Dark Longing -Virtual Book Tour

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Paranormal / Fantasy Romance
Date Published: January 18, 2018
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Dark Longing’s central characters are Inanna and Gabriel. She is a vampire warrior, one of Queen Jade Cicada’s Chosen guard, and has lived for several millennia. She is also one of the few remaining True Bloods in the world, vampires who are born, not made. He is a human, a widower and father who would sacrifice all for those he loves. Unbeknownst to Gabriel, he also possesses a Pure soul and has an ancient past, as well as a future destiny, that is inextricably entwined with Inanna.
Fate (and a helping hand from Gabriel’s dying wife) has thrown them together in this present age as joint guardians of Benjamin, the son of Gabriel’s heart if not his body. An avalanche of expenses and debts compel Gabriel to enter a deadly network of fight clubs to earn some quick cash, but pulling out of the club is not as easy, as he quickly becomes the spectator favorite.
Meanwhile, the Chosen has been working to eradicate the masterminds behind the fight clubs, which not only result in an increasing number of gory human deaths, but also threaten to expose the Dark Ones to the world at large. In a rare concerted effort, the vampires and their nemesis – the Pure Ones – come together to pursue a common enemy.
To protect Benji from harm, Gabriel risks his life once more in the fight clubs and is almost killed by an unknown vampire assassin. In order to save him, Inanna breaks the sacred laws of her Kind, including turning a human and taking him as her Blooded Mate. What’s worse, they discover after the fact that Gabriel has a Pure soul. A union between Dark and Pure Ones has been strictly forbidden since the dawn of time for reasons no one fully knew.
While the Chosen makes progress with slowing down the expansion of the fight clubs, they uncover new information that points to a traitor in their own midst. Gabriel has a rough adjustment to his new state of being as a vampire, at the same time struggling to make sense of his relationship with Inanna, with whom he’s felt an instant and irresistible connection from the first moment they met. Inanna, on the other hand, devotes her heart and soul totally to love her Mate, just as she had loved his previous incarnation in her youth many millennia ago. To save her from pain, Gabriel’s ancient self, Alad, had her memories erased of him until he could find her again in another life.
Through her newly-forged friendship with the Pure Ones, including their young queen Sophia, Inanna discovers that not only is she a True Blood, but that her mother was a Dark Princess and her father was a Pure warrior and the leader of the Rebellion that led to the destruction of the Dark empire. She is the offspring from this union, and she has a twin brother who all the records say had died. Inanna also finds clues that at least her father might still be alive, and perhaps her mother as well.
By now Gabriel has fully accepted his new lease on life and is determined to help in the war against vampire rogues and their human conspirators any way he can. He has also accepted Inanna fully into his heart, having fallen for her all over again in his present incarnation. But the vampire assassin who threatened them before reveals herself again to challenge Inanna for the right to claim Gabriel as her Blood Slave and takes him prisoner to use against Inanna in the final death match.
Inanna goes with eyes wide open to the site of the challenge and fights the vampire who used to be her comrade. To distract her, the vampire holds Gabriel captive and deals him mortal wounds for every wound Inanna deals her. The ploy works, and Inanna loses concentration, suffering a mortal wound herself.
Inanna and Gabriel’s deaths trigger their Awakening, a process by which those with Pure souls embrace their past lives with all their memories and gifts. When they regain consciousness, they rejoin the battle already waging between the vampire assassins and the Chosen and Pure allies. They win this battle, and together, Inanna and Gabriel execute the traitor who plotted to usurp the Dark Queen.
But the war is not won. The battle between the vampires, humans and Pure Ones was recorded and uploaded onto the Internet to spur the growth of new fight clubs and potentially hastening the widespread exposure of the immortal races to humans. Meanwhile, Inanna and Gabriel rediscover each other with full knowledge of their ancient past. They plan to search for Inanna’s father with the aid of the Pure Ones.
The future is not yet written. Inanna and Gabriel would face the unknown together. Forevermore.

EXCERPT

 

“Thou shalt not covet thy human subjects, nor the Pure Ones who are thy slaves.  Subjects must be held at an objective distance, ruled by a fair hand.  Slaves must be leashed with tight control, mastered by a strong will.”

Excerpt from the Dark Laws, verse twenty-one of the Ecliptic Scrolls

 

Chapter Two

 

It was five o’clock when Inanna slipped back inside the hospice.

She had over an hour of night left, plenty of time to collect on the Blood-Contract and make her way back to the Cove before the early rays of winter sun started to weave their drowsy spell around her.

A little known fact was that Inanna felt less of the sun’s adverse effects than other vampires.

Only the Queen was aware of the truth.

To maintain appearances, however, she stuck to the usual vampire routine.

