Cover Reveal: To Discover a Divine by Tessa McFionn

To Discover a Divine

By Tessa McFionn

Rise of the Stria Book 1

Fiery Seas Publishing

March 20, 2018   

Sci-Fi Romance

 

When Kahlym cal Jhuen, freedom-fighting leader of the Chandar Stria, breaks into a prison ship controlled by the Rimmarian Thrall, he only expected to rescue two of his crew. But when he discovers a terrified female during his escape, he is immediately captivated by her unique beauty and makes a snap decision to take her with him. However, his good deed backfires when he learns he has stolen the Thrall Emperor’s prize.

Down to her last dollar, Evainne Wagner expected nothing out of the ordinary when she stepped out of her Boston apartment. Instead, she found herself in the middle of an intergalactic firefight, complete with strange soldiers with deadly weapons pointed directly at her. Salvation arrives in the nick of time in the form of a mysterious leather-clad warrior, skidding in and whisking her away. Trusting her heart, she follows, hoping to find answers as well as a way home.

Safely on board his ship, he learns more about her and her rare skills, triggering the memory of a half-forgotten prophecy spoken at the time of his cursed birth. Outcast because of a cruel twist of fate, he finds unexpected acceptance, even affection, from his new passenger.

Could she be the one who holds the future of his people, as well as his own heart, in her tender hands?

 

 About the Author 

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.

A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

Social Media: 

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Blog

 

 

 

Spotlight: And Not to Count the Cost by Gillian Thornhill

This is a novel about aspects of the human condition in which the characters are fictitious, but much of the story is based on real events, and doubtless these problems are replicated all over the world to silent sufferers. When hope and joyful aspirations turn to failure and heartbreak, how can we cope best with the deal we’ve been handed, without resorting to bitterness?

  

Excerpt 

 “Holiday time proved even more difficult to control. Isabel insisted that homework and GCSE revision should be completed, but that still left plenty of time for Laura to disappear with her friends. Isabel worried because she had no reason to trust her daughter who lied to obtain what she wanted, and when she was found out. Parenting proved to be very tough indeed.

On several occasions, Laura would slip out of the front or back door to an unspecified address, and Isabel would spend the evenings driving or walking round the estate looking for her, not knowing whether to call the police. Sometimes she was out all night, and Isabel was almost beside herself with worry. She realised, too late, that buying a house on an estate had been a mistake. Church attendance was no longer of any interest to Laura, whether her St Faith’s friends were there or not.

One day in the holidays when Laura was out of the house, and Isabel was attempting to retrieve some of Laura’s underwear for the washing machine, she spotted an unmistakeable packet of birth control pills. She was only fifteen. What was the GP thinking of? Isabel challenged him about it, and was told that when teenagers asked for the pill, it was prescribed without their parents’ permission.

“She will not have an unwanted pregnancy,” he added.

Of course, Laura had cleverly tried to dupe Isabel once again, and when the truth was out, she became violent and abusive, accusing Isabel of invading her privacy. The fact that she was only fifteen was of no consequence to her. On one occasion, when Isabel locked both the doors to prevent Laura from disappearing into the night, another row ensued with damage to furniture, following physical and verbal abuse.”

 

About the Author:

Gillian Thornhill is the author of various books including “Elisaveta: A Life” (2015) and “Escape to Manchuria!” (2016), both of which were published by New Generation Publishing.

 

 

“And Not to Count the Cost” by Gillian Thornhill is currently available in paperback from Amazon UK and from Amazon US.

 

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

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

 

 

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Special Delivery by Judi Lynn

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Special Delivery
Mill Pond #6
by Judi Lynn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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In Mill Pond, Indiana, neighbors always look out for each other. And
even though tourists are drawn to the small town’s charms, it’s
the locals who fill it with warmth . . .
Traveling nurse Karli Redding doesn’t have many fond memories of her aging
grandfather, Axel—or of Mill Pond. But with Axel’s health in
decline and Karli on a month’s hiatus between jobs, she volunteers
to set him up with the help he needs. The house and her grandfather
could both use some TLC. Good thing Keagan Monroe, the very
attractive mailman next door, is always ready to lend a hand…
Not a lot slips by a mailman, and Keagan appreciates Karli’s dogged
attempts to spruce up the neglected property. Painting, fixing the
sagging porch, delivering a constant stream of casseroles from caring
neighbors—he’ll help however he can, all while keeping his
feelings under wraps. A short-term fling just doesn’t fit into his
schedule. But with each passing day, Karli’s bond with the town
grows a little deeper. Has fate sent her exactly where she needs to
be? Karli’s willing to find out, and the first step is figuring out
the perfect route to Keagan’s heart…
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She was eating at the wooden table in the kitchen with the oven on, soaking in the heat, when a mouse ran over her foot.

“Holy crap!”  She wouldn’t let herself jump on a chair.  She was a grown woman, and she wouldn’t scream over a mouse.  But she wanted to.

“You okay?”  Words she never thought she’d hear Axel utter.

“A mouse just ran over my foot.”

He grunted.  “Yeah, they come in about this time of year when it gets cold outside.”

She walked to the door to talk to him.  “How do you catch them?”

“There are some traps in the broom closet.”

She wrinkled her nose.  “I’m not going around the house to collect little dead bodies.”

“Suit yourself.”

She frowned at him.  “There must be something else.”

“Mice leave when there’s a cat in a house, but when you leave, you take the damned thing with you.”

“I don’t want a cat.”

