Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Cedric Series by Valerie Willis

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Cedric the Demonic Knight
The Cedric Series Book 1
by Valerie Willis
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Known for hunting the supernatural, no mortal man realizes Lord Cedric is
one of Sorceress Morrighan’s abominations. After competing in a
tournament, he is wed to a Lady of the Court, Angeline. Cedric’s
senses begin to overwhelm him and he struggles to decipher his
feelings; Are they a creation of his incubine bloodline or truly
heartfelt emotions for the girl who has lost it all to him? He finds
himself forced to choose between falling in love or continuing his
suicidal quest to kill his creator. Epic battles against all manners
of beasts and demons fill this story with memorable antagonists such
as Morrighan and her two sisters; Romasanta the Father of Werewolves;
Succubus Queen Lillith and many more. Find yourself engulfed in lores
and history long forgotten from the 12th Century and beyond.

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CHAPTER ONE: PRESENT DAY

It was another dead Thursday night at the smoke-filled hole-in-the-wall bar, Rusty’s. The bartender set out to look busy, vigorously scrubbing the bar top, waiting for the regulars to drag in. There was a wet musk scent in the air. Besides the homeless man in the back booth, there was not a soul in the joint.

Most of the people rolled in closer to midnight after their late shifts and were gone within an hour. Startled by the bell on the door, the bartender failed to see someone sitting in the chair near him. Perhaps he was daydreaming again, but it was rather early for this particular customer to be here tonight. The regular appeared across from him as if he had been there all evening. He never saw the man come or go, ever. The customer did not give out his name, and it was rare for the man to talk. He was just the ‘silent patron’ over the past three months since he started coming in on Thursdays. At least he tipped well, paid in cash, and always ordered vodka on the rocks, top shelf stuff. The bartender started making the drink, no need to ask.

“Evening,” A deep stern voice flowed from the lips of the regular. He was a broad shouldered man and wore a hooded sweatshirt and baseball cap, the brim low, hiding the expression on his face. “Slow night?”

“Slow night?”

“It’s Thursday.” Tony the bartender replied, relieved that the man at the bar was willing to talk for a change. “Here you go, one Goose on the rocks. Besides,

“Here you go, one Goose on the rocks. Besides, you’ve been here every Thursday, it’s always slow.”

The bartender slid the glass towards his customer who met him halfway. There was a slight pause, as once more Tony could not help but stare at the man’s left hand as it glided the drink away. He was missing his ring finger and curiosity was itching at the back of Tony’s mind. Tonight he decided to investigate the story behind the man’s missing digit.

“I just have to ask, how did you lose your finger?” He gave the mysterious regular a sincere grin. “Was it work related? I get some good stories from a lot of the guys about how their wedding bands saved their lives and cost them their fingers.”

“No.” The man took a sip from his drink and gently placed it back down. “I refuse to let it grow back… That’s the only reason why it’s still missing.”

“What?” A sickening feeling came over Tony as he realized something was not natural in the man’s tone of voice. The other servers were right; there is something very creepy about the Thursday night regular with the missing finger.

This had to be a sick joke. He wasn’t serious, right? “You what?”

“I refuse to let it grow back.” Holding up his left hand, the regular covered his expression except for one  gleaming green eye that stared menacingly at Tony through the gap where the finger should have been. “When I find her again, I’ll

“When I find her again, I’ll allow it to come back. I know she is still out there. She is alive, but just out of my reach. I feel her even after all these centuries.”

“What are you?” Tony could feel the life draining from him as his instincts started to scream. This was not your typical drunk off the streets, or was he? He finally stuttered his decision. “You must be drunk.”

“I am nothing for you to be afraid of.” Tony could now see the strong jaw line and grave expression the regular carried on his face as he spoke. Finishing his vodka, the green-eyed man slid the glass back to him, beckoning for another.

“The others make you work tonight because they can’t stand being in the same room as me. Shocked you’re still alive, in fact. You are the only human in the entire lot of bartenders that works here. Normally they would have taken advantage, but then again, there is a good reason as to why they haven’t yet.”