Checking briefly at the guest log on the empty reception desk, she saw that Gabriel had signed out before midnight, having stayed much later than his usual visit.  Perhaps he sensed somehow that this would be the last hours he would spend with his wife.

When he saw her next, she would no longer be among the living.

Inanna walked soundlessly through the corridors to arrive at Olivia’s room.  She entered as if one with the darkness, a mere shadow flickering against the wall, and locked the door behind her.

Olivia was in the throes of what seemed to be a nightmare.

She was making pained whimpers, gasping for breath, while tossing and turning on her narrow bed, her hands curled into claws as she fervently scratched the skin around her IV and throat.

A cool breeze drifted through the open windows, carrying the soothing scent of jasmine from the trees that surrounded the hospice, but the writhing patient seemed immune to its therapeutic effects.

Inanna had seen this sight thousands of times.

Hundreds of thousands.

It was the last feverish battle of the dying.

The drugs were losing their effects; the patient’s body was rebelling against her.  She was flailing against the onset of death.

Inanna knew what she needed.

“I am here, Olivia,” the Chosen said, drawing near to sit beside the mechanical bed, taking one of the patient’s hands and squeezing lightly to calm the frenzied shaking.

“Do not fret.  I am here.”

Olivia turned toward the sound of her voice and opened her chapped lips, but only incoherent grunts and mumbles tumbled from them.

As if frustrated with her inability to speak clearly, she began to shake her head from side to side, hot tears slipping from the corners of her eyes.

“Shall I ease your pain a bit?” Inanna asked, not really expecting an answer.

She drew one boney wrist closer and quickly sank her canines into the barely-there vein.

With the first slow draw of blood, the venom from her fangs trickling into the patient’s bloodstream like the most powerful sedative, Olivia stopped thrashing immediately and began to breathe more evenly, more deeply.

Stopping after a few small sips so that Olivia was calm and lucid enough to open her eyes, temporarily clear of pain and drugs, Inanna licked the wound closed and regarded the human woman with patience and understanding.

“Thank you,” Olivia began weakly, “thank you for giving me one more night with him.”

“He needed to hear your heart,” Inanna answered.  “You have waited much too long to tell him.”

“I was a fool and a coward,” the patient agreed.  “Even at the end I do not think he believed me.”

Inanna felt a long-stored anger unfurling in her stomach, stretching its way toward her throat, burning the tip of her tongue with a caustic reply.

Perhaps Olivia sensed it, for she admitted, “I know it’s all my fault.  I have no one to blame but myself.  He has given me, in so many ways, for so many years, a love I don’t deserve while I only hurt him with my stupid, thoughtless mistakes.”

The patient’s eyes took on a faraway sheen as she inhaled deeply the soft flowery fragrance wafting from the open windows and murmured, “Our old neighborhood was lined with jasmine trees.  He used to follow me around when we were teenagers, you know.  At first I thought it was because we walked the same way to school since we lived across the street from each other, and then I thought this shaggy-headed new kid was stalking me.”

She gave a small chuckle.  “I was pretty full of myself back then.  Being the head cheerleader and prom queen tended to inflate a High School girl’s ego.”

“But later I realized he was protecting me, since I often went home well past dark.  Isn’t that strange?” she asked the question, but Inanna did not think she expected an answer.

“He has been protecting me ever since the beginning.  But hard as he tried, he couldn’t save me from myself.  All the terrible mistakes I made.”

Inanna kept silent, lowering her gaze.

Yes, she knew everything about those mistakes.  She knew the couple’s entire tragic story.  It didn’t have to be this way, she often thought.

It seemed so blatantly simple for Olivia to make the right choices, more pointedly, to choose her husband.

Gabriel.

To choose her son, Benjamin.

But the woman seemed wired for self-destruction.  Her choices in life not only hurt everyone who loved her, but ultimately, herself.

What a waste!

She felt a slight tug on the hand that still held Olivia’s wrist and looked directly into the patient’s eyes.

“You will take good care of them, won’t you?” Olivia beseeched her with tear-filled eyes.  “Please make them happy.  I can’t bear that my mistakes might outlive me.”

Inanna had to swallow twice before she found her voice, made it neutral, soothing.  “I always keep my promises.  Gabriel and Benjamin will lack for nothing.”

Olivia nodded, trusting the vampire completely.

The vampire who had been her secret friend for as many years as she’d been married.  Perhaps because Olivia had a rather fanciful nature, perhaps she simply did not care, but she had known from the beginning of their unlikely acquaintance that Inanna was not of her world.

Not human.

