed, but I didn’t give a shit. “You know, this is why women don’t feel comfortable bringing their cars in to get checked, because of assholes like you who treat them like they’re braindead and unworthy of a fair exchange. You think just because we’re women and may not know as much about vehicles as men that we’re somehow less superior to you. Well, you know what, Jack, you can keep your fucking job. I wouldn’t work for you, with you, near you if you paid me in gold bricks.”

Whirling on my heels, I left.

I walked out of the garage without running into Earl. I briefly wondered if I should find him and thank him for the generous offer that I needed to decline, but thought better of it. I needed to get away from that asshole before I did something I might not regret later.

My apartment was a two block walk from the garage, tucked behind a towering wall of spruce trees. It sat nestled on a slight incline surrounded by Victorian homes and other smaller apartments. Mine was one of the older structures. The red brick was faded and chipped in places and the windows were the enormous panes used in lofts, but the rent was cheap and I liked the view.

The building itself had originally been two separate structures with six stories each. At some point, someone had connected the pair by a wall on either end, leaving a narrow gap in between that opened into a courtyard that was never used because realistically, it was a squished alley someone spruced up with flowerboxes. I could easily leap from my balcony into the apartment across the way … if I was Cat Woman, or a burglar. As it were, I was neither and had no desire to leap into an empty apartment. But the thing I did like to do was occasionally stand by the terrace doors and watch the lives of the people in the other building. As a person who lived on the sixth floor, dead center, I had the perfect angle to see most of what was going on in the other suites. Call me crazy, or a pervert, but most people in my position would do the same, especially since there was nowhere else to look, except to maybe count the bricks on the building. My neighbors were much more interesting.

I have always liked watching. I like seeing how people interact and behave alone and in groups. I like wondering what they’re talking about and what they’re thinking. As a child, I was the lone kid on the playground, the one that said nothing, but stared at the others as they ran and played. I was okay with that. I never cared that I wasn’t picked for teams, or asked to play skip rope. While I wasn’t some creepy shut in that liked collecting strands of my classmate’s hairs to make dolls, I didn’t go out of my way to make friends either. I still don’t. Friends are great, except I never know what to do with them. I see other people and it all seems so natural. They laugh and talk and make plans to talk and laugh some more at a later date. I would probably throw a fry at them and hope they were distracted enough not to notice me running away.

So I stayed home. When I did have to interact, I did so cautiously and tried not to make any sudden movements. Occasionally, I could even have full on conversations with people without anyone getting hurt. But I liked my solitary life. I cherished it even.

My apartment was designed by someone with no concept of measurements. Everything was done in extremes. The living room was barely big enough for a sofa, while the only bedroom was enormous. The kitchen was small, but the single bathroom could fit an entire Russian circus. The closet in the hall could have doubled as a second bedroom if it hadn’t been so narrow, while the pantry in the kitchen could barely hold a stack of towels. I was only thankful no one ever came to visit me or it would have been hard to explain why my bedroom was in the living room and why my living room was in my bedroom, or why all my food was in the closet down the hall near the bathroom and my towels were in my kitchen. It all worked fine for me, but I knew it wasn’t normal.

Tossing my keys and purse onto the glass table I kept by the front door, I kicked off my sandals and made my way into the bedroom. It was a short walk down a minute hall that split off in three separate directions. Right to the kitchen. Left to the living room and bathroom, and straight for the bedroom. My toes curled in the plush carpet that extended from wall to wall. Underneath it was the scarred hardwood that came with the place. But after a week of waking up to use the bathroom and having to tiptoe on what felt like a sheet of ice, I said screw it and splurged on a carpet. Best investment ever.

My bedroom was my favorite spot in the whole place and it showed. It was designed for comfort and easy access to everything. My queen sized bed faced the TV I had mounted over a glass set of shelves holding my DVD player and surround sound. On one side of the bed was my mini fridge. The other held an end table with a lamp and the remotes to the TV. The terrace doors were on the other side of my bed, draped in sheer curtains. On the opposite side of the room, against the wall that separated the bedroom from the kitchen was my vanity. Everything was within reach.