“What are you talking about?” Tony’s body was bartending on its own accord. Shaking, he refilled the glass and reluctantly slid it back to his frightening customer. “Cut it out, you’re go-going to spook me away too, you know.”

“Forgive me.” His grin revealed wolf-like fangs as he scoffed to himself.

“Call me Cedric. I am no enemy to you, just looking for someone to talk to, that’s all. I have spent a lot of time being on my own and sometimes it’s nice to indulge in another’s company.”

“Ced-Cedric,” If Tony could melt, he would have done so right there behind the bar. There was something about this Cedric that made his curiosity override every fear. “How do you know about the other bartenders? What on earth did you say to spook them?”

“They are all female, yes?” He paused from taking a sip while staring into the bartender’s eyes. “Female vampires have an easier time than the males in regards to hiding that they are not human. They can control their bloodlust much better and tend to inherit and master illusion-based traits more often. Anyhow, they could smell my blood and knew something was not right. It’s like mice serving drinks to a hungry cat, or worse off, a starving lion.”

“Vampires?” Tony began to feel silly for letting himself get so startled over a fairytale. Why had he taken Cedric seriously about nothing more than a story?

“That’s cute, yes; women are like vampires.”

“You don’t believe me? Well, I suppose not in today’s world.” Cedric took a sip of his drink again. “Let me tell you a story about the girl I lost. Then, perhaps we can be friends? I do miss having someone to talk to since my best friend left me behind.”

“I don’t know, Cedric. You’re a little out of my league at this rate.” Praying he had not offended him, Tony topped off Cedric’s glass, eyeing the missing finger once more. “You can call me Tony.”

“Well, Tony, I’ll make it a Thursday ritual to tell you my story. I have nothing else to do while I wait. It’s been far too long since I last indulged in another’s companionship.” There was a burdensome sigh from his fanged mouth and his eyes dulled. “I lost my best friend not too long ago. The old dog lived far too long for his kind, but I was glad to have someone like that to help me during those hard times. Good friends are hard to come by, especially in my case.”

“So sorry to hear that,” Tony watched as the vacant stare of Cedric’s green eyes seemed far off for several minutes. The weight of pain and sorrow was unmistakable in his gaze. “It’s never good to lose a close friend.”

“Where to start?” The shine had returned to Cedric’s eyes as he finished another glass of vodka and nodded for his refill. “How about the first night I saw her? It’s only appropriate. Like the poet said so many years ago; whoever loved that loved not at first sight…”

“Yes, tell me about this girl of yours.” Tony eagerly refilled the glass waiting to hear what kind of story this was going to be.

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Continue reading

New Release: I May Not Be Famous, But! by Ernie Gifford

Having seen and read all about these celebrities writing their biographies, or getting someone to write it for them, I thought that as I’ve lived a lot longer than most of them, I decided to write this account of my life, as I remember it, as a bit of fun.

I was in my seventy-ninth year when I started writing this book and I am now in my eighty-ninth year. I have been unable to verify any of the facts with my family as I am the last surviving member, so I cannot guarantee that everything is in chronological order.

I have done my best to make the story as accurate as possible, bearing in mind that I am writing this all from memory, so dates and times from way back then are very hazy, to say the least.

  

About the Author

Having spent the last eight years writing this book, it’s made me realise that my life has been virtually made up of two halves. The first half saw me through childhood and on through puberty to a successful marriage with the pleasure of bringing up five children. Unfortunately, it was destined not to last and we finally separated in 1971. It was then that I met Margaret who was to have a wonderful effect on my life from then on. We both left our respective families and made our way north with no idea where we would end up. Eventually, we settled in Stockport where we later got married. Later on, we returned to live in Milton Keynes where we got involved in sport, which proved to be extremely enjoyable as we worked together. Unfortunately in the later years, Margaret was dogged by ill-health until finally I lost the love of my life. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

 

Excerpt 

“I was born on the 23rd January 1928 in the beautiful coastal town of Folkestone. I cannot recall much of my formative years, so I will not be able to bore you with those early episodes, although I must admit to some vague recollections of myself and my younger brother romping on the beach wearing a variety of strange clothes.