They’d met while Olivia was hospitalized after the “incident.”  She’d shared a room with a patient dying of leukemia because the hospital wards had been over-occupied during the holiday season due to traffic and other accidents.  She’d witnessed how this honey-blonde goddess-like creature had all but floated into the room, bent solicitously over the dying patient and whispered words of reassurance, promising to end his pain.

The man had neither family nor friends.  He could no longer afford hospital bills and was essentially at the mercy of city charity.  He might have been able to linger on for another month or two, but he was in a tremendous amount of pain.  Olivia had heard his fervent prayers the night she’d been brought into the ward.

He’d prayed for death.

And death had come for him in the form of an angel.

Olivia had heard some of their hushed words.  The woman would stay for hours talking soothingly to the dying man.  She’d hold his hand and smile at him with understanding and care.

On the second night that Olivia was there, the night before her release from the hospital, she’d heard them speak of the Contract.

“I told him about you,” Olivia said now to her Angel of Death.  “As much as I knew about you.”

She paused and then said, “Except that you’re not quite human.”

A small smile curved Inanna’s voluptuous mouth.

“What a euphemistic way to put it,” she murmured.

Olivia shrugged almost imperceptibly.

“It doesn’t matter to me what you are.  You’ve been a better friend to me than anyone else in my life.  Except for Gabriel.”

She took a deep, steadying breath.

“Do you suppose he’ll be angry with me?”

“He has that right as the man who loves you,” the Chosen answered.  “But what you do with your life is your choice.”

“That’s not what you said when we first met,” Olivia reminded her.

“It was not merely your life at stake at the time,” Inanna replied evenly.

“You were right about that,” the patient agreed.  “Benji was by far the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Abruptly, she turned away, facing the ceiling instead of her visitor.

The trembling in her body began again as she flashed hot and cold.  The venom was starting to wear off.

“You’ll make sure he doesn’t suspect the arrangement?” Olivia asked for what was probably the hundredth time, her voice starting to fade.

“He will not suspect.”

“He hates to be manipulated.  He has so much pride.”

Inanna didn’t answer.

Yes, she knew.  Gabriel’s code of honor reminded Inanna of the most ancient Dark Ones.

Steadfast.  Fiercely protective.  Self-sacrificing.  Nurturing.

Intensely loving.

“Will you be good to him?” Olivia asked.

Inanna cocked her head a bit.  Didn’t she already ask this?  Nevertheless she answered, “He will lack for nothing.”

“That’s not what I meant.”  Olivia sighed and closed her eyes.

Her shaking had intensified.  She was idly scratching herself again.

“I want you to be kind to him.  I don’t want him to be lonely.  I want you to lo—”

She broke off as her panting got stronger, as she struggled to draw enough oxygen into her failing lungs, arching off the bed in a twist of pain.

“It is time,” Inanna said quietly, knowing that the patient no longer heard her.

With a gust of wind, the windows slammed shut, the lights in the hospice room blacked out.  In the heavy darkness there was a flash of white fangs.

And then—silence.

 

***  ***   ***  ***

 

Gabriel slid into the studio soundlessly just as the first rays of dawn filtered through the crack in the window drapes.

Benji slept peacefully in the bed, his breathing even and deep, a small warm mound under the covers topped by unruly pale blond curls.

Gabriel paused over his son’s innocent form and gently smoothed a thumb down one plump cheek.

Though he was solidly into his boyhood, Benji retained the cherubic sweetness of his toddler days. Perhaps it was the riotous blond curls. Perhaps the rosy cheeks and mouth. Just looking upon his little angel made Gabriel smile, though it was followed almost immediately by a grimace as his split lip split even deeper.

He straightened and, in one smooth motion, pulled the bloodied hoodie over his head, shucking his torn joggers a second later, and made his way, naked, to the tiny bathroom with an even tinier shower stall.

At least the water pressure in the apartment was blessedly strong.

As the blast of hot water drenched him from head to toe, Gabriel closed his eyes and raised his face into the cleansing deluge.

After two gruesome hours in Hell’s belly, and six matches later, he was ten grand richer.  Enough to pay off three months of over-due rent, which Mrs. Sergeyev had been kind enough to forgive thus far without interest or eviction, plus one month advance, as well as Olivia’s hospice bills.  He even had a nice little cushion left over for food and emergencies.

And all it took was three bruised ribs, bloody knuckles, a few nasty scratches, a split lip and let’s not forget—beating six men into unconscious putty with his bare hands and feet.

His shifu would be appalled.

Gabriel clenched his jaw.

He did what he had to do.  He would do everything in his power to protect those he loved.  As long as he could live with his conscience afterwards.

He’d made sure those men were merely unconscious, a few broken bones and concussions, perhaps, but no debilitating injuries for the long term.  They would recover quickly enough to fight another day.