I stripped. I rarely saw the point of being dressed at home. There was no one there to judge me for the way I looked, or what shape I was in. It was my place of sanctuary. Plus there was something liberating about eating a cup of pudding completely naked.

At a little after six, I drew on a robe, turned off the TV and wandered into the kitchen for a bowl of something. My pantry consisted mostly of things that could easily be warmed, cans of soup, microwavable dinners, the occasional canisters of squeeze cheese. I lived for one person. Me. If I wanted to cook a full meal, I had the luxury of running to the grocery store, grabbing the items and coming home. But those desires were rare. As it were, I grabbed a bowl of cereal and made my way to the terrace.

Seven o’clock was when my neighbors came home. It was when the dark windows lit up and life happened on the other side of the glass. I treated seven o’clock the way soap opera junkies treated their favorite sitcoms, with reverence and excitement.

The steel hoops embedded into the curtains hissed as I dragged the sheer drapes across the metal rod. I propped the glass doors open to the muggy evening and leaned a hip against the frame.

It was still fairly bright out. The sun was just making its final descent behind the buildings, but the narrow notch of space that I considered my little world had shadows slinking their way across the bricks. The lights from the other apartments were sharper, brighter, casting the figures inside into edgy silhouettes.

There were eighteen apartments. Each floor had three windows stamped into the side. I had given each one a name, which periodically changed as the occupants did. For example, in the three months I’d lived there, no one had ever rented the apartment adjacent to mine so that had come to be known as the Empty. Levels one, two, and three were impossible to see into from my sixth floor view. So that left me four, five and six. Four was iffy. I could only see about six feet into their apartments. But five and six were gold and that was where my favorite people lived.

Window one, top row: Old Man and Young Girl I had assumed for the first three weeks were father and daughter. So. Not. I learned that the hard way while eating spicy curry and nearly dying when he heaved the girl against the glass and started fucking her.

Window two, top row: Empty.

Window three, top row: Crazy Jungle Couple who fought like piranha’s over fresh meat and made love just as intensely. They were better to watch than WWE on pay per view. I always had popcorn ready for when they got home. It was impossible to tell how the night would end.

Window one, second row: an Asian Couple with Little Girl. Watching them made me nostalgic for my own family, but then the girl would cry and throw things and that feeling would go away.

Window two, second row: Slutty Blonde with copious number of lovers. That week, she was banging the occupant of window three, second row, Handsome Dark Haired Dude with a beer belly but a seriously massive cock.

Row three was full of families.

Window one, row three: Single Mother with Little Boy. I would occasionally see him sitting at the window with his hand held game, munching on carrot sticks.

Window two, row three: Man and Woman with Twin Ghost Daughters. I was convinced those two girls were from The Shining. Creepy little shits. Every so often, I would look down and they’d just be standing there … staring back. Not blinking. It made it even creepier that they were both extremely pale with dead eyes and long dark hair. I shuddered every time my gaze roamed over their window.

Window three, row three: Large, Hairy Man with a deeper love of microwavable food than me, who spent a large portion of his time in his recliner watching football. I had a feeling he was a gambler, simply from the fits he’d always have when his team lost. It was irrational. But then what did I know about men and sports? Maybe he just had rage issues. Yet that didn’t explain why he’d get on the phone immediately afterwards and shout at whoever was on the other end. But that also could be explained. Maybe he had a friend somewhere else equally pissed and the two were venting to each other.

The fun was always in the guessing.

That evening, only three of the windows lit up. Old Man and Hopefully Not His Daughter came home first. She sauntered into the living room, tossed her bright, pink purse down on the sofa and flopped down next to it. Old Man ambled his way into the kitchen and yanked open the fridge.

No fucking tonight, I thought, shifting my gaze to the other two windows.