Incidentally, I was one of seven children, four boys and three girls. There was my eldest brother William, born in 1916, he was followed by my eldest sister Rose, born in1918. Then along came John, born in 1920, followed by another sister Joan, born in 1922. The next to arrive was my sister Ruby, born in 1925, it was then that I arrived on the scene in 1928, followed a year and six days later by my younger brother Ronald in 1929. There you have the family’s beginnings in a nutshell. As far as I recall we were a very happy family, and my mother managed very well on a limited budget, as I cannot recall ever going hungry.

I do remember being sometimes allowed in the kitchen to watch my mum cooking, which was a privilege as my dad was barred from the kitchen. I found out later that she was in service when she was younger, so her cooking was second to none.”

 

 I May Not Be Famous, But! by Ernie Gifford is available from Amazon US and from Amazon UK

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 712 064
E-mail: info@newgeneration-publishing.com

 

 

The Amazon US purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 2 Escape.

New Release: Nothing Without Honour by Martin Hicks

It is Spring 1864 and the Confederate raider Palmetto is off the Philippines, pursuing her campaign against US shipping. For her captain, Thomas Grover there is much to consider, for with the ship’s previously sustained engine damage not fully repaired, he learns that these seas are now patrolled by a new Union warship that vastly overmatches his own ship. As the war turns increasingly against the South, Grover must redouble his efforts against the enemy, but the hidden threats facing him are as dangerous as the known ones.

 

About the Author 

Martin Hicks was in education as a primary school teacher in Greenock and subsequently a Primary School Headteacher in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  He opted to spend the final six years of his teaching career in Special education and did so as Deputy Head of a Special Needs School with responsibility for Primary education.

Martin started writing after leaving teaching and opted for the American Civil War setting as a result of a long-term interest in the period and he has made several visits to a range of the historical sites in the United States.

Other US Civil War novels that Martin has published include:

A Season for Killing (2007)

A Deepening Twilight (2007)

A Gathering of Soldiers (2008)

Hard Passage North (2009)

The Rappahannock Line (2011)

Mirage of Victory (2012)

The Bitterest Enemy (2013)

Bond of Blood (2014)

Palmetto (2015)

An Instrument of War (2016)

 

Excerpt 

“Grover whirled, seeing the plume of off-white smoke drifting away from the Yankee ship’s focs’le to landward, its colour contrasting starkly with the funnel smoke, as he listened for the projectile. Was it shell or shot? The question crowded into his overworking mind as the whooshing sound came to his ears, confirming the missile as shot. The bolt passed diagonally across the stern and splashed into the sea, maybe thirty yards off the port quarter, sending a tall plume of water and spray into the air. Perhaps Palmetto’s turn inshore had helped in avoiding it, Grover thought and he returned his eyes to the headland, now off the starboard quarter, as it gradually moved across the stern, obstructing the Yankee’s view of her quarry. It seemed to crawl by, but at last the rocks and then the point itself moved across, hiding the Santee from view, though the smoke plume from her funnel still rose into the sky above the promontary. Another thudding crash came as her bow chaser spoke again, but that shot had been blind, aimed at the Palmetto’s smoke plume and it would rely heavily on good fortune to score a hit. Grover listened, hearing the approaching shot, the sound gathering in volume as the missile closed in, seeing it land, with another column of water, again off the port side, though this time on the beam. So they had gotten the range, he thought, but not quite the bearing.”

 

“Nothing Without Honour” is available from Amazon UK in paperback and e-book. It is also available from Amazon US.

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 Literary Agent:  Darin Jewell
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail:  darin@theinspiragroup.com

 

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Book Blitz: Clown Moon by Alex Jameson

 

Horror

Date Published: February 2017

 Former Marine sniper Sam Asher enjoys his casual civilian life. He’s content with his mundane job, steady girlfriend, and halfway decent apartment, until tragedy strikes too close to home, in a manner that appears to be related to a nationwide epidemic of creepy clown sightings.

 Bent on vengeance, Sam hits the road to track down a deranged killer. Accompanied by his brother Jake, and pursued by an overly ambitious Homeland Security Agent, Sam will need to use every resource, every skill, and every friend he’s ever had to find the madman.