“Then kill the mice or start naming them.”

She glowered toward Kurt.  “Mice are a man’s job.  He should deal with them.”

Kurt finished a beer and swiped at his mouth with the back of his hand.  “They don’t bother me.”

“They’re disgusting.  They spread disease and multiply faster than rabbits.”

He shrugged.  “They don’t eat that much.  Put some cheese out for them.”

She turned and stalked back to the kitchen.  The idiots!  She wasn’t about to start every day by sweeping away mouse turds.

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Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary
school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st,
2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters.
She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Strong to the Bone by Jon Land

Strong to the Bone by Jon Land Banner

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STRONG TO THE BONE by Jon Land

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Forge Books
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0765384647 (ISBN13: 9780765384645)
Series: Caitlin Strong Novels (Volume 9)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗| Macmillan 🔗

 

1944: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a triple murder inside a Nazi POW camp in Texas.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself pursuing the killer her father never caught in the most personal case of her career a conspiracy stretching from that Nazi POW camp to a modern-day neo-Nazi gang.

A sinister movement has emerged from the shadows of history, determined to undermine the American way of life. Its leader, Armand Fisker, has an army at his disposal, a deadly bio-weapon, and a reputation for being unbeatable. But he s never taken on the likes of Caitlin Strong and her outlaw lover, Cort Wesley Masters.

To prevent an unspeakable cataclysm, Caitlin and Cort Wesley must win a war the world thought was over.

Strong to the Bone is another fine effort by Jon Land, who manages to mix character development with gripping, page-turning plots. This is his best novel yet.”
StrandMagazine

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Read an excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Austin, Texas

What the hell?

Caitlin Strong and Cort Wesley Masters had just emerged from Esther’s Follie’s on East 6th Steet, when they saw the stream of people hurrying down the road, gazes universally cocked back behind them. Sirens blared off in the distance and a steady chorus of honking horns seemed to be coming from an adjoining block just past the street affectionately known as “Dirty Sixth,” Austin’s version of Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

“Couldn’t tell you,” Cort Wesley said, even as he sized up the scene. “But I got a feeling we’re gonna know before much longer.”

* * *

Caitlin was in town to speak at a national law enforcement conference focusing on homegrown terrorism, and both her sessions at the Convention Center had been jam-packed. She felt kind of guilty her presentations had lacked the audio-visual touches many of the others had featured. But the audiences hadn’t seem to mind, filling a sectioned-off ballroom to the gills to hear of her direct experiences, in contrast to theoretical dissertations by experts. Audiences comprised of cops a lot like her, looking to bring something back home they could actually use. She’d focused to a great extent on her most recent battle with ISIS right here in Texas, and an al-Qaeda cell a few years before that, stressing how much things had changed in the interim and how much more they were likely to.

Cort Wesley had driven up from San Antonio to meet her for a rare night out that had begun with dinner at Ancho’s inside the Omni Hotel and then a stop at Antone’s nightclub to see the Rats, a band headed by a Texas Ranger tech expert known as Young Roger. From there, they’d walked to Esther’s Follies to take in the famed Texas-centric improve show there, a first for both of them that was every bit as funny and entertaining as advertised, even with a gun-toting woman both Caitlin and Cort Wesley realized was based on her.

Fortunately, no one else in the audience made that connection and they managed to slip out ahead of the rest of the crowd. Once outside, though, they were greeted by a flood of pedestrians pouring up the street from an area of congestion a few blocks down, just past 8th Street.

“What you figure, Ranger?”

“That maybe we better go have ourselves a look.”

CHAPTER 2

Austin, Texas

Caitlin practically collided with a young man holding a wad of napkins against his bleeding nose at the intersection with East 7th Street.

“What’s going on?” she asked him, pulling back her blazer to show her Texas Ranger badge.

The young man looked from it back to her, swallowing some blood and hacking it up onto the street. “University of Texas graduation party took over all of Stubb’s Barbecue,” he said, pointing in the restaurant’s direction. “Guess you could say it got out of hand. Bunch of fraternities going at it.” He looked at the badge pinned to her chest again. “Are you really a Texas Ranger?”

“You need to get to an emergency room,” Caitlin told him, and pressed on with Cort Wesley by her side.

“Kid was no older than Dylan,” he noted, mentioning his oldest son who was still on a yearlong leave from Brown University.

“How many fraternities does the University of Texas at Austin have anyway, Cort Wesley?”

“A whole bunch.”

“Yeah,” she nodded, continuing on toward the swell of bodies and flashing lights, “it sure looks that way.”

Stubb’s was well known for its barbecue offerings and, just as much, its status as a concert venue. The interior was modest in size, as Caitlin recalled, two floors with the bottom level normally reserved for private parties and the upstairs generally packed with patrons both old and new. The rear of the main building, and several adjoining ones, featured a flattened dirt lot fronted by several performance stages where upwards of two thousand people could enjoy live music in the company of three sprawling outdoor bars.

That meant this graduation party gone bad may have featured at least a comparable number of students and probably even more, many of whom remained in the street, milling about as altercations continued to flare, while first responders struggled futilely to disperse the crowd. Young men and women still swigging bottles of beer, while pushing and shoving each other. The sound of glass breaking rose over the loudening din of the approaching sirens, the whole scene glowing amid the colors splashed from the revolving lights of the Austin police cars already on the scene.

A fire engine leading a rescue wagon screeched to a halt just ahead of Cort Wesley and Caitlin, at the intersection with 7th Street, beyond which had become impassable.