The Ghost Girls were back in their lacy, purple dresses, white stockings and jet black hairs. They stood shoulder to shoulder with their backs to the window. Their dad was hanging up their matching red coats in the hallway closet. Mom wasn’t home yet. She was a secretary, or a lawyer. She didn’t get home until about eleven, stooped over like her briefcase was filled with bricks.

The third window gave me a start. The presence of the pale, golden glow took my brain a full minute to process and even it knew something wasn’t right.

Window two, top row: wasn’t empty. There was movement behind the curtains. There was light!

“Holy shit!”

Cereal bowl abandoned on the glass table next to the terrace doors, I stepped further onto the balcony. My fingers curled around the cool metal railing and I leaned in as far as I could without forgetting my not Cat woman notion and making the lunge over.

But as quickly as all the excitement had started, it sparked in surprise when the light flicked off and there was nothing. My gaze darted from the windows to the glass doors, waiting like an eager little puppy begging someone to throw the fucking ball already.

Nothing happened. The lights remained off. Stillness continued.

My gaze narrowed as I straightened. “All right,” I mumbled to the silence. “You win this round, but tomorrow…”

I let my promise linger into the night as I stepped back into my apartment.









Airicka Phoenix is a hopeless romantic with a dark imagination and an incurable addiction to chocolate. She is also the author of several novels written for young adult and new adult romance readers who like bad boys, hot kisses and a gritty plot. Airicka prides herself in producing quality material her readers can fall in love with again and again.


When she's not hard at work bleeding words onto paper, Airicka can be found cuddling with her family, reading, watching TV shows, or just finding excuses to avoid doing chores.





To find out about upcoming books, teasers, giveaways and more, join her newsletter or check out her www.AirickaPhoenix.com!:




Buy Links:
The Voyeur Next Door:
Amazon us: http://goo.gl/XIZg0N 
Amazon ca: http://goo.gl/rKVqDU 
Amazon uk: http://goo.gl/rEnxIn 
Amazon de: http://goo.gl/LYxaqs 
Amazon fr: http://goo.gl/VEzcec 
Amazon au: http://goo.gl/SoCWGc 
Amazon in: http://goo.gl/08j6Qh 
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/ac2F5U 
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/jtEGJk 












Friday, April 24, 2015

Piercing the Fold Series Blog Tour @venessakimball7

Title: Piercing the Fold Series
Author: Venessa Kimball
Genre: YA/Teen Paranormal/Science Fiction/Dystopian/Fantasy
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours




Piercing the Fold:


"I'm Jesca. I have intense nightmares nightly and hallucinations of dark auras closing in on me daily. Strangers' faces distort before my eyes and I hear voices in my head. All symptoms of insanity, 'illusions in reality', right? Wrong. This is my reality and it has been set askew." Jesca Gershon Sera discovers that she is part of a legacy and a fellowship of guardians destined to protect the human race from a galactic event that will invade and evolve our world.




Surfacing the Rim: Book 2 :


The impending galactic event that will invade and evolve our world is upon us and our salvation lies in the hands of Jesca and her fellowship of Dobrian guardians. The sadistic Sondian fellowship's inhumane corruption of our world is spreading like wildfire, redrawing lines between allies and enemies. Jesca's fortitude is put to the test when she must make crucial decisions in battle and in love. She must choose between the predestined link that she shares with one man and the unresolved attraction she holds for another. Will Jesca have enough courage to surface the rim of this reality?




Ascending the Veil: Book 3:


A veil has been parted. A galactic intersection has been spurred by the hands of an enemy, the Sondian Fellowship. Now, a veil, a barrier, meant to divide our universe from all others has been parted. This celestial veil was meant to keep beings of those universes from invading ours; mythical, fantastical, demonic, and angelic beings. Jesca and the rest of the Dobrian fellowship quickly realize that these beings have been the very product of the "illusions in reality" they have been tracking, dodging, and protecting mankind from. One that Jesca must ascend. Ezra Kahn and Nate Sera have sacrificed themselves beyond the veil of our universe in an attempt to protect both Jesca and mankind. Their sacrifice was noble, but not enough to stop the global invasion and apocalyptical evolution in our world. The fate of those Jesca loves and mankind is dismal unless she and the Dobrian guardians can find a way to get Ezra and Nate back and seal the ethereal veil between our universe and those that lie beyond it. Among the illusions a legacy will be unmasked. To her surprise, Jesca's ascension beyond the veil unmasks an ancient legacy that is much older and runs much deeper than the Dobrian fellowship. An empyrean inheritance seeded among mankind long ago that courses through the veins of the Onoch family and Jesca.