In truth, it didn’t have to take as long as it did to dispatch his opponents.  A few well-placed jabs and kicks would have knocked them out faster.  But he needed to play to the spectators.  He had to look like he was struggling, on the verge of losing for a while so that the bets were stacked against him, so that his winnings in the end would be that much greater.

Dragging a fight out to look like he was weaker, taking hits without taking proportional damage, was a tricky tightrope Gabriel had to balance upon.  He wondered whether he should have allowed a black eye or two and a bloodied nose to appeal more to the audience’s bloodlust.  But he had to weigh that against the blood and swollen flesh disorienting his vision, which would have made the fights more dangerous, less predictable.

He couldn’t afford to lose his matches.

Absent-mindedly, Gabriel ran the bar of Dial soap over his bruised skin and aching muscles, diligently ignoring his cock stand as he quickly scrubbed the coarse hair around and the heavy sacs beneath.   He must be still too pumped full of adrenaline from the fights, he reasoned, his body was simply reacting to the testosterone overload.

Never mind that it had been a long, long time since he’d had an erection this hard, this insistent.

Maybe never.

Twenty-six year-old male virgins in today’s society were as rare as dragons.  Probably even more mythical.

Married virgins were likely nonexistent.

Gabriel didn’t choose this path intentionally; it simply was.

His boyhood upbringing by the Shaolin monks on Song Mountain in Henan Province, China, after his missionary parents had died in the Great Earthquake, taught him abstinence, self-control and discipline.  Since his grandparents found him and brought him back to the States to live with them, he’d only ever felt a deep connection to one girl.

Olivia.

And despite that she never truly reciprocated his feelings, not even in the end, he’d been intensely faithful.  He’d never so much as sought release by his own hand since Olivia’s illness.  There was something inherently wrong with him seeking his own pleasure while his wife was wasting away in pain.

It was as if the carnal side of his nature had never truly awakened.

Now he looked upon the jutting staff as if it were separate from his body, something of an oddity, something he didn’t know quite what to do with.

Of its own volition, one large, long-fingered hand smoothed down his pecs to his tight abdomen, stopping near his navel, where the head of his engorged member bobbed insistently.  He stared at it for long moments before carefully, loosely cradling the steely length within his wide palm.

He gasped at the startling sensation, and his penis jumped in reaction.  Mind blank of coherent thoughts, eyes closed against the shower that had long since turned cold, Gabriel wrapped his hand tighter around the hot, velvety column, testing himself with a gentle squeeze.

And groaned deeply in response, the shocks of pleasure shooting through his body like lightning rods, making him physically stagger off balance.

Leaning his back against the stall wall, his long, muscular legs braced apart, slightly bent at the knees, he pushed himself further with a few tentative fist pumps.

But it was too much.

He felt too much.

His chest heaving with shortened breath, his jaw clenched tightly against the animalistic sounds that threatened to escape, his penis throbbing, his testicles hurting, Gabriel stood helpless as his long-revered control began to unwind like the fibers of a rope stretched too taut.

Until finally it snapped.

On a sharp intake of breath, Gabriel’s eyes flew open.

Someone was watching him.

 
About the Author
Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she’d be the first to admit that those early efforts weren’t particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper!
The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.
Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)
She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.
Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.
 
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HEAVENLY PLEASURES – Pre Order Blitz

*** PRE-ORDER ALERT ***
Releasing January 30, 2018
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HEAVENLY PLEASURES
Isla Dennes
Heavenly Pleasures
Series: For Heaven’s Sake Book
Genre: Chick Lit, Comedy, Romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
At Heavenly Pleasures, quite a lot of things are possible…
Meet Brooke, a self-confessed shopaholic turned reluctant brothel receptionist, as she stumbles through life, trying to live up to her parents’ and fiancé’s high expectations—at the cost of her now low self-esteem.
Who would have thought a group of working girls would help her rediscover her inner strength and finally tackle her personal demons? But at Heavenly Pleasures, the rules are made to be broken and new opportunities are just around the corner…
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Excerpt

