Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Dark Side by Cyci Cade

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The Dark Side
Nocturnal Secrets Book 1
by Cyci Cade
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: Sept 19th, 2017
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“At that moment, he notices how vulnerable he is in front that creature;
his life hangs by a thread—or what will remain of it if he doesn’t
die due to the severe burns.”
 
“Condemned to the eternal solitude, he wants to live his best possible life
because he will have too many centuries of existence and he doesn’t
need to carry the weight of the guilt for had killed uncountable
people to satiate his hunger.”

Ivor Alastair has many plans for his future, but they are frustrated when
his parents are murdered. In danger, he cannot stay in the city he
grew up and have friends anymore. Forced to move to London to live
with his uncle, Ivor tries to restart his life. However, a new
tragedy devastates the small family.
 
Alone and devastated, Ivor feels lost and without strength to move on.
After a year traveling to forget his past and erase the sorrow, he
discovers that it will not be so easy.


Back to London, Ivor sees his life change again when a mysterious creature
with an incredibly white skin that seems made of marble and red eyes
that demonstrate a frightening ferocity crosses his way.
An unexpected encounter with Arabella makes Ivor think that his
loneliness will stay behind; as decades pass, he realizes that he is
more alone than never.
Decided to change his story, Ivor makes a decision. He will not kill
anymore!
Ivor Alastair lost his parents, house, and life. Now, he will have to
restart, but will it be possible?
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Chapter 4

After hours zigzagging through the streets, he realizes that he is in front of his uncle’s grave. A man—stopped next to him he doesn’t know how long—speaks to him.

“Are they your relatives?”

“What?” It is hard for Ivor to understand words pronounced so fast.

“The grave…” The man points to the grave with his head. “Are they your relatives?”

“My uncle and aunt,” Ivor answers, eyes still fixed on the names sculpted on the grave.

“You must like them very much to be in a cemetery at dawn.”

“They were my only family.” For the first time, Ivor faces the man who seems to study him carefully and to try to understand Ivor´s last words.

“Don’t you have a father, brother, any other relative?” the stranger insists.

“Why are you so interested?” distrustful, Ivor asks.

“I don´t have a family either.” The man raises his brows revealing an abnormal curiosity.

The stranger’s glance makes Ivor return to reality and notice his imprudence; it is as if somebody throws him into a cold lake. What is he doing in a cemetery at that time? How did he arrive there? Who is that man? The gravedigger? It is the strangest and most dangerous situation.

In silence, Ivor turns his back to the stranger and hurries to the exit; however, the man follows him. He looks over his shoulder and, to his surprise, the man moves faster, he is approaching Ivor.

A few feet from the gate, the stranger appears in front of him, suddenly blocking his way. With his arms crossed, legs shoulder width apart, and his chin lifted, the man looks taller than Ivor had noticed.

A few feet from the man, Ivor halts his pace and looks to the sides seeking for some possible accomplices. Ivor has a chance against one man; he can win that fight.

He puffs his chest and asks in a rude tone, “What do you want? Money? I will tell you that I have only some pennies in my pocket and I don’t have anything valuable.”

“Do you think I am an insignificant cemetery thief?” His laughter echoes among the graves giving the false sensation that many people are laughing at the same time.

Ivor is bewildered due to the man’s reaction; if that isn´t a robbery, what is that then? After some minutes watching the amusement of the stranger with his fear, Ivor decides to confront him, so he moves forward three steps.

“Get out! I want to leave!” he orders.

The man stops laughing, narrows his eyebrows, and leans forward. “I didn’t finish yet.”

Without Ivor notice the movement, the stranger holds his arm and buries his teeth in his flesh. The pain is unbearable as a scorpion´s bite, as if a scorching liquid was being injected into his body. His muscles tense, frozen, and spasms interrupt his breathing. His vision darkens, and his senses abandon him.

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Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Confabulated Compendium of Anecdotes by Melissa H. North

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A Confabulated Compendium of Anecdotes
by Melissa H North
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
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A Confabulated Compendium of Anecdotes is a Steampunk speculative
collection of tales. The stories, herein, provide a glimpse into the
imagination of a most anomalous Author.