Transcending the Legacy: Book 4 (Finale)


With Jesca’s return from beyond the veil comes the realization that she is part of an ancient and celestial legacy that is much greater than the Sondian and Dobrian rivalry could ever be and the understanding of what has become of our world in the year that she has been gone beyond the veil.
It becomes known that ancient bloodlines and a supernal legacy has linked Jesca, her family, the two men she is torn between, and the team of guardians. With no other guidance but Jesca’s visions of what this legacy holds for them, the guardians are depending on the divining glimpses she is receiving to put them on the path leading to salvation.
As for our world, the population that has survived the galactic intersection, the climatic shift, and the necessary implantations are being invaded, occupied, and destroyed by the very beings Jesca encountered beyond the veil. The beings intent? To possess our world and stop Jesca and the other guardians from fulfilling the legacy that could save the human race and eradicate them.
Once again, Author Venessa Kimball will take you on a spine-tingling and breath-taking roller coaster ride through a reality that has been set askew, a reality that has surfaced the rim of our known existence, a reality that has ascended unworldly obstacles, and now a reality that must be transcended by one for the survival of all. The question is, will the stakes be too high and the loss be too great for Jesca and the guardians?
Get ready for the final book in Jesca’s journey, Transcending the Legacy.







Author Bio:


Having always been passionate about the written word, Venessa Kimball embarked on writing what would become her debut novel, Piercing the Fold: Book 1; a young adult paranormal/sci-fi series. July 2, 2012, Venessa Kimball independently published the first book in the Piercing the Fold series. Book 2, Surfacing the Rim, released March 14, 2013. In August of 2013, Venessa joined the publishing house, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. The Piercing the Fold series has been re-published with CHBB beginning with Piercing the Fold: Book 1 on September 3, 2013. Surfacing the Rim: Book 2 re-published on September 24, 2013 and Ascending the Veil: Book 3 released November 2013. The fourth book in the series, Transcending the Legacy: Book 4 released May 13, 2014. Kimball's compelling teen contemporary fiction novel, Dismantling Evan, released January 13, 2015. Venessa is currently working on the Evan series, but as for the future, she is filling her Work-In-Progress folder with some world piercing characters and stories. When Venessa is not writing, she is keeping active with her husband and three children; chauffeuring said children to extracurricular activities, catching a movie with her hubby, and staying up way too late reading.




Author Links:




Youtube channel with all videos/book trailers/ interviews https://www.youtube.com/user/vkimball7

Pinterest (board for PtF, StR, AtV, TtL, and future projects…visual inspiration)






Spotify PtF series playlists by book as well as Dismantling Evan playlist:





Buy Links:
Piercing the Fold: Book 1 http://smarturl.it/kbrqd8

Surfacing the Rim: Book2 http://smarturl.it/mrqxg7

Ascending the Veil: Book3 http://smarturl.it/rcztvn

Transcending the Legacy: Book4: http://smarturl.it/px8l95













Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lust Release Day Blitz @LeddyHarper

Title: Lust
Author: Leddy Harper
Genre: Erotic Romance 
Release Date: April 23, 2015 
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours


Lust…


My darkness was born in it.

Her secret was created by it.

My job was immersed in it.

It would either ruin us or save us.

My name is Caden Morgan, and I am a sex surrogate.

After years of seclusion and fear-induced abstinence, Ivy Jaymes came to me to fix her. Her love of erotic books brought her out of hiding and into my office. I had done this sort of thing hundreds of times… but she was different.