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Scarlett asked, taking in my pale face and trembling hands.
“Some bloke just walked in here and asked me to have sex with him!”
Uggh! And he’d been all greasy black hair, gold fillings and overgrown ’tache, like an aging porn star. I stifled the urge to throw up.
Shaking her head in disgust, Scarlett rolled her eyes. “Hate to break it to you, precious, but you are working in a brothel, you know.”
“But—”
“But nothing. What the hell did you expect him to ask for, a burger and fries?”
“I kept telling him I was only the receptionist, but he didn’t seem to care. He told me he’d pay extra if he had to.” I fought to calm my racing heart and queasy stomach.
Scarlett’s eyes narrowed. She didn’t look happy. It occurred to me that maybe I should have kept my mouth shut.
“What do you mean extra? How much extra?”
“Um…” I swallowed hard. “Three hundred dollars.”
The temperature in the room plummeted as a blast of ice-cold fury filled the air.
What!” she screeched. “And you turned him down?
“But—”
“Jesus Christ!” she hissed and bolted over to the waiting room. “Shit, where the hell is he now?”
My glance flickered toward the door. Scarlett’s followed. For the briefest of moments, I thought she was going to drag him back in and make him apologize for being an insensitive bastard.
Instead her eyes widened in shock. “What! You let him walk out of here? You selfish fucking cow. You mightn’t have wanted him, but what about the rest of us girls? Three hundred bucks and you just let him walk out of here? Jesus! Prue is going to go off her nut when she hears about this.”
Prue was the Madame and owner of Heavenly Pleasures. An outwardly serene woman with immaculate hair, but nonetheless seriously scary with a sinister reputation, not unlike Cruella DeVille on a bad day, and therefore someone I did not want to cross.
“Oh, please don’t say anything,” I begged, on the verge of tears. “Look, I promise if he comes back in, I’ll call you out straight away—before JoJo. Just don’t mention it to Prue. I was just a bit taken aback, that’s all, and didn’t know what to do.”
This part was true. Haggling for sex wasn’t something we’d covered in secretarial college. Maybe it was the look of pure terror on my face or possibly Scarlett was in a rare compassionate mood, but after a moment’s hesitation she stopped scowling, her expression softening in what could well have been pity.
“Okay. I won’t say anything—this time,” came with reluctance. “But of course I’ll expect some more bookings, if you get my meaning.”
Yes—her meaning was loud and clear. She was blackmailing me, but I was in no position to protest. I nodded.
Her mood lightened. “Hey, cheer up, will you? So what if some ugly punter wanted a poke? Jeez, you’re not the first one to have the hard word put on them by some tosser, believe me. Guys come in here, think they’re God’s gift to women and although they know you’re not a worker, it gives them a sick thrill to think they can convince you to drop to your knees for a blow job—even if it is for three hundred dollars.” She threw me a disgusted look and shook her head in disbelief. “I reckon in their pathetic little minds they’re convinced they’ve seduced you with their hot looks and charm. Losers, that’s what they are. Anyway, I suppose it’s probably just as well you didn’t take him up on it.”
“Really?” I brightened, seeing it as a sign I was forgiven.
“Yeah, the girls would have flattened you if you had.”
Oh, God. I felt ill. What on earth had happened to my perfect life?
Two months ago, I had never met or even spoken to a prostitute. Two months ago, I’d had no idea brothels even existed outside the red light district of King’s Cross. Two months ago, I’d thought French, Spanish and Greek were southern Europeans rather than hooker code for certain sexual practices. And two months ago, I’d been happily looking forward to marrying my fiancé, Brad, an up-and-coming lawyer who planned to be the youngest junior partner in the law firm where he worked.
Yes, two months ago my life had all been mapped out before me.
But that was before a day out in the city to catch up with an old friend triggered a series of events that would ultimately bring about my downfall. Yep, it was at that point I can honestly say my life had bit the big one, nose-diving to newly discovered depths of desperation and despair. I was completely screwed and I didn’t have anyone to blame but myself…

Pre-order your copy today!

About Isla Dennes

Isla Dennes

Married, mother of one son and three daughters, Isla Dennes developed a love for writing while employed in her dream job as the owner of a book shop situated in a seaside resort town in NSW, Australia. Not content in simply reading every book in the store, she found herself compelled to create novels of her own.
Had she concentrated more on sales and less on writing she might well have retired a wealthy woman, but writing won out in the end, with the result being a lifelong passion for creative writing across a number of genres, including a brief but regrettable sojourn into horribly sentimental New-aged poetry which is best forgotten.
Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter

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The Three Souls – Blitz

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Contemporary Fiction/Fantasy
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: June 2017
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Johnny Chambers is jailed in Texas in the early 1960’s. He is falsely convicted of a crime and is sentenced to five years in prison. While is prison he meets two other inmates Vinny Le Pugh and David Madejas.
Both inmates have had near death experiences and yet both have shown new found talents in music and art. Johnny decides to talk to the warden about their ability in a way to help them find their freedom. The warden goes along with it for a while but then decides to pull the plug on the craft room. Johnny, fearing for his life, decides to plan an escape with the two inmates and their art.
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About the Author

Bill Thomas grew up in Austin, Texas. Bill started playing drums at an early age and played in many local bands including The Rock Hounds and Primitive Moderns. Bill moved to guitar and released two original CD’s on CD Baby. He performs with a stage name of Bill James. Bill has also written two full length screenplays.
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AFTER THE STORM – Release Blitz

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Today we have the release blitz for Katy Ames’ AFTER THE STORM! I am so excited to share this new romance with you—check out the release festivites and grab your copy today!