“Dylan could even be here, for all I know,” Cort Wesley said, picking up his earlier train of thought.

“He doesn’t go to UT.”

“But there’s girls and trouble, two things he excels at the most.”

This as fights continued breaking out one after another, splinters of violence on the verge of erupting into an all-out brawl going on under the spill of the LED streetlights rising over Stubb’s.

Caitlin pictured swirling lines of already drunk patrons being refused admittance due to capacity issues. Standing in line full of alcohol on a steamy night, expectations of a celebratory evening dashed, was a recipe for just what she was viewing now. In her mind, she saw fights breaking out between rival UT fraternities mostly in the outdoor performance area, before spilling out into the street, fueled by simmering tempers now on high heat.

“You see any good we can be here?” Cort Wesley asked her.

Caitlin was about to say no, when she spotted an anxious Austin patrol cop doing his best to break up fights that had spread as far as 7th Street. She and Cort Wesley sifted through the crowd and made their way toward him, Caitlin advancing alone when they drew close.

“Anything I can do to help,” she said, reading the Austin policeman’s nametag, “Officer Hilton?”

Hilton leaned up against an ornate light pole that looked like gnarled wrought iron for support. He was breathing hard, his face scraped and bruised. He noted the Texas Ranger badge and seemed to match her face to whatever media reports he’d remembered her from.

“Not unless you got enough Moses in you to part the Red Sea out there, Ranger.”

“What brought you boys out here? Detail work?” Caitlin asked, trying to account for his presence on scene so quickly, ahead of the sirens screaming through the night.

Hilton shook his head. “An anonymous nine-one-one call about a sexual assault taking place inside the club, the downstairs lounge.”

“And you didn’t go inside?”

Hilton turned his gaze on the street, his breathing picking up again. “Through that? My partner tried and ended up getting his skull cracked open by a bottle. I damn near got killed fighting to reach him. Managed to get him in the back of our squad car and called for a rescue,” he said, casting his gaze toward the fire engine and ambulance that were going nowhere. “Think maybe I better carry him to the hospital myself.”

“What about the girl?”

“What girl?”

“Sexual assault victim inside the club.”

Hilton frowned. “Most of them turn out to be false alarms anyway.”

“Do they now?”

Caitlin’s tone left him sneering at her. “Look, Ranger, you want to shoot up the street to get inside that shithole, be my guest. I’m not leaving my partner.”

“Thanks for giving me permission,” she said, and steered back for Cort Wesley.

“That looked like it went well,” he noted, pushing a frat boy who’d ventured too close out of the way, after stripping the empty beer bottle he was holding by the neck from his grasp.

“Sexual assault victim might still be inside, Cort Wesley.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah.”

“Got any ideas, Ranger?”

Caitlin eyed the fire engine stranded where East 7th Street met Red River Avenue. “Just one.”

CHAPTER 3

Austin, Texas

Four firemen were gathered behind the truck in a tight cluster, speaking with the two paramedics from the rescue wagon.

“I’m a Texas Ranger,” Caitlin announced, approaching them with jacket peeled back to reveal her badge, “and I’m commandeering your truck.”

“You’re what?” one of the fireman managed. “No, absolutely not!”

The siren began blaring and lights started flashing, courtesy of Cort Wesley who’d climbed up behind the wheel.

“Sorry,” Caitlin said, raising her voice above the din, “can’t hear you!”

* * *

The crowd that filled the street in front of Stubb’s Barbecue saw and heard the fire truck coming and began pelting it with bottles, as it edged forward through the congested street that smelled of sweat and beer. What looked like steam hung in the stagnant air overhead, either an illusion or the actual product of so many superheated bodies congealed in such tight quarters. The sound of glass braking crackled through Caitlin’s ears, as bottle after bottle smashed against the truck’s frame.

The crowd clustered tighter around the fire engine, cutting off Cort Wesley’s way backward or on toward Stubb’s. The students, their fervor and aggression bred by alcohol, never noticed Caitlin’s presence atop the truck until she finally figured out the workings of the truck’s deck gun and squeezed the nozzle.

The force of the water bursting out of the barrel nearly knocked her backward off the truck. But she managed to right and then repositioned herself, as she doused the tight cluster of students between the truck and the restaurant entrance with the gun’s powerful stream.

A wave of people tried to fight the flow and ended up getting blown off their feet, thrown into other students who then scrambled to avoid the fire engine’s surge forward ahead of its deafening horn. Caitlin continued to clear a path for Cort Wesley, sweeping the deck gun in light motions from side to side, the five hundred gallon tank still plenty full when the club entrance drew within clear view.

She felt the fire engine’s front wheels mount the sidewalk and twist heavily to the right. The front fender grazed the building and took out a plate glass window the rioting had somehow spared. Caitlin saw a gap in the crowd open all the way to the entrance and leaped down from the truck to take advantage of it, before it closed up again.

She purposely didn’t draw her gun and entered Stubb’s to the sight of bloodied bouncers and staff herding the last of the patrons out of the restaurant. Outside, the steady blare of sirens told her the Austin police had arrived in force. Little they could do to disperse a crowd this large and unruly in rapid fashion, though, much less reach the entrance to lend their efforts to Caitlin’s in locating the sexual assault victim.

She threaded her way through the ground floor of Stubb’s to the stairs leading down to the private lounge area. The air felt like it was being blasted out of a steam oven, roiled with coagulated body heat untouched by the restaurant’s air conditioning that left Caitlin with the sense she was descending to hell.