Be swept away, if you dare, by sultry maidens with mechanical gadgets,
hi-tech flying machines and grinding gears. Peculiar alien forms
hell-bent on saving the earth, and a conglomerate of Vamps lead by
Count Valdo.
Howbeit, why wait for me to tell you more, turn the book atop and be
absorbed in the unputdownable.

 

CLOCKWORK BRIDE
Nephele’s first marriage ended in tragedy. And her second marriage seems to be
headed in the same direction. Why do her husband’s die? Is she
cursed? Or is she hiding a secret?

 

CREEP-TACULAR
Valdo, a direct descendant of Dracula must enlist the help of beautiful
Genevieve, a renown Professor. His coven is in peril and without her,
their existence will end.

 

SHADOW WALKERS
Jacques and his hired help, Bertram, find themselves crash landing to Earth,
where they realise the extensive damage humans have inflicted upon
the fragile environment, and who they thought were enemies, could
actually be their friends.

 

MURDER BY COMIC BOOK
Broderick is a private investigator and his assistant Abbey is an Automaton
Humanoid prototype. When a series of murders in the small township of
Whiteridge have Broderick baffled. The only clue, the last words of a
dying man – Comic Book. He must use unconventional methods to solve
the crimes.
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Writing has always been a hobby and cathartic experience for me. Turning my
passion into a fulfilling career as an Author has been one of my greatest dreams.
I write because creating something that didn’t exist before is as
close to magic as I’ll ever get. All you need is imagination.
I’ve always been passionate about storytelling and impressed by the
influence it has on people and the decisions they make in life. I
love engaging with the projects I work on, diving headfirst into the
research, investigation, and production of stories I feel are worth
writing about. I am a curious and proactive Author, interested in
preserving the foundations set by classical literature by adapting
them to modern themes and trends.
 
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Just off the Path by Weston Sullivan

 

FANTASY

Date Published: 5TH OF SEPTEMBER

Hansel never asked to be a hero. He never wanted to fall in love with Rapunzel, Queen of the East. He didn’t ask to be raised by Gothel the Wretch, and he certainly never wanted to be credited for her arrest. But more than any of that, Hansel never wanted to lie: but he did. He lied about everything. He thought that he was done with it all when he and his sister Gretel retreated into the woods to reclaim their land, but he should have known better.

Years later, Rapunzel’s guards knock at his door, and they say the words he hoped that he would never hear: Gothel has escaped. As he and Gretel take refuge inside Rapunzel’s castle in the eastern capitol of Hildebrand, Hansel is thrust back into everything he never wanted in the first place: his lies, his legend, and his lust. In the wake of it all, he knows that Gothel has escaped to finish what she started. She is out to make sure that the Sleeping Beauty never wakes, and that Grimm suffocates under her blanket of thorn and vine. In order to find Gothel and save the kingdom, Hansel and Gretel must look for fact in a land of fairy-tale by following a trail of grisly murders, a girl in a red cape, and a powerful little man who can’t stand the sound of his own name.

As they search for answers, Hansel finds that he isn’t the only liar in Grimm, and that there may be a traitor among them of royal proportion.

Will be available later this year.

 

Universal link: https://www.books2read.com/u/4EDD8g

Amazon

 

Excerpt

The winter storm began with a scream that split the trees. It echoed throughout the woods and birds fled into the sky, disappearing like smoke behind gray clouds. Hansel looked off in the direction of the disturbance—but it was silent again. There was something menacing about the renewed absence of life that hung over him. He strung his bow, keeping it close to his side, and surveyed the area around him. He was met only with the familiar stillness of the trees and dead foliage beneath.

“We should go,” he said, trying to disguise the urgency in his voice.

His sister, Gretel, hesitated. “Someone screamed.”

“I know,” he said. “That’s why we need to go.”

Gretel scanned the tree line and ran her fingers through her hair. Grabbing her hand, Hansel pulled her in the direction they’d come from. The woods were dangerous, especially on the cusp of winter. They were close to the Southern Thickets—the part of the forest overrun with briar and weed, where all of Grimm’s most dangerous creatures lived—and Hansel knew that if someone was screaming, they had a good reason.