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Title: After the Storm

Author: Katy Ames

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About After the Storm:

Tristan Hurst is tired of running. He’s spent every day since he was 16 trying to escape the consequences of one inexplicable, horrible night. So when his cousin buys a Caribbean resort and offers him a job away from the family firm, Tristan jumps at the chance to leave behind his intolerable father and the life he barely lives.

 

Tessa Armstrong has a plan and moving to a tropical island isn’t part of it. But when she lands the position of head pastry chef at a luxury hotel, she can’t pass it up. A new country, a new kitchen. And a fresh start far away from the secrets that are becoming harder to ignore.

 

On an island where neither expected to end up, Tessa and Tristan discover something they’ve always wanted: a safe haven. And when friendship becomes something more, they think they’ve landed in paradise.

 

But there’s a storm coming, and the secrets they’ve worked so hard to escape aren’t far behind. And with them, a truth that has the power to wash away a love they never dreamed to find.

 

A standalone contemporary romance from the author of After the Island and After the Fall.

Get Your Copy Today!

After the Storm

Catch up on the Series:

After the Island

After the Fall

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Don’t you laugh.” Her eyes narrowed to slits, her hands back on her hips.

This woman, she was so angry at him. She was practically vibrating with it. And, God help him, Tristan wanted to laugh. She was fierce and so fucking adorable, glaring up at him like he didn’t have a foot and a half and at least one hundred pounds on her.

“You’re an ass,” Tessa muttered, the sweet curve of her mouth distracting him. He didn’t anticipate her attack. Then it was too late.

With his arm raised, Tristan’s side was exposed and the woman, God bless her, used it to her advantage. She tickled him.

Fucking tickled him.

Tristan swallowed a shout when her tiny fingers dug into his side, his brain torn between yanking away and preventing the slice of cake from falling on her gorgeous head. Though if the tingling in his dick was any indication, he was enjoying her surprise attack way more than he should.

“Jesus,” he wheezed, trying to wiggle away without dropping the cake. “Stop. Stop!”

She did the opposite. As Tristan moved, the infuriating creature found an unprotected stretch on his other side, both of her hands digging into him just above the waist. Tristan was writhing between her tenacious grip and didn’t know what to do first.

He could throw the cake down and easily haul her away, her tenacity no match for his strength.

He could threaten her. He could try to fire her, this scowling, astonishing woman who had no idea she was attacking her temporary boss.

He could laugh. Which, if his body had any say in the matter, was what was about to happen. Which was insane. Because it never happened.

It began as a rattle in the back of his throat, a rumble that felt unfamiliar but not unwelcome.

Tristan’s head tilted back as he gave in to the sensation, his chest expanding, his lungs working overtime as a rusty chuckle broke free. It was rough, scratchy. Not a charming sound. But it didn’t stop. Tristan felt the foreign curve of a real smile on his lips, his mouth opening wider, a burst of laughter sneaking past.

It was loud, unexpected, and startled Tessa enough that she stopped. Her fingers gripped the sides of his shirt, unmoving. She stared up at him in shock.

“Oh my God.” She released him and stepped back, a hand flying up to cover her mouth. “I’m so sorry. Christ!” Her hand shifted to cover her eyes. “I am so, so sorry.”

Tristan caught his breath and placed the abandoned cake on the counter before smoothing his shirt down. He took a small step forward and bent his knees so he was more level with her face.

“I deserved it.”

“No,” she mumbled, eyes still covered.

“Yes. It was an interesting strategy, I’ll give you that. But a tactical success all the same.”

Tessa relaxed her fingers just enough so she could peek through the gap. “Really?”

“Really,” Tristan confirmed. “I’ll definitely think twice before stealing your food again.”

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About the Author:

Katy Ames has spent most of her life on the East Coast and hopes to spend more of it in the UK. In part, so she can indulge in her serious plaid obsession. There isn’t a teenage drama on the CW or a period British TV show she hasn’t binge-watched at least twice. And she can be persuaded to do most things with the promise of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, or a nap, not necessarily in that order. Katy is mom to a small human who has an obscene amount of energy and a blissful ability to ignore swear words, and wife to a man whose reading habits are far too serious. Katy and her family reside in Washington, D.C., a city she where never planned to live and loves so much she’d be happy to talk about it for hours. Just ask.

 

Katy writes contemporary romances that feature heroes who are strong but not so silent, heroines who aren’t afraid to kick ass, and stories that get a little messy before they end happily ever after.