Reaching the windowless sub-level floor, she swept her eyes about and thought she heard a whimpering come from a nest of couches, where a male figure hovered over the frame of a woman, lying half on and half off a sectional couch.

“Sir, put your hands in the air and turn around slowly!” Caitlin ordered, drawing her SIG-Sauer nine-millimeter pistol. “Don’t make me tell you twice!”

He started to turn, without raising his hands, and Caitlin fired when she glimpsed something shiny in his grasp. Impact to the shoulder twisted the man around and spilled him over the sectional couch, Caitlin holding her SIG at the ready as she approached his victim.

She heard the whimpering again, making her think more of the sound a dog makes, and followed it toward a tight cluster of connected couch sections, their cushions all stained wet and smelling thickly of beer. Drawing closer while still keeping a sharp eye on the man she’d shot, Caitlin spotted a big smart phone lying just out of his grasp, recognizing it as the object she’d wrongly taken for a gun. Then Caitlin spied a young woman of college age pinned between a pair of couch sections, covering her exposed breasts with her arms, her torn blouse hanging off her and jeans unbuttoned and unzipped just short of her hips.

Drawing closer, Caitlin saw the young woman’s assailant, the man she’d just shot in all likelihood, must’ve yanked them down so violently that he’d split the zipper and torn off the snap or button.

“Ma’am?” she called softly.

The young woman tightened herself into a ball and retreated deeper into the darkness between the couch sections, not seeming to hear her.

“Ma’am,” Caitlin said louder, hovering over the coed while continuing to check on the man she’d shot, his eyes drifting in and out of consciousness, his shirt wet with blood in the shoulder area from the gunshot wound.

Caitlin only wished it was her own attacker lying there, from all those years before when she’d been a coed herself at the Lone Star College campus in West Houston. Some memories suppressed easily, others were like a toothache that came and went. That one was more like a cavity that had been filled, forgotten until the filling broke off and raw nerve pain flared.

Caitlin pushed the couch sections aside and knelt by the young woman, pistol tucked low by her hip so as not to frighten her further.

“I’m a Texas Ranger, ma’am,” she said, in as soothing a voice as she could manage. “I need to get you out of here, and I need you to help me. I need to know if you can walk.”

The young woman finally looked at her, nodded. Her left cheek was swollen badly and one of her arms hung limply from its socket. Caitlin looked back at the downed form of the man she’d already shot once, half hoping he gave her a reason to shoot him again.

“What’s your name? Mine’s Caitlin.”

“Kelly Ann,” the young woman said, her voice dry and cracking.

Caitlin helped her to her feet. “Well, Kelly Ann, I know things feel real bad right now, but trust me when I tell you this is bad as they’re going to get.”

Kelly Ann’s features perked up slightly, her eyes flashing back to life. She tried to take a deep breath, but stopped halfway though.

Caitlin held her around the shoulders in one arm, SIG clutched in her free hand while her eyes stayed peeled on the downed man’s stirring form. “I’m going to stay with you the whole way until we get you some help,” she promised.

The building suddenly felt like a Fun House Hall of Mirrors. Everything distorted, perspective and sense of place lost. Even the stairs climbing back to the ground floor felt different, only the musty smell of sweat mixed with stale perfume and body spray telling her they were the same.

Caitlin wanted to tell Kelly Ann it would be all right, that it would get better, that it would all go away in time. But that would be a lie, so she said nothing at all. Almost to the door, she gazed toward a loose assemblages of frat boys wearing hoodies displaying their letters as they chugged from liquor bottles stripped from the shelves behind the main bar on the first floor. How different were they from the one who’d hurt her, hurt Kelly Ann?

Caitlin wanted to shoot the bottles out of their hands, but kept leading Kelly Ann on instead, out into the night and the vapor spray from the deck gun now being wielded by Cort Wesley to keep their route clear.

“’Bout time!” he shouted down, scampering across the truck’s top to retake his place behind the wheel.

Caitlin was already inside the cab, Kelly Ann clinging tight to her.

“Where to, Ranger?”

“Seton Medical Center, Cort Wesley.”

Before he got going, Caitlin noticed Officer Hilton and several other Austin cops pushing their way through the crowd toward the entrance to Stubb’s.

“Don’t worry, Officer, I got the victim out safe and sound,” she yelled down to him, only half-sarcastically. “But I left a man with a bullet in his shoulder down there for you to take care of.”

“Come again?”

“I’d hurry, if I were you. He’s losing blood.”

***

Excerpt from Strong to the Bone by Jon Land. Copyright © 2017 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio

Jon Land

Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of 43 books, including eight titles in the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense), Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller, and Strong Light of Day which won the 2016 International Book Award for Best Thriller-Adventure, the 2015 Books and Author Award for Best Mystery Thriller, and the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery. Strong Cold Dead became the fourth title in the series in a row to win the International Book Award in 2017 and about which Booklist said, “Thrillers don’t get any better than this,” in a starred review. Land has also teamed with multiple New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham on a new sci-fi series, the first of which, The Rising, was published by Forge in January of 2017. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗! Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Flowers in Winter by Mary J. Williams

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Flowers in Winter
Hart of Rock and Roll Book 5
by Mary J. Williams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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A HART OF ROCK AND ROLL HOLIDAY ROMANCE
Tula Carson knows what her future holds.
A good life. A secure life. Safe.
Steady. Boring.