They made their way back to The Path in silence. Hansel was wary of crunching leaves under his boot, afraid to wake the forest. Seconds after they turned around, he felt something whiz past him on both sides of his head. He hoped they were fireflies, bustling about the tops of trees, cutting through the coldness that crept over them. He followed the sparkling speckles with his eyes. They moved with purpose, cracking branches and creasing clouds, spinning wildly. Hansel was probably the only person in Grimm who was ever disappointed to see a flock of fairies, but fireflies meant it was summer, and he longed to see summer again.

Before they blinked out of sight, they spoke to him. Tens of wistful, unison whispers in his ears said: Help…the girl needs help. Hansel looked at Gretel, wondering if she heard them, too. He didn’t have to ask. She bounded back in the opposite direction and drew the skinning knife she kept sheathed at her waist. Hansel cursed, taking off after her. No sooner than he’d kicked off the ground, another mortifying scream shook the woods. He followed close behind Gretel, dodging trees and leaping over the underbrush. There was a third scream, and then a fourth; louder and closer than any before.

He didn’t know what to do. As they ran, the woods shrank around them until the sun no longer broke through the gaps between the trees. Hansel knew they were going to die. No one made it deep into the thickets and lived. It was home to godless monsters; giants, goblins—the creatures of the dark who scarcely bothered with humans, until they were crossed. Hansel struggled to keep up with his sister. Where he was cautious, she was fearless, and where she was cautious, he was safest. He looked up and was surprised to see hundreds of fairies lighting their path. Each second, more poured in from the sky until there was an army over them.

Gretel stopped abruptly, causing Hansel to trip and roll a few steps downhill. He didn’t think long enough to register pain. As he found his footing, Gretel climbed down the incline and stood beside him. His first instinct was to go back the way they’d come, but he was awestruck. They stood on the threshold of life and death, where the woods became the Southern Thickets. It was like a scar across the ground, stretching from one end of the world to the next, a final warning to those brave enough to pass into the curse. Even the fairies were still, their glow dimmed by the wicked magic ahead. Continue reading

Book Blitz: Flower Predictions by Lilliana Rose

 

Fantasy/Romance
Date Published: August 2017

Thinking Triena would be safer without him, Braklen leaves her. Now a wanted criminal, Braklen puts as much distance between him, Triena and the Queens by taking up a job on a smuggling ship. He throws himself into his work to forget about the guilt building inside of him for leaving Triena as well as the love he has for her.

Triena is alone, her rabbit stolen from her, and the Energy is behaving in unexpected ways making it difficult for her to predict the future. Her love for Braklen is strong and she sets out to find him, while trying to keep away from the Queens. With no other option she takes passage with Captain Ri who forces her to use the Energy for his own benefits.

Will she be able to find her beloved rabbit, and Braklen, before the Queens find and destroy her?

Amazon

 

Other Books in the Flower Readings Series

Flower Readings

Flower Readings, Book One

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Published May 2017

Triena lives on an outback moon earning a living by offering flower readings for customers. Cast out from the Queens, the Energy Readers, Triena wants to return, but the only way to do that is to kill Braklen and use his energy to look into the future.

 Braklen, a Peacekeeper with the Queens, arrives at the Triena’s Tea House. He doesn’t realize the danger he is in when he sits down for a flower reading.

 Triena sees her chance to kill Braklen by using the potency in flower buds. The Energy guides her hand, and instead, the suppressed feelings toward Braklen surface.

 Can she kill the man she loves?

 

Excerpt

 Braklen looked down into the bowl full of gray something that was meant to be food.

“I wouldn’t eat that, man,” said a fellow evening-shift worker sitting opposite Braklen.

Despite the warning, Braklen dunked a spoon into the thick broth. “Can’t be too bad.” He spooned the greasy liquid with gray floating bits into his mouth. He choked.

The other man laughed, slapping his hand down on the metal table. “You’ll get used to it.”

Braklen coughed as the last of the liquid went down. “Tastes like jet fuel.”

“Wouldn’t put it past the cook to put some in. He probably thinks that it’d give us a boost to work harder.”

“How can you eat it?” Braklen’s spoon was poised above the liquid, but he couldn’t bring himself to take another mouthful. This was a long-haul flight and the bowl of slop was the only thing to eat. He’d just finished a twelve-hour shift in the engine room trying to repair the electronics in the backup system that were so worn out and old, it should’ve been thrown out instead. It was the first ship that accepted his qualifications as a mechanical engineer. He’d boarded, wanting to get as far away as possible from Triena.