 As the “clown crisis” ramps up, receiving constant coverage from the media and keeping regular folks hiding in their homes, a rash of murders takes Sam halfway across the country on his quest for justice. The battle-tested Marine will be sucked into a vortex of madness at the hands of a psychopath, engaging in a battle of will and wits that will test his heart, mind and loyalty.

Purchase Links

$.99 Sale through September 30th.

 Amazon   *   Barnes & Noble   *   IndieBound

 

About the Author

Alex Jameson is a regular guy who happens to love scaring his audience and inspiring nightmares. His fantastic debut novel, Clown Moon, has been followed by a darkly humorous series, The 100 Deaths of Lucas Graves.

 

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 2 Escape.

 

Blog Tour: I’m With You by Allie Frost

 

Teen and Young Adult

Date Published: 9/26/16 (Print) 10/18/16 (eBook)

PublisherDragon Tree Books

 When fifteen-year-old Ciarán Morrigan eavesdrops on a conversation between his father and two mysterious strangers, his life—and the life of his little sister, Remiel—is changed forever. After their father makes a startling decision, the Morrigan siblings are forced to flee the only life they’ve ever known and embark on a dangerous adventure across the nation of Empirya. With the enlisted help of a disinherited vagabond, a cynical violinist, a fire-juggler with a fierce temper, an aspiring mechanic, and a cheerful librarian, Ciarán and Remiel must fight to escape the clutches of lethal pursuers. Their journey carries them through smog-filled cities, dark forests, humble towns, and perilous mountains, but will Remiel’s dark secret and ghosts from the past prevent the Morrigan children from finding a place they can truly call home?

 Winner – Indie Genius Award from Dragon Tree Books
Winner – Literary Titan Book Award (Gold) June 2017

Purchase Links

Amazon   *    Barnes and Noble   *    Amazon UK

 

About the Author

Allie Frost was born in 1992 and has spent most of her life in rural Pennsylvania. She attended Western New England University and graduated in 2013 with a degree in English Literature and Film Studies. During her college years, she studied in England and began working on the story that would become her debut novel, I’m With You. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys playing video games, reading, traveling, and going to the movies, and she only likes dark roast coffee or very sugary lattes, but nothing in between. More information is available at thealliefrost.com.
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Contact Information

Website: thealliefrost.com

Facebook: facebook.com/frostallie

Twitter: @frostallie

Blog: tumblrFrostwritten

Goodreads: Allie Frost

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 2 Escape.

New Release: Stung by M. Schood

A young, intelligent, beautiful, ambitious, sexy, sassy woman with a highly paid salary, a spontaneous love life, a loyal circle of friends and a loving family…

What more could you ask for? But, what makes a woman like this transform into a revengeful shadow of darkness consumed with spite, anger and hate?

A path she never intended to walk but was left with no option…

A bitter sting in the tail.

An interesting turn of events; humour, sympathy, passion and drama rolled into one, with a twisted end… worth reading.

 

Excerpt

 “Have you ever wondered what it is like to be in the mind of somebody else? Can you imagine being diagnosed with an illness that categorises you as being mentally incapable, but knowing full well that the diagnosis is incorrect regardless of professional opinion?

There’s a difference between being ill and damn right spiteful… when will they learn? WHO- You may ask… society.

“So, dearest readers, that’s my story; told and written by moi.  A recount of my life. The rise and fall, however you wish to see it, the fact remains that I was once like you, a normal free individual with the world as my oyster. Now ridden with jealously, hate, anger and spite I’ve been pushed to the limits, no fault of my own. Some would say I’m weak why I allow certain situations to spiral out of control but I’m not weak. I can confidently say that I’m the total opposite. I’d describe myself, my qualities, as a strength, which has now brought me into the world of the sick or societies perception of the sick.  I feel tainted and besmirched after being forced into this unforeseen category of injustice. What they all fail to realise is that there is a thin line between illness and spite, I don’t even like to use the word spite- I see it as a capability.