 

She has no one to blame but herself. She chose the path she’s on. But,
she wants something more. Something different. Now. Before it’s too
late.
Fleet Sherman is a Rock God. And he isn’t afraid to enjoy the perks. Money.
Fame. Beautiful women. As far as he’s concerned, his life is perfect.
Until he meets smart, funny, talented, frustrating Tula Carson. The
one woman he can’t resist. The only woman he can’t have.

 

On the surface, Tula and Fleet seem worlds apart. She grew up loved. He
just wants to forget his childhood. She’s led a sheltered life. He’s
experienced everything life had to offer. Yet, from their first
meeting, they clicked.

 

Tula has a chance to fulfill her dreams. But the first step is always the
hardest. Will she jump, or play it safe?
Fleet doesn’t believe he deserves a woman as good and sweet as Tula. For
her sake, he has to let her go.
A love of music brought them together. Will their pasts tear them
apart? Do they need a Christmas miracle? Or will they realize love is
the greatest gift of all.

 

Grab this standalone book today.
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“Mr. Sherman—”

“Please. Call me Fleet. And before you get me that water? Your shirt is a bit,” Fleet cleared his throat. “Undone.”

“What?” Tula looked down. In her haste to open the front door, she’d only fastened the bottom button. She scrambled to finish the job, more angry than embarrassed. “Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

Fleet rolled to his feet, walked to the kitchen, and helped himself to a bottle of water from the refrigerator.

“I’ve had women flash more than their bras at me.” With an unconcerned shrug, he unscrewed the lid, taking a sip. “I didn’t want to comment until I was sure of your intentions. One way or the other.”

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I love books, I always have and always will. Writing is an extension of
that and though it has taken me a while to get here, I now can
officially call myself a published author.
 
I grew up on a ranch in Eastern Washington, so I wanted to set my books
on the Columbia River in Washington state. Harper Falls is completely
fictitious, but I think anyone from the area will know right where it
would be if it did exist.


My hobbies are gardening, reading, baking(fattening desserts are my
favorite), exercise(I don’t love it, but it is necessary due to the
desserts), and animals. I had a dog but when he died I couldn’t bring
myself to replace him. That is why I wrote Edgar, the dog into “If
I Loved You”, I consider him my surrogate puppy until I can get
a real one.
I love to get feedback on my books so I hope everyone will feel free to
leave a question or visit my website(it is a work in progress, but
I’m getting there).
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

On Tour December 4, 2017 – January 12, 2018

 

The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

Genre: Mystery
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Number of Pages: 238
ISBN: 0062439561 (ISBN13: 9780062439567)
Series: Faith Fairchild, 24
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

 

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

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Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

“Have Faith in Your Kitchen,” Faith Fairchild said, answering the phone at her catering firm. She’d been busy piping choux pastry for éclairs onto a baking sheet.

“Mrs. Fairchild?”

“Yes? This is Faith Fairchild. How may I help you?”

“Please hold for Max Dane.” The voice had a plummy, slightly British tone, reminiscent of Jeeves, or Downton Abbey’s Carson. The only Max Dane Faith had heard of had been a famous Broadway musical producer, but she was pretty sure he’d died years ago. This must be another Max Dane.

She was put through quickly and a new voice said, “Hi. I know this is short notice, but I am very much hoping you are available to handle a house party I’m throwing for about a dozen guests at the end of the month. A Friday to Sunday. Not just dinner, but all the meals.”

Faith had never catered anything like this. A Friday to Sunday sounded like something out of a British pre-World War II country house novel—kippers for breakfast, Fortnum & Mason type hampers for the shoot, tea and scones, drinks and nibbles, then saddle of lamb or some other large haunch of meat for dinner with vintage clarets followed by port and Stilton—for the men only. She was intrigued.

“The first thing I need to know is where you live, Mr. Dane. Also, is this a firm date? We’ve had a mild winter so far, but January may still deliver a wallop like last year.”

A Manhattan native, Faith’s marriage more than 20 years ago to the Reverend Thomas Fairchild meant a radical change of address— from the Big Apple to the orchards of Aleford, a small suburb west of Boston. Faith had never become used to boiled dinners, First Parish’s rock hard pews and most of all, New England weather. By the end of the previous February there had been 75 inches of snow on the ground and you couldn’t see through the historic parsonage’s ground floor windows or open the front door. Teenage son Ben struggled valiantly to keep the back door clear, daily hewing a path to the garage. The resulting tunnel resembled a clip from Nanook of the North.

“I’m afraid the date is firm. The thirtieth is my birthday. A milestone one, my seventieth.” Unlike his butler or whoever had called Faith to the phone, Max Dane’s voice indicated he’d started life in one of the five boroughs. Faith was guessing the Bronx. He sounded a bit sheepish when he said “ my birthday,” as if throwing a party for himself was out of character. “And I live in Havencrest. It’s not far from Aleford, but I’d want you to be available at the house the whole time. Live in.”

Leaving her family for three days was not something Faith did often, especially since Sunday was a workday for Tom and all too occasionally Saturday was as he “polished” his sermon. (His term, which she had noticed over the years, could mean writing the whole thing.)

Ben and Amy, two years younger, seemed old enough to be on their own, but Faith had found that contrary to expectations, kids needed parents around more in adolescence than when they were toddlers. Every day brought the equivalent of scraped knees and they weren’t the kind of hurts that could be soothed by Pat The Bunny and a chocolate chip cookie. She needed more time to think about taking the job. “I’m not sure I can leave my family…” was interrupted. “I quite understand that this would be difficult,” Dane said and then he named a figure so far above anything she had ever been offered that she actually covered her mouth to keep from gasping out loud.