His heart lurched, skipping beats, then contracting, causing pain to spread out across his chest. He knew he shouldn’t have boarded, or left her unconscious on the ground. But, since the chip had been deactivated, there was no point hanging around. She didn’t really want me there, not really.

The guy shrugged his shoulders, scrapping the last of the broth onto the spoon and delivered it into his mouth. “I’m already pretty thin. I’ll fade away if I don’t eat.”

Braklen laughed. “Hasn’t anyone complained?”

His men put up with a lot when he was in charge but he would’ve had an uprising if they’d ever had this food from the galley. Emptiness clawed at his gut at the reminder he didn’t command a unit of Peacekeepers anymore. Worse, he was now a wanted man.

He’d contemplated taking Triena with him, turning her in to the authorities and begging to be reinstated. But, much as he wanted his life back, that wasn’t an option. It was clear he’d been set up, a pawn for them to use to get to her. She’ll be better off without me. Safer without me.

 

About the Author

Lilliana Rose enjoys creating worlds for her characters to play in and fall in love. Check out more of her work, www.lillianarose.com

 Contact Information

Website: http://www.lillianarose.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LillianaRose2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lilliana-Rose-Author-Page-364908566932463/

Promo Link: http://bookbuzz.net/blog/fantasyromance-flower-predictions/

 

 

 

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Book Blitz: Battle Born: Defiant by Cyndi Friberg

 

Sci-fi 

Date Published: August 2017

Rivals, enemies, lovers, Jenna and Drex are soon all three. She wants him, nearly as much as she resents him, so how can they ever hope to build a future together? Jenna has good reason to despise all Rodytes, but that doesn’t keep her from longing for Drex, thinking of him night and day, and finding incredible pleasure every time they touch. Still, happily ever after is built on trust, and Jenna will never trust a Rodyte.

 Drex is determined to prove to Jenna that he is different. He never expected to find a mate, so he refuses to let her slip away. He will court her with ruthless patience, wear down her emotional defenses until she understands that she is the most important person in the universe to him. But hostilities between humans and the battle born are rapidly escalating and the couple keeps getting caught in the middle. Can they overcome their pasts and focus on the future or will the conflict consume their love?

Purchase Links

 Amazon   *   B&N   *   iTunes   *   Kobo   *   BookBuzz

 

Excerpt

 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright © 2017 Cyndi Friberg

 Her easy dismissal of something so vital, unleashed his predatory instincts. She only shrugged away his interest because the pull hadn’t yet engaged in her. Once his taste spread through her mouth, her body would ache with need and her blood would sizzle through her veins, “pulling” her toward him. In ages past, any Rodyte male would have tossed her over his shoulder and escaped to some private location where they could fight this out in bed.

“This is about so much more than children.” Stalking toward her with obvious intent, he spoke in a low, almost menacing tone. “Once a Rodyte male has found his mate, she becomes the most important person in the universe. Protecting her, providing for her, and pleasuring her are all he can think about. Why should I ignore what every cell in my body is demanding?”

She backed up, fear flickering through her gaze. “If you touch me, I’ll scream.”

“You have nothing to fear from me.” But he kept right on coming, only stopping when her back pressed against the wall. He placed his hands on either side of her head, caging her with his big body. “Breathe in my scent, let it wash over and sink into you.”

“This is pointless.” She sounded a bit more assertive now, but her lips trembled. “I don’t feel what you’re feeling.”

“Not yet,” he whispered as he lowered his head. She jerked her face aside, so he kissed her cheek and jawline. “Kiss me, Jenna. See if my taste excites you.”

“No,” she said firmly. “I don’t want to be excited by anyone right now. I—”

He turned her head and cut off her words with his mouth. Her lips pressed together, unmoving and unresponsive. His instincts demanded that he open her mouth and stake his claim with the thrust of his tongue, but she’d likely bite him if he forced this on her. Besides, he wanted her wild and willing, not resentful and resigned.

“What are you so afraid of?” he whispered the words against her stubbornly closed mouth. “Nothing is more natural, more fulfilling, than touching and being touched by your mate.”

Her hands came up and shoved against his chest. “Back off. Now!”

“Kiss me once, and I’ll let you go.” He brushed his lips over hers, coaxing, teasing.