Ivy’s secrets threatened my own.

Her darkness paralleled mine.

And my obsession for her was sure to break me.

Could we heal each other with love?

Or would we end up decimating one another with Lust?







Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped. She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters. She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females. The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. And to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.


Author Links: Amazon * Facebook * Facebook FanPage * Twitter * Web


Buy Links:













Monday, April 20, 2015

The Book of Eve Cover Reveal @AdamJamesBooks

Title: The Book of Eve
Author: Adam James
Genre: YA Paranormal
Expected Release Date: May 12, 2015
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours


The Power... Genny Blythe knew they'd be coming for her. Hunters. A relentless group, determined to eradicate every living Green Witch from the face of the earth, it was only a matter of time before they would find her. And burn her. Just like they did to her mother.

The Legacy... Violence. It's Cyrus Hirsch's birthright. Too bad he wants nothing to do with it. While his brother, Darius, is obsessed with the Hunter legacy, Cyrus is too busy trying to outrun his family history, watch out for his brother's jealousy, and fight his own growing need to fulfill his dark destiny. Genny and Cyrus are on a collision course with fate. And when duty meets destiny, the fire that ignites will threaten to burn them all.





Adam James wrote his first novel at 14 about DC & Marvel heroes. Today he enjoys writing his own characters in magical new places. He live in Nashville TN. THE BOOK OF EVE is his debut release.

Author Links:









Friday, April 17, 2015

@StephanieRowe2 @robynpeterman @vdanann @KymGrosso @DakotaCassidy @Claudyconn @TGabelman @AutMelanieJames @GenaDLutz @mywickedstories @JuliaMills623 @BrandyLRivers @CynthiaStAubin #PreOrder



13 Brand New Stories by 13 Fabulous Author at 1 Awesome low price of 99 CENTS!!

Romancing The Paranormal Box Setby
 Stephanie Rowe, Robyn Peterman, Victoria Danann, Kym Grosso, Dakota Cassidy, Claudy Conn, Teresa Gabelman, Melanie James, Gena D. Lutz, D'Elen McClain, Julia Mills, Brandy L. Rivers, and Cynthia St. Aubin



Release Date: 

May 19, 2015

Available for pre-order at

         



Stephanie Rowe 
Shadows of Darkness (Order of the Blade) 
Haunted by a tormented past that has come to reclaim him, a former assassin must choose between saving the world, or protecting the one woman who can touch his heart and redeem his soul.


Robyn Peterman 
Fashionably Hotter Than Hell  (Hot Damned Series Bk #5)
What does a Vampyre do when the woman he’s chased for two hundred years is still trying to get away? He plays dirty.
Welcome to my own personal Hell.
Where life is steamy and the sex is sizzling.
Only I would be blessed with a Vampyre mate that I’d have to chase for two centuries.
Now to my great dismay, I have competition for her very existence—not for her hand, for her life.
Name: Heathcliff.
Occupation: Vampyre Warrior—one of the deadliest in the world.
I plan. I fight. I win.
Always.
It’s just never taken this damned long.
Raquel may run and she may hide, but she is mine and I will no longer accept no for an answer. We were made for each other and nothing will change that simple fact…except maybe the Trolls or the Wraiths or the recluse Vampyre that wants to drink my mate dry.
Damn it, I thought the chase was difficult…keeping Raquel alive might prove to be my undoing.


Victoria Danann 
Konochur: Wolf Lover 
In the middle of a war with dragon shifters, a human widow of a werewolf may get another chance at love, but feelings of guilt threaten a blossoming attraction to the one wolf everyone thought was untamable.


Kym Grosso 
Lost Embrace 
Dominant vampire leader, Kade Issacson, is devastated when his fiancée, Sydney Willows, is nearly killed by a demon and her transition into the supernatural tests the limits of their bond. Deep in the heart of New Orleans, they struggle to keep her alive while searching for an escaped killer who promises to end Sydney’s life once and for all.