“Look,” he continued. “Why don’t you come by and we’ll talk in person? You can see the place and decide then. I don’t use it myself, but the kitchen is well equipped—the rest of the house too. I’ll email directions and you can shoot me some times that work. This week if possible. I want to send out the invites right away.”

Well, it wouldn’t hurt to talk, Faith thought. And she did like seeing other people’s houses. She agreed, but before she hung up curiosity won out and she asked, “Are you related to the Max Dane who produced all those wonderful Broadway musicals?”

“Very closely. As in one and the same. See you soon.”

Faith put the phone down and turned to Pix Miller, her closest friend and part-time Have Faith employee.

“That was someone wanting Have Faith to cater a weekend long birthday celebration—for an astonishing amount of money.” She named the figure in a breathless whisper. “His name is Max Dane. Have you ever heard of him?”

“Even I know who Max Dane is. Sam took me to New York the December after we were married and we saw one of his shows. It was magical—the whole weekend was. No kids yet. We were kids ourselves. We skated at Rockefeller Center by the tree and…”

Her friend didn’t go in for sentimental journeys and tempted as she was to note Pix and Sam skated on Aleford Pond then and now, Faith didn’t want to stop the flow of memories. “Where did you stay? A suite at the Plaza?” Sam was a very successful lawyer.

Pix came down to earth. “We barely had money for the show and pre-theater dinner at Twenty-One. That was the big splurge. I honestly can’t remember where we stayed and I should, because that’s where—” She stopped abruptly and blushed, also unusual Pix behavior.

“Say no more. Nine months later along came Mark?”

“Something like that,” Pix mumbled and then in her usual more assertive voice, added “You have to do this. Not because of the money, although the man must be loaded! Think of who might be there. And the house must be amazing. We don’t have anything booked for then and I can keep an eye on the kids.”

The Millers lived next door to the parsonage and their three now grown children had been the Fairchilds’ babysitters. Pix played a more essential role: Faith’s tutor in the unforeseen intricacies of childrearing as well as Aleford’s often arcane mores. Faith’s first social faux pas as a new bride—inviting guests for dinner at eight o’clock— had happily been avoided when her first invite, Pix, gently told Faith the town’s inhabitants would be thinking bed soon at that hour, not a main course.

Faith had started her catering business in the city that never slept before she was married and was busy all year long. Here January was always a slow month for business. The holidays were over and things didn’t start to pick up until Valentine’s Day—and even then scheduling events was risky. It all came down to weather.

Pix was at the computer. Years ago she’d agreed to work at Have Faith keeping the books, the calendar, inventory—anything that did not involve any actual food preparation.

“We have a couple of receptions at the Ganley Museum and the MLK breakfast the standing clergy host.”

The first time Faith heard the term, “standing clergy”, which was the town’s men and women of any cloth, she pictured an upright somberly garbed group in rows like ninepins. And she hadn’t been far off.

“That’s pretty much it,” Pix added, “except for a few luncheons and Amelia’s baby shower—I think she baby sat for you a couple of times when she was in high school.”

“I remember she was very reliable,” Faith said.

“Hard to believe she’s the same age as Samantha and having her second!” Pix sounded wistful. She was the type of woman born to wear a “I Spoil My Grandchildren” tee shirt. Faith wouldn’t be surprised if there were a drawer somewhere in the Miller’s house filled with tiny sweaters and booties knit by Pix, “just to be ready.” Mark Miller, the oldest, was married, but he and his wife did not seem to be in a rush to start a family.

Samantha, the middle Miller, had a long-term beau, Caleb. They were living together in trendy Park Slope, Brooklyn and Sam, an old-fashioned pater familias, had to be restrained from asking Caleb his intentions each time the young couple came to Aleford. Pix was leaning that way herself, she’d told Faith recently, noting that young couples these days were so intent on careers they didn’t hear the clock ticking.

Faith had forgotten that Amelia—who apparently had paid attention to time— was Samantha’s age and quickly changed the subject to what was uppermost in her mind—the Dane job. “Where is Havencrest?” she asked. “I thought I knew all the neighboring towns.”

“It’s not really a town so much as an enclave between Weston and Dover. I don’t think it even has a zip code. I’ve never been there, but Mother has. You can ask her about it. The houses all date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I believe there’s a gatehouse at the entrance. It’s an early equivalent of the mid century modern planned communities like Moon Hill in Lexington. Havencrest wasn’t a bunch of architects like that one though. Just very rich Boston Brahmin families who wanted privacy and plenty of space. I wonder how Max Dane ended up there? From what Mother has said, the houses don’t change hands, just generations.”

“I think I’ll check my email and see if there’s anything from him yet,” Faith said. “And maybe drop by to see Ursula on my way home.” Stopping to visit with Ursula Lyman Rowe, Pix’s mother, was no chore. The octogenarian was one of Faith’s favorite people. She turned back to the éclairs, which were part of a special order, and added a few more to bring to her friend.

“I know you’ll take the job,” Pix said. “I’m predicting the weekend of a lifetime!”

***

Excerpt from The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page. Copyright © 2017 by William Morrow. Reproduced with permission from William Morrow. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Katherine Hall Page

Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Katherine Hall Page and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket. The giveaway begins on December 4, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only.