“No means no, a**hole.” She brought her knee up hard, barely missing his crotch as he quickly turned away.

With an exasperated sigh, he pushed off the wall and motioned toward the door through which they’d escaped. “Enjoy the party.”

 

About the Author

Anything-but-Ordinary is Cyndi’s creed and her writing reflects her dedication to the concept. She writes in a variety of genres, but she seems happiest in outer space. Her books frequently appear on Best-Seller lists, and TAKEN BY STORM was named Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Romance of the year by Romance Reviews Today.

She lives in Colorado with her high school sweetheart turned husband of many years. With a pampered cat curled on the corner of her desk, she dreams of fascinating worlds and larger than life adventures — and wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

Contact Information

Website: http://www.cyndifriberg.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cyndi_Friberg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cyndifribergbooks

Promo Link http://bookbuzz.net/blog/sci-fi-romance-battle-born-defiant/

 

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Blog Tour: The Seeds of Dissolution by William C. Tracy

 

Science Fiction / Fantasy

Publisher: Space Wizard Science Fantasy

Date Published: November 2017

On a bright August day, the sun disappears.

Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten alien cultures—where he meets Rilan and Origon, two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.

But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.

The Dissolution is coming.

 Support the Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spacewizard/1323793723?token=4d44a63f

 

About the Author

William C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has two self-published novellas available: Tuning the Symphony, and Merchants and Maji, both set in his Dissolutionverse. The Kickstarter for the first novel, The Seeds of Dissolution, will run in August/September 2017.

He also has a masters in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo in Raleigh. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer. He and his wife also cosplay, and he has appeared as Tenzin, Jafar, and in several steampunk outfits.

In his spare time, he wrangles three cats and a bald guinea pig, and his wife wrangles him (not an easy task). They both enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

 Contact Information

Website: http://williamctracy.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/williamctracyswsf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wctracy

Blog: http://williamctracy.com/blog-page/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/60627.William_C_Tracy

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Forger by Michele Hauf

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THE FORGER
Elite Crimes Unit #2
by Michele Hauf
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pub Date: 8/8/2017
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Olivia Lawson’s bosses at Scotland Yard don’t take her work very
seriously. Art and antiquities? Bor-ing! But her latest
investigation, at London’s world-renowned Tate, is turning out to
be far more explosive than anyone expected. In fact, the vandalized,
booby-trapped painting hanging on the gallery wall would have blown
her off her feet if it wasn’t for the tall, dark-haired stranger
who tackled her at the last second—a stranger as finely sculpted as
any masterpiece in the museum.
 
Ethan Maxwell is working this case for the Elite Crimes Unit because it was
a choice between that and lockup. A (barely) reformed art forger,
he’s got the expertise to lead Olivia through a dangerous manhunt.
But the crime may have a more personal connection to him—and the
all-too-real feelings he’s developing toward Olivia could pull her
into the line of fire too . . .
 
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Chapter 1

London

 Olivia Lawson stood before the most hideous painting she had seen hung on the esteemed walls of the Tate Britain museum. Around her the forensics team and various police constables had begun to trickle in. Olivia had arrived twenty minutes ago, as soon as dispatch had forwarded her the call from Camila Wright, the museum’s director. The director had been frantic, and had suspected a vandalism.

Olivia had called in backup officers from Scotland Yard to search the outer perimeter of the museum. As she’d headed out, she’d stopped into her boss’s office. Superintendent Wellbrute had just been informed a gallery in SoHo, not far from where she lived, had been hit last week with methods similar to this morning’s incident at the Tate Britain. He didn’t understand why she hadn’t been on top of the SoHo incident. It was her job with the Arts and Antiquities Unit to investigate art crimes.

How could she be on top of what she hadn’t been aware of? Apparently the SoHo gallery owner had gone directly to Interpol instead of Scotland Yard. Which had miffed her boss. And baffled Olivia only so much. Private galleries had a lot at stake in keeping thefts quiet. They couldn’t have their reputations tarnished should Scotland Yard release information to the press. But it did stab at Olivia’s pride to have her boss angry with her. She should have heard about that one or picked up information from the art- world grapevine. Her lacking knowledge wasn’t going to help her status at Scotland Yard.

She needed to solve this case to show her boss she had what it took, and that she was not expendable. A promotion from constable to detective constable was her goal.

Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiquities Unit had been reduced to two police officers, her and Nigel Bellows, who was out with shingles. Not a day passed that Superintendent Wellbrute didn’t grumble about lacking funding, and who cared about art crimes, anyway? Wasn’t as if the perpetrator caused physical damage or violence to people such as with robbery or murder. Wouldn’t she be happier in dispatch or even—and this was always delivered with a wink—bringing him coffee and answering phones?

The cuts and insults never ceased, but Olivia would not break under such demeaning treatment. She was proud to be a woman working in the field of law enforcement and she would show the men exactly how valuable she was to Arts and Antiquities.

But before she tied herself up with worry knots over not learning about the SoHo incident, she had to decide if this call to the Tate was related to last week’s gallery vandalism, or was something else entirely.

Approaching the painting on the wall, Olivia took careful note of all surroundings, moving her gaze from the periphery and inward. As she reached the painting, she scanned the pale gray wall for fingerprints, smudges, disturbed dust. No dust. The museum’s housekeeping was meticulous.

Standing akimbo three feet away from the piece, Olivia scanned the ornate gold frame, which the director had insisted was the original that had framed the John Listen Byam Shaw masterpiece, Now Is Pilgrim Fair Autumn’s Charge, which had been the painting displayed on the wall. Or maybe it still was that painting. It was difficult to determine such.

Because pinned over the original—or whatever was beneath—was a stretched canvas, on which had been painted a copy of the Byam Shaw. An awful copy. Even the worst forger in the world would never take credit for such an aberration.

Trying not to stare too long at the horrible piece, Olivia took in everything else. No dirt in the curves and arabesques carved into the frame. Forensics would dust for prints and do a thorough run-through of the crime scene, but she always asked for a few minutes alone to take everything in. To make notes, both physical and mental. The painting hung about a foot above the green marble base that bordered the walls. Numerous other paintings from the Pre-Raphaelite period hung on the wall, close together but seemingly untouched.

With her cell phone, Olivia snapped a few pictures of the entire frame and pinned canvas. Some were close-ups of the frame; the texture of the paint on the new canvas; brushstrokes. It was a slapdash job, but she sensed whoever had painted this copy had sincerely attempted to imitate the master. The colors in the original were bold oranges, reds, and browns. The copy had matched them perfectly. And the wispy ghost-like creature crawling out of the water in the foreground was also executed with a careful hand.

Olivia stepped back and bumped into a man wearing white scrubs over his jeans and T-shirt. “Sorry, Howard.”

Howard Leeds smiled and nodded at the painting. He was deaf, but he didn’t need to hear to become one of the most honored technicians in London forensics over the past two years. Having learned sign language as a project in the fifth grade, and using it on many occasions over the years, Olivia signed that she needed a few more minutes, then he could do his job. Howard flashed another beaming white grin, punctuated by some killer dimples, then walked over to a wooden viewing bench and sat out his equipment.

Camila Wright clicked in on high heels and stopped beside Olivia. Sheathed in drab gray, she looked like a stick in the shapeless dress. After noting her badge, the woman had introduced herself to Olivia upon arrival but hadn’t taken the time to ask who Olivia was. Tension shimmered off her thin frame. She clenched her fists so tightly, her knuckles looked ready to burst from the skin. “I just said goodbye to the Byam Shaw last night as I was leaving the building.”

“Said goodbye to it?” Olivia asked.

“It’s one of my favorites. I talk to the ones I love.”

Oddly enough, Olivia could relate to that. Sometimes the characters depicted in oils and watercolors took on lives of their own. Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Heel Lead by Dawn K. Henderson

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Heel Lead
by Dawn K. Henderson
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
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Because life is one big ballroom – and all we can do is dance… Former UK
dance champion Caroline Elliott has two burning passions in her life:
her sexy, young Spanish lover Antonio, and the weekly Ballroom dance
class she teaches to a diverse group of enthusiastic locals in the
small English town of Castleham where she lives. But Caroline has a
problem. The numbers attending her class have dwindled, and unless
she can somehow breathe new life into it, she will have no choice but
to close it down. A dance display at the local Arts Festival might
just be the perfect opportunity to showcase her students and pull in
those much-needed new members. How difficult could it be? With the
date of the display approaching, however, illness, affairs and
relationship break-ups threaten to crush Caroline’s hopes. As she
battles to keep rehearsals on track and soothe her students’
rampant nerves, she must also conquer the demons of a long-ago
tragedy in her own life. Will she be able to let go of her fears and
step into the spotlight once again? Heel Lead is an emotional,
passionate and poignant story that entertains while it tugs at your
heartstrings. In this short yet compelling novel, author Dawn K.
Henderson presents a captivating tale of the power of love, dance and
the ties that bind us.
 