I may not physically be behind bars but I am locked up like a bird, day in and day out, and it has often made me contemplate the thought of the easy path of suicide, sweetly known as death, but this is something which requires great courage,  and I’m not sure if have the will  power to carry it out. Surely death would be better than the life I’m living now. I’m not afraid of death but I am afraid of being here, for time without being given the chance to really be me. Be me without pills, people with pathetic soothing and patronising voices in white coats and clipboards.  I’m not a bad person, I was pushed. Who will hear my cry now? I may not have a custodial life sentence, but being categorised as being ill is a life sentence within itself, as I will forever be varnished with a stain that cannot be wiped… a record that will continue to play for life.

If I have learnt anything from this experience, it is to be in role/character at all times. You have to be the opposite of a strong female, this way you won’t be tempted to sting those who are stupid enough to fall prey to you, and even better you won’t be caught because nobody would have thought you had it in you.

My biggest regret is showing how capable I really am.”

 

 

“Stung” by M. Schood is currently available from Amazon UK in paperback. It is also available from Amazon US.

 

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 712 064
E-mail: info@newgeneration-publishing.com

 

The Amazon US purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 2 Escape.

New Release: Proteus by Marc Everitt

Small town, rural America. A man walks into a hospital for help, except this man can’t be helped. He will die horribly, and he is just the first of many. Dr Jamie Metcalf fights viruses. He was the rising star of the Army Medical Corps Rapid Response Unit before he gave it up for his family. He swore he’d never go back but an outbreak has started, unlike anything seen before, and if it can’t be contained then the loss of life will be unthinkable. For this is something new, something lethal, perhaps something unstoppable; and it’s not from round here…

  

About the Author

 Marc Everitt lives in Swindon in Wiltshire, England. Marc has a degree in English Literature & Philosophy from the University of Hertfordshire and is a ltd co director in financial services. Marc has now written three standalone science-fiction novels along with a space opera trilogy and he is currently working on a collection of mixed genre short stories.

 

Excerpt

Hancock made his way back to his Humvee and was screeching his bad-tempered way out of the car park and back onto the road out of town within a moment. He had no way of knowing that he had just bought himself a few hours more life because the size of the ordinance being dropped on the hospital site was far bigger than he had been told and every one of the men around the perimeter was about to die along with everyone in and around the hospital itself. The entire site, including the army medical research compound, the hospital, its grounds and all the human beings – living and dead, infected or otherwise, were about to cease to exist. Any trace of the Proteus virus which might be in their bodies or in the air nearby was about to be incinerated, either in the explosion itself or else the superheated air it would cause. The cover story of a faulty gas main and a tragically unfortunate accident was already lined up ready to release to the press. Colonel Knight was taking no chances.

Corporal Hancock had been spared from an instant fiery death, although as he drove back out to the outskirts of town he did not know about his luck and would not know until he saw the huge fireball in his rear-view mirror and hear the roar; but his time was coming and when it did, he would have been glad to have had the chance to trade the way he died with the explosion he avoided. There are slower and more painful ways to die and luck can be a funny thing, itself not being without a sense of irony.”

 

 

“Proteus” by Marc Everitt is available from Amazon UK in paperback and e-book and from Amazon US.

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 Darin Jewell
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspirgroup.com

 

 

The Amazon US purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 2 Escape.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: His High-Stakes Bride by Martha Hix

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HIS HIGH-STAKES BRIDE
Texan Brides #3
by Martha Hix
Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: 8/29/2017
Win, lose—or fall in love . . .
After losing her mama and all she has, vagabond Patience “Patty” Sweet
dreams of reuniting with her father in the New Mexico territory. So
she teams up with a no-good gambler whose winnings enable her to get
her closer to her destination. Patty hates hanging around saloons and
poker parlors, pulling dishonest deeds. But when a game of five-card
draw goes wrong in Lubbock, Texas, Patty gets offered up as
collateral—to a handsome stranger who’s about to turn the tables
. . .
Lawyer Grant Kincaid has no intention of claiming his prize—a nearly
nineteen-year-old petite beauty with sweet eyes—who has a hold on
him he can’t deny. But as he tries to help Patty untangle herself
from her shady partner, he discovers she’s not as innocent as she
seems. For starters, she’s already stolen his hardened heart . . .
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Chapter 1

 Lubbock, Texas, 1910 Under a full moon

It is a sad day in a woman’s life when she comes to grips with weakness of character. Today might have been that way for Patience Eileen Sweet, but she couldn’t dwell on something like that. Not this day, which had turned into a warm autumn night in 1910. Not when she intended to escape the mess of her own making. Her papa would have told her, “Patty Cake, proceed with caution.” He always claimed full moons bring babies, lunatics, and any number of disasters, particularly mine cave-ins.