Dakota Cassidy
What Not to Were
Werewolf Calla Allen’s ready to take her relationship with hot warlock Nash Ryder to the next level—the one where, after months of dating, they finally make the long anticipated woot-woot. (Yay!) It’s been a long road getting to where she is in her life, and Calla finally feels comfortable enough to share that with the man she’s fallen wildly in love with. And gorgeous Nash is more than ready to commit—until he wakes up after an incredible night of passion and finds all memory of Calla on the missing list. (Boo!) Now she has to make him remember or lose him forever. And the proverbial clock is ticking…(EEK!)


Claudy Conn 
Harley-Awakening 
Harley is a Hybrid that doesn't want to serve revenge up cold. She wants to serve it up now and she wants serve it up HOT.


Teresa Gabelman 
Forbidden Hunger 
A shifter without a pack, Janna Lawson goes in search of the man who her mother died trying to protect. What she finds is Garrett Foster, a man who has the power to decide her fate and causes a hunger inside her that is forbidden to them both.


Melanie James 
Gertie's Paranormal Plantation 
When you run a shelter for paranormal creatures, you can’t afford to let your guard down. When carefree—and quite naïve—witch Gertie O’Leary welcomes an enchanting new guest to the plantation, she finds herself caught up in an ancient struggle. Marie Laveau and the gang will have to pull together once again to save Gertie’s love life. Love, lust and laughs await on the Paranormal Plantation.



Gena D. Lutz 
Sonnet Vale: Paranormal Hunter 
Paranormal hunter, Sonnet Vale, has the unique ability to hunt and kill vampires. But a chance encounter with a handsome stranger is about to change everything, teaching Sonnet what it's like to be hunted and possessed.



D'Elen McClain 
Fang Chronicles: Tyboll 
A grumpy bear shifter, a stubborn she-bear shifter, and more growls than a bear clan can possibly handle. Will the two kill each other or discover they make the perfect mated pair?


Julia Mills
Her Dragon's Heart 
Jace MacQuaid, the youngest Dragon Guardsman since the original knights has just found his mate, Melanie Whelan…the one the Universe made for him…the light of his soul. Of course, to claim her he will have to fight a force so dark not even the oldest of dragon kin has the answers. Fate really stepped in it this time.


Brandy L. Rivers 
Seductive Solutions 
When Toryn’s trusted friend begins failing, he’ll search for a way to free him of the destructive bond. Isa might have a solution for Scotty’s problem, if Toryn can help her find the courage.


Cynthia St. Aubin 
From Hell to Breakfast 
He's a supernatural bounty hunter with a broken heart and a loose zipper. She's a succubus with a smart mouth and a long rap sheet. When her crimes become his problem, they're in for one hell of a ride.



About the Authors


Stephanie Rowe 

USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Rowe is the author of more than 40 novels, and she is a four-time nominee for the RITA award, the highest award in romance fiction. She has kept readers spellbound with her dark paranormal romances, including her popular Order of the Blade series. She touches their hearts with her emotional and funny contemporary romances, and she'll be launching a new cowboy series this summer with three sizzling novels. In addition, she has received high praise for her riveting romantic suspense series set in the wilds of Alaska.

You can find Stephanie at 

            



 Robyn Peterman 


NYT and USA Today best-selling author, Robyn Peterman writes because the people inside her head won’t leave her alone until she gives them life on paper. She writes snarky, sexy, funny paranormal and snarky, sexy, funny contemporaries. Her addictions include laughing really hard with friends, shoes (the expensive kind), Target, Coke Zero Cherry with extra ice in a styrofoam cup, bejeweled reading glasses, her kids, her super-hot hubby and collecting stray animals. A former professional actress, with Broadway, film and T.V. credits, she now lives in the south with her family and too many animals to count. Writing gives her peace and makes her whole, plus having a job where she can work in her underpants works really well for her.