 
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 Chapter 7

‘Are you really up for this mad plan of Caroline’s?’ Mike plonked the tray of drinks down onto the table. After class, he and Jeannette had headed straight for the pub with Trash and Donna as they usually did. Tonight, Graham and Laura had joined them to discuss Caroline’s proposal. ‘White wine. That’s yours, Laura. Pint of Molecatcher for you, Trash. Jeannette, were you the coffee?’

‘Why not? What’s so scary about it?’ Graham challenged with a twinkle in his eye.

‘Aside from a hundred pairs of eyes watching eagerly for us to cock it up, you mean?’

‘Oh, come on. No-one will have a clue if we go wrong.’

Mike squeezed onto the window bench next to his wife. He didn’t look convinced.

‘I think that’s right.’ Donna’s nose screwed up prettily as she rummaged in her memory. ‘No, give up. Can’t remember who said it, but I do remember hearing it somewhere.’

‘What?’ Donna had a habit of talking in part sentences as if everyone else had an idea of what she was going on about.

‘As long as your top half looks good, and you look as if you know what you are doing – you know, brazen it out. Act with total confidence – your feet can get away with anything. No-one looks at your feet unless you do. They’ll all be watching your head and body.’

‘Rubbish!’

‘No, it’s true. Think about it. When you’re at a dance, do you watch people’s feet or their heads?’

‘She’s got a point,’ Trash conceded reluctantly.

‘Come on, Trash. What d’you say? Let’s go for it.’

He gazed down at her. ‘You really want to, Button?’

She nodded vigorously. ‘Yes. Apart from anything else, it’ll be fun. More importantly, it’ll help Caroline. I don’t want her class to fold and I know you don’t either.’

‘OK.’ He looked across at Graham. ‘I guess we’re in too. What about you, Mike?’

Mike was slouched back in the corner of the window seat looking unhappy, like a cornered animal who had nowhere to run. ‘If you lot are in, I suppose we have to be as well. Can’t let you take all the glory.’

‘We are quite prepared to be outshone by your supple hips and svelte, elegant physique.’ Graham’s straight face was a triumph.

‘Bugger off, old man.’ There was affection, not irritation, in Mike’s words. ‘What do you say, Jeannette?’

‘I’m totally up for it, even if just thinking about it makes me feel so nervous I want to run and hide in a cupboard. Caroline needs our help and she deserves to get it.’

‘That’s settled then.’ Laura leaned back, satisfied. ‘If we’re all in, and Angela has already decreed that she and Stuart will take part, that only leaves Issy and Liam.’

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Just Kylie by Monique Gooch

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Just Kylie
by Monique Gooch
Genre: Young Adult
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Kylie Bransford was all girl. She loved her long black hair that touched
her lower back, and refused to cut it no matter how much her mother
pleaded. She wore pink sneakers on the field when she cheered, her
room was surrounded by mermaids, and her walls were decorated in pink
and purple shades. She was “all” girl. Kylie loved to be on
the go and in the know. The only thing that made not only her world,
but her heart stop was Myles Russin. Myles was one of the cutest boys
in the 8th grade. The night she invited him over to watch television
was the night she knew for sure she’d receive her first kiss. Her
tongue trailed the braces that shielded her teeth as Myles leaned
forward with his eyes closed. With much disdain she pushed him away.
Kylie had to come clean and reveal her secret. Kylie Bransford was
biological born a boy, but lived as a girl. She just hoped Myles
could see past her situation and like her for who she was and not
what was in between her legs.
 
 
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Chapter 1

Kylie

“Just so you know, your friends are watching us,” Myles said with a meek smile, nodding toward the gaggle of girls behind her. Kylie glanced over her shoulder at her friends who were giggling. Kylie sank her teeth into her bottom lip, but closed her mouth quickly, embarrassed by her pink and silver braces. She couldn’t wait to get those things off, but that would be another two years. Kylie raked manicured shaky fingers through her thick raven locks that hung down her back.