Tonight would bring change; that she knew beforehand. This night unfolded for Patty in a saloon. By the midnight hour the floozies had served their last drinks and were nowhere to be seen, most of the customers having cleared out. The bartender did nothing to cover his yawns. Cigar smoke still curled toward the tin ceiling. Gaming chips still pinged. Three gamblers refused to give in or give up.

Still and all, it would be over soon.

Looking up from her mending, she meant to steal a glance at her “stepbrother,” but she locked gazes with one of the gamblers instead, and not for the first time this evening. The three were close enough that she could get a good look—he was the handsomest man she’d ever seen. As he had the other times, he nodded once. There was a puzzled, curious look to his fine features, certainly not the nasty-old-pervert leer that Dorinda had warned her to look out for.

She did like this man’s black-haired, blue-eyed looks. He wore the garb of  a West  Texan—a yoked shirt with mother-of-pearl buttons  and

denim britches that hugged him just right. His boots were the same kind that cowboys wore, only this ’poke’s weren’t scuffed or worn out. His clothes looked too clean, his hair and chin too smooth for a man of the land. He looked rich.

Patty moved her line of sight to her partner-in-crime, Chet Merkel. It was his turn to deal, and she could tell he was losing at five-card stud. They couldn’t afford for him to lose, not even for one evening, yet she prayed for his bad luck.

She knew what his next move would be. He’d barter her virginity. For the third time.

Twice before to two different men in two different towns.

Tonight it was Scarlet Garter Jenny’s Saloon. The “winner” would  be a short, dark sheriff wearing a big, thick wedding ring. Or else the winner might be that curious fellow—the smooth-shaven pretty boy that the drunkards, gamblers, and preening waitresses called “counselor” and “mouthpiece,” with “Grant” or “Kincaid” thrown in from time to time. Well, the painted ladies usually said “Sugar.”

Neither of these men looked as gullible as the previous winners of her so-called prize.

Anyway, Patty knew how to get out of being the night’s reward. Did she even want to? Just looking at Grant Kincaid had her in a tizzy. One way or another, things would be different tonight. She was cutting all ties to her double-dealing snake of a “stepbrother,” Chet Merkel.

Definitely, she wouldn’t be rendezvousing with Chet later.

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Martha Hix grew up in Texas and didn’t mind listening to stories about how
her ancestors had been in the place for a long, long time. Well, in Texas
that just meant more than a hundred years. This weird kid soaked up
the stories and became an ardent student of family and general
history, which came in handy when she took to writing both fiction
and non-fiction. Eventually, her romance novels were translated into
many foreign languages, some of them very foreign, like Japanese,
Greek, and Turkish. On the home front, she lives in the fabulous
Texas Hill Country with her husband and their spoiled four-legged
kids. Visit her on the web at marthahix.com.
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 Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Book Blitz: Bear’s Edge by Christina Lynn Lambert

 

Stranger Creatures, Book 2

Paranormal Romance

Date Published: September 2017

Publisher: LooseID

 

After sexy bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he decided he was done with love, done with people, done with pretty much everything. One woman has him rethinking his whole strategy.

As his boss, Shayla is off-limits, so Grant keeps his feelings for her under wraps until…the attraction doesn’t seem so one-sided. Grant takes a risk and lays a piece of his heart on the line. When things get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders–will some of his darker desires be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he’s kept hidden for so long?

A reporter who covered the bombing Shayla survived three years before is convinced the only reason Shayla survived is because she’s some type of bionic medical experiment or superhuman freak. When the reporter ropes Shayla’s angry ex, Hunter into the mix, Shayla’s business and her life are on the line. Can she and Grant trust in each other and find a way to slay all the obstacles that stand in their way?