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Attack Zone – Release Blitz

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Today we have the release blitz for Attack Zone by Jennifer Rebecca! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today:

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Title: Attack Zone

Author: Rebecca Jennifer

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover by Alyssa Garcia at Uplifting Designs.

 

About Attack Zone:

I had one goal.

Win an Olympic Medal.

 

Winning the Ladies Figure Skating Olympic Gold Medal should be my only focus, but my life has other plans for me. My father, the U. S. Senator, and my Stepmonster like to remind me that my role in our family comes with great expectations — and even greater responsibility.

Translation: Marry a man that will make them even more prestigious and powerful.

 

But that’s not my plan.

 

I have one last chance to prove myself.

And now, on top of everything else, I have to aid the sexy as sin Detective Kane F**king Green in finding the person who killed my friend.

 

My name is Sophia Eleonore Dubois, and holy mother of Dorothy Hamill, my life just got complicated. . .

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“You have got to be kidding me,” I growl as I see that big blond bastard climb from his truck. Well, it’s really more of a sandy brown but I’m an alliteration kind of a gal.

The parking lot is still dark, with the exception of the tall lights that pock the black asphalt. It’s four in the morning, so the sun won’t be up for a few more hours. I should be the only one here. Something Kane and I had already argued out last night. I even won best two out of three on rock-paper-scissors.

“Better believe it, Princess,” he barks out as he pulls a gear bag from the bed of his truck.

“No. No, no, no, no, no. Put that back. You’re not supposed to be here,” I plead as I grab my own skate bag and toss it over my shoulder. “I offered to rock-paper-scisor you for this spot and you said no. That makes it mine by default.”

He sighs. “You know, you don’t always have to be such a selfish bitch.” I rear back as if he struck me. “You could share the ice.”

“I’m here at four so I don’t have to,” I whisper.

He shakes his head as if he’s trying to clear a bad thought, erasing something that didn’t turn out right on an Etch A Sketch.

I look away. If ever there was anyone who could make me feel like a bug, like dog poop on my shoe, less than, it’s Kane Fucking Green, and trust me, others have tried. I feel the burn in my nostrils. I refuse to let him see me cry. Ever. And Lord knows I have cried my fair share of tears over Kane Fucking Green, and I’m not going to shed another one. I’m just not.

I take a deep breath, turn on my heels, and walk away from him. I feel his gaze burn my skin. It’s not the only thing he’s burned in the last year. He’s burned almost every bridge I had. Literally, the only thing left in my life is figure skating. I feel him on my heels as I walk up the concrete steps at the front of my home rink, Del Mar Ice House.

The big glass doors and windows that line the entire front of the rink are dark. That’s weird. Usually, Vadim turns the lights on when he comes in to unlock the doors for me. Maybe he’s having a late start this morning. Although, that’s not like him at all.

Most people think that my early mornings are crazy. That my four-in-the-morning practices are insane. But I love it. I love the smell of fresh ice. I love the quiet time when I can pace through my routines free from distractions. It’s my time to think or to not think, to clear my head and just be free. And my life is anything but free. Being a sitting senator’s daughter pretty much guarantees that, so I love this time to myself. I love mornings like this.

Vadim, the rink owner, loves these mornings too. He’s always here well before my early time slot. He unlocks the doors for me and turns on the lights. We once struck up a friendship over our love for Moscow. He was surprised to find out that I trained there for a whole summer under some of the best figure skating coaches in the world.

From that moment on, we were bonded. He’s like a favorite uncle doting on his beloved niece. So Vadim took to surfacing the ice on the Zamboni before I come in, even though it was surfaced right before closing the night before. He sharpens my blades for me when I need it. And he’s the best. No one can get me a better hollow. So it’s surprising when the lights are still out upon my arrival.

Although, he did double-book this time with Kane as well. I was so mad when I found out Kane Fucking Green had weaseled his way into my favorite ice time. I need this time to clear my head. From people like Kane Fucking Green. I haven’t been able to be in the same room as him since The Event.

I don’t think anyone could blame me. Who did he hurt? He hurt me.

I look at my sterling silver Rolex watch on my wrist. It’s ten after four in the morning. That’s so unlike Vadim. He should be here by now.

“What’s wrong?” Kane asks, reading my mood.

“He’s late,” I say softly.

I reach for the handle of the door, and it pulls free without effort. The door is unlocked. I pause for a second and then walk through the door. Vadim must be here after all. He must have forgotten to turn on the front lights.

“Wait, maybe I should check it out,” he says as he places his palm on my shoulder. I immediately stiffen.