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Blog Tour: Roll the Dice by Wayne Avrashow

 

Roll the Dice

By Wayne Avrashow

Fiery Seas Publishing

November 28, 2017   

Political Thriller

 

What happens when one of America’s biggest rock stars leaves the Las Vegas stage to run for the United State Senate?

The ultimate celebrity candidate, Tyler Sloan is no stranger to politics – his estranged father was a California governor who narrowly lost a Presidential campaign. He runs as a political independent, refuses campaign contributions, and dismisses special interests and lobbyists.

Sloan is caught in a political campaign fraught with; sexual scandal, corruption and conflicting loyalties.  Will he be able to navigate through political turbulence and his own past to win the race?

Buy Links:

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/roll-the-dice-wayne-avrashow/1127079890?ean=9781946143327

 

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/VlpxKuyr3OM

 

Excerpt

EXCERPT FROM ROLL THE DICE BY WAYNE AVRASHOW

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

 

Billy Rogers’s expression dampened in dysphoria. His drawn expression matched his latest poll numbers. His makeup powder obscured the dark shadows and Mondale-esque bags that had formed under his eyes. Candidates instinctively knew when their dream was transforming into a nightmare. Media cameras mercifully never memorialized that exact moment, but Rogers had grasped his fate. Rogers quickly downed an energy shot. His palm was noticeably moist as he grasped Sloan’s hand.

By the luck of the draw, Sloan stood at the middle lectern. He received a dab of powder from a make-up assistant. The director announced that three minutes remained until airtime.

Thick, black cable lay on the floor of the Bob Boldrick Theater in Carson City. Strung above were countless bright lights mounted on platforms for the statewide, televised debate. The glare from the banks of lights prohibited candidates from seeing clearly beyond the first rows.

Two of Collins’s aides served as bookend drill sergeants, barking hushed commands. Her campaign manager urged the director to use the camera angle that captured Collins’s left profile.

Sloan camouflaged his apprehension—this was his first debate.

“Two minutes!” was shouted from behind the cameras.

Sloan had boiled down his debate points to one index card for his questions to Collins and another for questions to Rogers. He scanned each card before placing them on the lectern.

All campaign staff hurried to exit the stage when “one minute” was called.

Rogers stood alone, vigorously nodding as if listening to an imaginary pep talk. He retrieved from his pocket another energy shot bottle. He made short work of the bottle.

Sloan impishly winked at Collins. She appeared visibly annoyed by the gesture.

An assistant director shouted down the final ten seconds.

“Good evening, I’m Tammy Keller, moderator for tonight’s debate between the three candidates to represent the State of Nevada in the United States Senate.”

 

About the Author

Wayne Avrashow was the campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and a Deputy/Chief of Staff to those two elected City Council members. He served as a senior advisor for a successful city-wide referendum in the City of Los Angeles, co-authored ballot arguments on Los Angeles County-wide measures, served as Chairman for a Los Angeles County ballot measure, and was a Los Angeles government Commissioner for nearly twenty years. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Yaroslavsky Institute, a public policy institute founded by long time Southern California elected official, and now UCLA professor, Zev Yaroslavsky.

​His background in politics, government, business, and law provides unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.

​Wayne is a practicing attorney who specializes in government advocacy, real estate, and business law. Formerly, he was an officer in two real estate development firms.  As a lawyer-lobbyist, he has represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at his law school and taught at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He has also authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers, legal, business, and real estate publications.  In addition, he is the author of a self-published book for the legal community, Success at Mediation—10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.

 

 

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Loving Yourself in Style by Shabana Feroze

 

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Loving Yourself in Style is filled with tips and tricks, straight forward advice, and experiences to learn from in fashion, beauty, and life.

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Shabana Feroze, author of the blog, The Silver Kick Diaries,
is an entrepreneur who built her way up the ladder and dropped her high paying job as a Marketing Manager at a big company on the Island, to take the next big step.

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Through the years, Shabana has fought for what she believes
in and wear and do whatever feels right. In Loving Yourself in Style, she speaks about her past and the lessons she’s learned in chasing her dreams, fashion, beauty, and most importantly, in loving herself.

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Shabana Feroze is the owner of advertising agency, The Silver Kick Company, and co-owner of Lace Love, a lace business that she started with her mother. She is a Les Mills fitness instructor, teaching BodyCombat and BodyBalance classes.
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She enjoys dressing up, chasing her passions,  raveling the world, staying fit and encouraging people to do the same. She lives in Bahrain with her family of
humans and cats.

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Connect with the Author here: 
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Top Ten List

10 Fun facts about Shabana Feroze, author, Loving Yourself In Style

  1. I hate televisions
  2. I am deathly scared of daddy long-legs
  3. I can draw with both hands
  4. I LOVE interpreting my dreams and predicting my future through them
  5. I know hypnosis
  6. I’m claustrophobic
  7. I love push ups
  8. I am lactose and gluten intolerant and I hate it
  9. I was bullied in high school
  • I have worked in at least 13 different jobs that include being an emcee, glass paint artist, office manager, telemarketer, and ran a tailoring boutique.

 

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 
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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Swept Off My Feet by Ines Bautista-Yao

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Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s
in your Heart, Only A Kiss, When Sparks Fly, All That Glitters, and Someday With You. She has also written several short stories. Among them are “Plain Vanilla,” “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival, “Things I’ll Never Say,” part of the Summit Books anthology Coming of Age, and “Before the Sun Rises,” part of the Ateneo University Press anthology Friend Zones.
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She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher.
She is also a wife and mom who lives in the Philippines with her husband and two little girls. Her books are available digitally on Amazon and Buqo.ph.