Purchase Links: Amazon or Publisher

 

Excerpt

Grant the mystery man—a delicious mystery Shayla would like to unravel, piece by piece, layer by layer. Ah, but I can’t. I’m his boss. In a different lifetime, if we didn’t have the whole boss-employee obstacle going on… No harm in looking, though, just a little, since he sat so close. She promised herself to keep her thoughts G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13. Grant had a talent with numbers and paid attention to detail. Also, he was a little shy and standoffish to a lot of people when it came to anything other than work. Shayla wondered where he sometimes went in his head, because, every now and then, his smile wiped from his face, just for a second, before being replaced with one a little harder. None of my business, she reminded herself.

Shayla had really wanted to hug Grant that morning after seeing him look so frustrated but decided that it might be wiser and more appropriate to show him that there were a few people on his side. Watching him break things and try to be all strong and humorous about it made Shayla want to unravel the Grant mystery even more. It kind of hurt to watch Grant pretending to be fine, but all Shayla could offer him was lunch and good conversation. Hopefully Mr. Strong and Silent—Sydney called him that sometimes, although never to his face—knew Shayla and Sydney cared. Shayla cared. Because he’s a friendJust a friend.

Grant raised his soda in a toast. “To things not being worse,” he announced with a rueful half smile. “And, uh”—he cleared his throat—“to good company.” He nodded at Sydney, and when he met Shayla’s gaze, he held it. In Grant’s dark eyes she saw hunger, wide-open desire, and about a million other things she couldn’t puzzle out. They both looked away. Grant looked at her that way sometimes, and Shayla did her best to ignore it. Grant might have a small crush on her, or he could have a thing for petite, small-breasted girls possessing a great fashion sense.

Sydney broke the silence. “To good food and even better friends.” She clinked Grant’s glass, and Shayla came back to reality and smiled, pretending she wasn’t experiencing several different kinds of inappropriate thoughts and feelings for a sexy, complicated man who was her employee and also her friend. She needed to remember that things could never go any further than a panty-melting look, and behave.

 

Wolf’s Challenge

Stranger Creatures, Book 1

Release Date: September 2016 Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Names of Dead Girls by Eric Rickstad

 On Tour from September 18 – October 2, 2017

 

Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 0062672819 (ISBN13: 9780062672810)
Series: The Silent Girls #2
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

William Morrow is thrilled to present the sequel to the New York Times and USA Today mega-bestseller The Silent Girls, which went on to sell more than 300,000 copies. The Names of Dead Girls is a dark, twisty thriller that once again features detectives Frank Rath and Sonja Test as they track a perverse killer through rural Vermont. By popular demand, the story picks up after the shocking cliffhanger on the last page of The Silent Girls and reveals what exactly happens between Rath and his nemesis, Ned Preacher. Although The Names of Dead Girls is a sequel, it reads perfectly as a standalone – new readers can dive in seamlessly.

 

After years spent retired as a private investigator, Frank Rath is lured back into his role as lead detective in a case that hits far too close to home. Sixteen years ago, depraved serial rapist and killer Ned Preacher brutally murdered Rath’s sister and brother-in-law while their baby daughter, Rachel, slept upstairs. In the aftermath, Rath quit his job as a state police detective and abandoned his drinking and womanizing to adopt Rachel and devote his life to raising her alone.

Now, unthinkably, Preacher has been paroled early and is watching—and plotting cruelties for—Rachel, who has just learned the truth about her parents’ murders after years of Rath trying to protect her from it. The danger intensifies when local girls begin to go missing, in crimes that echo the past. Is the fact that girls are showing up dead right when Preacher was released a coincidence? Or is he taunting Frank Rath, circling his prey until he comes closer and closer to the one he left behind—Rachel? Rath’s investigation takes him from the wilds of Vermont to the strip clubs of Montreal, but it seems that some evil force is always one step ahead of him.

Eric Rickstad is a master of the bone-chilling, nightmare-inducing thriller, and The Names of Dead Girls is one you won’t want to miss.