You can find Robyn at 

               




Victoria Danann 



USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Victoria Danann, is making her debut into Contemporary Romance with releases in May and June 2015. Her Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Victoria's paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on "imaginary" creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners - usually - whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

The first book of the Knights of Black Swan Paranormal Romance Series, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by both Reviewers' Choice and Readers' Choice Awards. All of her books have opened on the Amazon Best Sellers list and earned Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK awards. Many have appeared on Listopia BOOK OF THE MONTH as #1 across all genres.

For books published in 2013, Black Swan won three awards. 1. Best Paranormal Romance Series 2. Best Paranormal Romance Novel - A SUMMONER'S TALE 3. Best Vampire~Shifter Novel - MOONLIGHT. In 2014, Solomon's Sieve won Best Vampire Novel.

If you're interested in Victoria personally, she is also a classically trained musician who defected to Classic Rock music. Until 2013 she was the utility player for Houston's Roadhouse band, which means she played rhythm guitar, keyboards, sang backups and female leads. Her band covered everything (note for note) from Styx to Led Zepellin to Rush. 

She lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.


You can find Victoria at 

               




Kym Grosso



Kym Grosso is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the erotic paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans. In addition to romance, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy. She also is a contributing essay author in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum.

Kym lives with her family in Pennsylvania, and her hobbies include reading, tennis, zumba, and spending time with her husband and children. She loves traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow-covered mountains. New Orleans, with its rich culture, history and unique cuisine, is one of her favorite places to visit.


You can find Kym at

          




Dakota Cassidy


Dakota Cassidy is the national bestselling author of more than a dozen books of contemporary and paranormal romance. She lives for a good laugh in both her life and her writing.
Her goals are simple: banish the color yellow forever, create world peace via hot rollers and Aqua Net, and nab every tiara in the land by competing in the Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss World pageants. And of course, write really funny, sexy, romantic books!
Dakota lives in Oregon with her dogs and her husband, who puts the heroes in her books to shame. She loves, loves, loves to connect with readers, so visit her online!

You can find Dakota at 

         




Claudy Conn



However, my daughter lectured me and said that I should write about myself like I write my stories—so here goes…

While I have a fanciful imagination, I am a Capricorn—‘sure and steady’, and the obvious conflict leaves me jumbled. I have a computer, yes (invaluable), but I still jot down ideas on a scrap piece of paper, or a napkin in a restaurant. My imagination follows me wherever we go and sees so much more than meets the eye, and very often my husband will ask, ‘where are you now, baby?’

My dad was the one who clicked into my brain early on, and opened my mind to a world where a girl/woman could be so much more than ‘pretty in pink’. He told me to soar, and soaring for me, was writing.

We love horses and riding and when we migrated from New York to North Carolina we brought our barn with us—and yes, I’d rather muck out a stall than clean a house! My Irish, blue-eyed husband had to have a wolf and so we brought in our little hybrid wolf pup to our home. She is ¾ wolf/ ¼ German shepherd named Cherokee. Her 3 yr. old son (Rocky) is huge and eats everything and anything he can find and weighs more than 170 pounds!

Ireland and Scotland gave us the Fae and the Druids. In Ireland you can still visit the ‘Faery Mounds’. Think of the possibilities. I have and I’d love for you to join me as I explore them. So then, come with me and let’s see where we can go…

You can find Claudy at

         




Teresa Gabelman 



Teresa Gabelman is the Best Selling Author of the 'Protectors Series'. Being a full-time writer has allowed Teresa to connect more with readers which is what she loves most about writing. If you find the time she would love to hear from you!

You can find Teresa at 

         




Melanie James



Bestselling author, Melanie James spent 14 years as an IT systems administrator before tiring of the hustle and bustle of the technology world. She's doing what she loves, by writing steamy paranormal, contemporary, and romantic comedy books. Melanie has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Leadership and Development, with a minor in Women's Studies. She is currently working on her Master's Degree in Adult Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She is married to a wonderful man, who supports her dreams and goals. She has two children, three step-children, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and an adorable grand-baby.