She couldn’t believe it. Myles was actually talking to her. Myles Russin, the cutest boy in the 8th grade. Was this what flirting felt like? Her palms began to sweat.

Kylie beamed, practically melting into her locker. “No, they’re just being…goofy. They uh…they think you’re like, really hot.”

Myles turned ten shades of red and smiled a face-splitting grin. She grinned to herself. He couldn’t hide his excitement if he wanted to. “Th-they do?” He glanced at her friends again. They continued to snicker. “Wh-what do you think?”

Me? Well, I think you’re…” Play it cool girl, play it cool. “Okay.”

“Just okay?” Myles chortled.

Kylie suppressed her laugh and glanced down at her pink high top Sketchers. She stole a quick peek at him, and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, revealing her mermaid stud earrings. Myles was one of the tallest boys in the 8th grade, much taller than she was. His voice was starting to deepen, just like Mrs. Vance taught them in sex-ed class last quarter. Kylie thought he looked like a model or better yet, a movie star. The bell rang snatching her from her trance. She realized she’d been gazing into his hazel eyes. Awkward.

“Um, maybe we can hang out one day.” He cleared his throat as his voice squeaked slightly.

Kylie’s pulse quickened. “Really?”

“Yeah really,” he playfully nudged her shoulder. “I think you’re cool. We should hang out.”

“Okay um, well you could always come to my house to watch TV or something. My mom won’t mind.”

“Cool,” he responded looking down at his feet. The blush in his cheeks gave him away. “Wh-what about this afternoon?”

She immediately pulled out her smartphone. The second bell rang, indicating they had two minutes to be in their seats. “Er—let me text my mom.” She began typing furiously.

“Okay, just let me know.” As he began his journey to class, her phone buzzed. The returning text from her mother said, Absolutely not! I will not be home until 6 o’clock. No boys unless I’m there.

She looked up from her phone and stopped him, “Myles.”

“Yeah?” He turned. His sneakers squeaked against the tile floor.

“My—my mom just texted back.” Kylie stuttered.

“Is it cool?” He looked hopeful and clutched his backpack tighter.

Kylie glanced at her phone again. The words on the screen stared back at her, “Absolutely! It’s totally cool.” She fired off her address and time to meet at her house.

 

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Hero to Love by Gail Chianese

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A HERO TO LOVE
Changing Tides #2
by Gail Chianese
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 8/22/2017
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A military police officer on the verge of a new beginning. A beautiful woman
devoted to her career and her dream of putting down roots. The
hardest thing they’ll ever do is to take a chance on love . . .
Navy Chief Master at Arms Jackson “Jax” Faraday is at a crossroads. He has
to decide whether to reenlist or get out while he’s young enough to
make a difference in the civilian world. Either choice could mean
leaving behind his girl: his K-9 partner, Bella. But when she’s
injured during a training session, Jax’s only concern is making
sure she’s okay.
As the Navy base veterinarian, town local Risa Reynolds is right where she
belongs: close to her parents in a farmhouse full of animals—with
room to grow. She’s seen enough to put military men are on her “not
happening” list, because they always leave.
But when a tall, hazel-eyed sailor arrives in her clinic with his dog in his
arms, Risa finds herself falling hard. And all kinds of rules will
get broken when Jax, a man who sticks to the straight and narrow,
learns that there’s no predicting the twists and turns of the heart
. . .
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Gail Chianese‘s love of reading began at
the tender age of three, when she’d make her grandpa read Fourteen
Country Rabbits over and over and over again (and correct him when he
skipped parts). While she’s branched out over the years by reading
mystery, women’s fiction, and urban fantasy, she always circles
back to romance in the end. That’s probably because she’s married to
her real life hero. Her wonderful hubby has served in the US Navy for
the past twenty two years and he’s done things he can’t tell her
about. But it doesn’t stop her from being extremely proud of him
and the sacrifices he makes for her, his family, and his country.
He’s also uber-supportive of her dreams and of their three
children. Living in Mystic, CT and a member of Connecticut Romance
Writers of America, Gail loves to hear from readers.
 
 
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