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Excerpt

Rath drove the Scout as fast as he could without crashing into the cedars along the desolate stretch of road known as Moose Alley that wound through thirty miles of remote bog and boreal forest. The rain was not as violent here, the fog just starting to crawl out of the ditch.

Rath hoped the police were at Rachel’s and had prevented whatever cruelty Preacher had in store; but hope was as useful as an unloaded gun.

The Scout’s temperature gauge climbed perilously into the red. If the engine overheated, Rath would be stuck out here, miles from nowhere, cut off from contact. In this remote country, cell service was like the eastern mountain lion: its existence rumored, but never proven.

Finally, Rath reached the bridge that spanned the Lamoille River into the town of Johnson. His relief to be near Rachel crushed by fear of what he might find.

At the red light where Route 15 met Main Street, he waited, stuck behind a school bus full of kids likely coming from a sporting event.

He needed to get around the bus, run the light, but a Winnebago swayed through the intersection.

The light turned green.

Rath tromped on the gas pedal. The Scout lurched through the light. On the other side of the intersection, Rath jammed the brake pedal to avoid ramming into the back of the braking bus, the bus’s red lights flashing.

A woman on the sidewalk glared at Rath as she cupped the back of the head of a boy who jumped off the bus. She fixed the boy’s knit cap and flashed Rath a last scalding look as she hustled the boy into a liquor store.

The bus crept forward.

No vehicles approached from the opposing lane.

Rath passed the bus and ran the next two red lights.

The rain was a mist here, and the low afternoon sun broke briefly through western clouds, a silvery brilliance mirroring off the damp asphalt, nearly blinding Rath.

Rachel’s road lay just ahead.

Rath swerved onto it and sped up the steep hill.

A state police cruiser and a sheriff’s sedan were parked at hurried angles in front of Felix and Rachel’s place.

He feared what was inside that apartment. Feared what Preacher had done to Rachel.

Sixteen years ago, standing at the feet of his sister’s body, Rath had heard a whine, like that of a wet finger traced on the rim of a crystal glass, piercing his brain. He’d charged upstairs into the bedroom, to the crib. There she’d lain, tiny legs and arms pumping as if she’d been set afire, that shrill escape of air rising from the back of her throat.

Rachel.

In the moment Rath had picked Rachel up, he’d felt a permanent upheaval, like one plate of the earth’s lithosphere slipping beneath another; his selfish past life subducting beneath a selfless future life; a niece transformed into a daughter by acts of violent cruelty.

For months, Rath had kept Rachel’s crib beside his bed and lain sleepless as he’d listened to her every frayed breath at night. He’d panicked when she’d fallen quiet, shaken her lightly to make certain she was alive, been flooded with relief when she’d wriggled. He’d picked her up and cradled her, promised to keep her safe. Thinking, If we just get through this phase, I won’t ever have to worry like this again.

But peril pressed in at the edges of a girl’s life, and worry planted roots in Rath’s heart and bloomed wild and reckless. As Rachel had grown, Rath’s worry had grown, and he’d kept vigilant for the lone man who stood with his hands jammed in his trouser pockets behind the playground fence. In public, he’d gripped Rachel’s hand, his love ferocious and animal. If anyone ever harmed her.

Rath yanked the Scout over a bank of plowed snow onto a spit of dead lawn.

He jumped out, tucked his .22 revolver into the back waistband of his jeans, and ran for the stairs that led up the side of the old house to the attic apartment.

He hoped he wasn’t too late.

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Excerpt from The Names of Dead Girls by Eric Rickstad. Copyright © 2017 by Eric Rickstad. Reproduced with permission from Eric Rickstad. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio

Eric Rickstad

Eric Rickstad is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of The Canaan Crime Series—Lie in Wait, The Silent Girls, and The Names of Dead Girls, psychological thrillers set in northern Vermont and heralded as intelligent, profound, dark, disturbing, and heartbreaking. His first novel Reap was a New York Times Noteworthy Novel. Rickstad lives in his home state of Vermont with his wife, daughter, and son.

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Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Eric Rickstad and HarperCollins Publishers. There will be 3 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on September 16 and runs through October 4, 2017.

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