I shrug off his hold. “You would just love that, wouldn’t you?” I growl. “Oh, sure, go right ahead and enjoy my ice time while I stand here like an idiot in the parking lot, Kane.” I roll my eyes.

“Is that what you really think of me, Princess?” he asks, his voice low in warning.

“At this juncture, I’m not sure what to believe,” I say honestly, meeting his blue gaze.

“I suppose I deserve that,” he sighs.

“I suppose you do. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a National Championship to prepare for,” I say as I start walking down the hall toward the ice.

The rubber mats squeak under my sneakers—the shoes my stepmonster hates with a passion, but which are so comfortable. Especially after a long workout on the ice. I head toward the team boxes. That’s where I’ll put on my skates and stash my music and my water by the boards.

Kane is beside me as we turn the corner and stop in our tracks.

Whereas the main building lights were off, the lights over the ice are on. The whir of the Zamboni is deafening as it circles the ice top over and over. I gasp when Kane’s hand closes tight over my bicep, bringing me to a halt, and I raise my head to see what he sees.

Vadim is sprawled back over the seat of the Zamboni. His eyes point up at the championship banners of the local professional hockey team, all lined up in a neat row, but they don’t see them. They won’t see anything again. The bullet hole between his blank eyes saw to that.

“Holy son of Scott Hamilton,” I speak without thought.

“You got that right, babe. Whatever that means,” Kane says before he leads me back through the rink and out the glass front doors.

I open my mouth to say something, anything, but instead find myself racing over to the bushes to toss my cookies. Kane is behind me, rubbing my back and making soothing noises. He hands me a water bottle from his gear bag before pulling his phone from his pocket.

“Dispatch, this is Detective Kane Green, badge number 57635. I need to report a homicide,” he says into his phone before lowering the volume of his voice. “And I have Senator Dubois’s daughter with me.”

Six months ago, I had hoped to put Kane Fucking Green and all of his bullshit behind me. I swore I wouldn’t focus on anything but myself and this next Olympic cycle. Not my dad—the US senator—or his bitch of a wife. And definitely not the feelings of hurt and betrayal that seeing Kane always seems to bring to the surface. Not to mention other feelings. My name is Sophia Eleanor Dubois, “Sophie” to my friends, and I have a funny feeling Kane Green just screwed me and my plans . . . again.

 

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About the Author:

Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.

 

Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.

 

10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.

Connect with Jennifer:

Website | Email | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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Searching for Gertrude Teaser Tuesday

 

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Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Date Published: January 22, 2018
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While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago. 
How far would you go to find the woman you love?
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Excerpt
As usual, the clerk rushed out of the room as soon as it was lunchtime the next day. Rudolf waited until the other administrative workers had left, and then he waited an additional five minutes to make sure no one was coming back. He didn’t sneak over to the clerk’s desk. He strolled over as if he had business to which he needed to attend even as his palms sweated and his heart beat erratically. He tugged on the drawer to ensure it was locked before pulling the letter opener out of his pocket. He looked around to ensure he was still alone before kneeling in front of the drawer and sticking the letter opener in the tiny lock. With only a bit of jiggling, the lock clicked open. As quietly as he could, Rudolf pulled the drawer open and peeked in. Sure enough, the cabinet keys were sitting in the tray on the top of the drawer. He slid the drawer closed and went to stand. That’s when he realized his mistake. The drawer had to be locked when the clerk arrived. Otherwise, he would immediately assume something was wrong.
Rudolf kneeled in front of the closed drawer and once again stuck his letter opener in the lock. If the letter opener could unlock the drawer, it stood to reason it could also lock it. It took quite a bit of fiddling made worse by his shaky hands before he felt a click. He heard the clacking of boots on tile and jumped to his feet while thrusting the letter opener in his pocket. The sound came closer. He didn’t have time to check the lock was engaged. He rushed in the opposite direction of the approaching person, entering the hallway on the far side of the office. He walked to the toilet and waited until he was locked in a stall before he dared to take a breath. He leaned against the stall door and took deep breaths while his heart slowly went back to its regular rhythm.
After he managed to gain some semblance of calm, he splashed cold water on his face before returning to his desk where he waited for the clerk to arrive. Was the desk drawer locked? Would the clerk know someone had tampered with the drawer even if it was locked? It took all of Rudolf’s willpower to not constantly glance at the clerk’s empty desk. When the clerk finally arrived, Rudolf tilted his chair in the clerk’s direction and waited with bated breath. But nothing happened other than the clerk unlocking his desk after sitting down. Rudolf waited for the man to notice things were amiss. It took several hours before he realized the clerk was not going to notice anything, and he could relax. He could breathe for the first time since lunch and got back to work.
About the Author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Searching for Gertrude is my twelfth book.
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