 

Connect with the Author here: 
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Why my life sucks
by Geri Lazaro
1. My dad left when I was a kid.
2. My mom is in love (insert eye roll).
3. With a guy who is like 10 years younger than her!
4. My friends think he’s hot. (Gross)
5. I love ballet but our dance studio has a leak and we have to dance in this smelly studio that doubles as an aikido dojo.
6. There’s this Dojo guy who thinks the studio belongs to him.
7. Friends think Dojo guy is cute. (Ew.) (Okay, objectively maybe but still, ew.)
8. I’m failing algebra.
9. Need to quit either basketball or ballet. Or both.
10. Dojo guy keeps showing up! (Fine, he does aikido in the
same building but whatever.)
11. Dojo guy is asking me to dance with him. And maybe he is as cute as my friends say.
12. I don’t know what to do anymore! 
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Snippet:
This wasn’t the plan. I wasn’t supposed to be dragging my worn-out backpack across the wooden floor of this dark, stuffy studio that faintly smelled like sweaty feet trapped inside sneakers. I was supposed to be in our regular ballet studio with its warm, vanilla fragrance wafting from Teacher Justine’s scented candles. Sadly, it had a leaky roof and we couldn’t exactly do our twirls and pliés surrounded by buckets of water waiting to collect excess rain. And monsoon weather in Metro Manila meant lots and lots of excess rain.
So there I was inhaling stinky feet, which, I had to admit, I was used to. I play basketball and the smell of feet is something you build a tolerance for pretty quickly. But today, I wasn’t going to play ball. I was here to dance.
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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Detective Blanchette Mysteries by Marguerite Ashton

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Her Final Watch
A Detective Blanchett Mystery Book 2
by Marguerite Ashton
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
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Speaking second-hand truths can be deadly …
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Detective Lily Blanchette will stop at nothing to solve a murder. Her current
case involves the killing of an undercover cop working to bring down
the mob for prostitution and drugs.
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But Lily’s usual laser-like focus on the case has been disrupted.
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Two weeks earlier, she learned she was pregnant by her murderous husband
whom she’d killed in self-defense. Unsure whether to keep her baby or
place the child of this cruel man up for adoption, Lily keeps the
pregnancy a secret from her colleagues.
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Under mounting pressure to solve the case, Lily arranges a sit-down with a
local mob boss only to find out her suspect is also wanted by them.
But before Lily can warn her team, she and her new partner, Jeremiah,
are shot at, and another body is found.
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When she discovers Jeremiah has a connection with the underworld, she is
pulled into a conflict that swirls around the boss’s son who’s
hell-bent on revenge.
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To add to the complexity of the situation, Lily learns that her victim
might still be alive if it wasn’t for opportunistic Assistant
District Attorney, Ibee Walters, who has a twisted vision of
justice.
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As Lily gets closer to finding the killer, she unravels ugly secrets
that point to Ibee and Jeremiah – placing Lily’s life and her unborn
child in danger.
**On sale for .99 cents!**
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Chapter 1

 

December 10, 2015 4:13 p.m.

Detective Ariel Weeks stabbed at the small block of ice until it split into several pieces across the counter. She tossed the jagged cubes into the glass and made her client a drink.

In less than twenty-four hours, Ariel would no longer have to use the name Jasmine and keep men company to protect her cover. All she needed to do was make it through this last night, and she’d be allowed to be who she was; a mom just doing her job.

After gathering evidence and recording all the data she had, it would be hard to detach. Towards the end, she’d learned things she’d wished weren’t true, leaving her stomach in tattered knots.

Back at home, there were two reasons Ariel would never take on another undercover assignment.

Click.

Ariel ground her teeth as the door to Cabin D opened and closed. She could feel Mikey Surace, the mob boss’s son, staring at the backless white dress she wore at his request.

The man who smiled at the sight of blood was standing behind her, breathing heavily.

She turned and handed Mikey his drink. “Your gin and grapefruit.”

Mikey took the drink and pulled Ariel down on the bed next to him. His hand, smooth like velvet, traced over her dark brown skin, along the length of her arm and rested on her thigh. “I had a shitty day.” He loosened his tie, removed his gun and put it on the ottoman.

Ariel stole a glance at the weapon, thinking of ways to grab it before he did. Just in case. “Wanna talk about it?”

“I had my talk with Pop. He wants me to get married and have kids so I can take over as head of the family soon. He wants our family to be seen as more law-abiding than the other three families.”

“Nowadays, no one gets married to have a family. Would he accept a long engagement?”

“No way. My old man still believes in marrying now, ask questions later.” Mikey took a sip of his drink and sat it down on the nightstand table. “My father asked my mother to marry him on her seventeenth birthday.”

“I’m sure you’ll find a woman who’ll accept you for who you are, who won’t care about the lifestyle you lead, and who knows when not to ask questions about your business.”

“You always say the right things. Why won’t you let me take care of you?” he asked, planting a kiss on Ariel’s full lips. “This is my third time asking you to be with me.”

Ariel wanted to wipe off the lingering citrus taste from her mouth but didn’t out of fear. She had already been spotted by one of Surace’s men and couldn’t believe that she was still alive. Probably because Ariel, at any moment, could tell the boss things that the other person was doing, clearing herself from any suspicion and allowing her to keep her cover. Even that wasn’t a guarantee. Continue reading