You can find Melanie at 

         




Gena D. Lutz 



Gena D. Lutz lives in the blistering heat of Arizona with her husband and four kids and two very high maintenance dogs, a Chihuahua and Australian Shepard. When she is not busy writing, Lutz can be found watching the classics, like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, marathon style. Lutz enjoys reading, riding horses, playing poker and looks forward to the day she can travel the world.

You can find Gena at

            




D'Elen McClain



Best-Selling Author D'Elen McClain is a retired sex crimes and homicide detective who somehow managed to retain her sense of humor. She writes under three pen names dreaming about stories from life on the street as a beat cop in an unflattering blue uniform to paranormal and spicy romance.
USA Today Best-Selling Author, Holly S. Roberts, is her new adult and erotic writing pen name and Suzie Ivy is her tough crime fighting alter ego pen name.
Her two dogs, Dizzy, a Rottweiler with anxiety issues, and Duchess, her overweight Chihuahua, sleep and play at her feet while she writes at her home high in the Arizona mountains. She also keeps her pen in blue ink as a contributing writer for UniformStories.com, Below The Salt News, and Bad Luck Detective blog.

You can find D'Elen at

            




Julia Mills 


I am a sarcastic, southern woman that would rather spend all day laughing than a minute crying. I have 2 of the most amazing daughters ever created, a menagerie of animals and a voracious appetite for reading. I decided to write the stories running through my brain and am having an absolute blast!! I read my first book, Dr Suess' Cat in The Hat, by myself at 4 and have been hooked ever since.
I believe a good book along with shoes, makeup and purses will never let a girl down. I know for a fact that all heroes inf all the books I have ever read or will ever write pale in comparison to my hero, my dad! I am a sucker for a happy ending and love some hot sweaty sex with a healthy dose of romance.
I am still working on my story but can guarantee you that it will contain as love and laughter as I can cram into it!!!!! Dare to Dream! Have the Strength to Try EVERYTHING! Never Look Back!

You can find Julia Mills at

          




Brandy L. Rivers 


Brandy L Rivers is the author of the Others of Edenton and Others of Seattle series. There are more Others of Edenton and Others of Seattle books in the works.
As an avid reader, Brandy has always loved writing. She became serious about it as a stay-at-home-mother. She has a file full of manuscripts she plans to edit and put out there eventually.
She lives in Western Washington with her husband and three kids, where she is already working on future stories in each of the series and several other projects.

You can find Brandy at

                     





Cynthia St. Aubin 



I like gravy.

This has nothing to do with the rest of my bio, but I thought you ought to know.

About the writing thing...

I wrote my first play when I was six and made my brothers perform it for my parents. I charged gum wrappers for admission (a steal, in my opinion, considering I had handed out the gum wrappers ahead of time). While I seriously doubt you'll be seeing any of my formative work on Broadway anytime soon, I can credit these early experiments with the first of many important lessons I learned about writing: no matter how brilliant your manuscript is, some kid can go streaking butt-ass nekkid across the living room, and totally undermine your vision.

Everyone watches the naked kid because running across the living room with your cheeks flapping in the breeze is friggin' hilarious.

Cue the lightbulb moment. People like funny stuff!

I never quite gave up on the writing thing, even as I tried my hand at being a dusty academic turned Executive Assistant (they paid me to nag! How cool is that?), but in those quiet moments when expense reports had been filed and to-do items checked off, the funny people in my head kept talking to me.

Yes, I know they have medication for that. It's called vodka.

Since they discourage drinking at work, I started writing instead. What came out was an amalgamation (vocabulary!) of all the things I love: funny stuff, art, psychology, food, people, and paranormal critters!

Et voila! The Case Files of Dr. Matilda Schmidt, Paranormal Psychologist were born.

When I'm not sitting in my office watching cat videos and pretending to write, I like cooking, knitting (badly), and reading anything that makes me laugh (like my bank statements).

I live in Colorado with my brilliant husband and three surly cats.

You can find Cynthia at

         







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