Aldo – Blitz

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Date Published: March 2018
Publisher: Black Opal Books
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Aldo is a mystery/thriller/love story in which a brilliant and dangerous ideologue attempts to eliminate a university’s genetics institute by holding the university’s president hostage.
On the same day that Isabel Canto, associate director of Pembrook Atlantic University’s Institute for Genome Modification, discovers she is pregnant with IGM post-doc Frank Marks’s baby, Pembrook’s president Mary Ellen Mackin receives a letter from “Aldo” threatening harm if she does not dissolve the institute and fire its director. Aldo claims to represent “ethical people across the world concerned with the detrimental consequences of germline genetic modification in humans” who fear not only “designer babies” but also the unintended consequences of changing human DNA for future generations.
The institute’s director, Linus Winter, conducts research into germline gene modification, which is the controversial modification of a gene in reproductive cells to affect descendants. Linus hopes to use genetic therapy to eliminate Huntington’s Disease, for which he has tested positive, and other horrific hereditary disorders.
Isabel suspects that Frank, who has disclosed his opposition to germline genetic therapy, is willing to sabotage Linus’s project. She finds her loyalties divided between Frank and Linus.
President Mackin refuses to dissolve IGM. The next evening Aldo kidnaps her.
This story is embedded in a letter Isabel writes to her son Lino on his sixteenth birthday.
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About the Author

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Since graduating from Pomona College in 1968, Betty Jean Craige has been a teacher, scholar, translator, columnist, and mystery writer. She retired from the University of Georgia in 2011 as University Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. After retiring she published a Sunday column in the local paper about animal behavior titled “Cosmo Talks” and a book titled Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Gray Parrot. Then she began writing fiction. Her Witherston Murder Mystery series, set in north Georgia, includes Downstream, Fairfield’s Auction (First Place in Chanticleer Book Awards’ category of Mystery and Mayhem), Dam Witherston (Honorable Mention in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for Mystery, and Distinguished Favorite in 2018 Independent Press Awards), and Chieftains in Witherston (scheduled to be published in 2019). A suspense novel, Aldo, came out in 2018.

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Seaborn – Blitz

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Paranormal Romance
Date Published: August 20, 2018
Publisher: FAB Books
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Charlie runs for her life, bruised and bleeding after yet another visit from her former boyfriend. The only one she can turn to is a colleague, and Carrie sends Charlie to her parents on the Islands, a safe haven where she can rest and heal.
Prepared to leave, things take an unexpected turn when Charlie finds out about the legacy some of the families on the Islands share, and how she has links to it.
Joao is about to propose to his girlfriend when his uncle calls to ask for help, and he arrives at his uncle Nico and aunt Pauline’s house to find an abused girl. As the Chief of Police and protector of the Islands, he’s used to handling situations like this, but then the girl opens her eyes and his world shifts. The turquoise gaze is a clear indication that the girl comes from the Islands, but it also cuts straight to his soul.
Charlie and Joao grow close as she adjusts to her new life, but then their lives are turned around yet again, and this time, there might not be a way back to who they were becoming together.
Seaborn is loosely linked to the Birds of a Feather series where Joao played a part in book #4, Black Snow. The story takes place after the series ends, but it is not a continuation and can be read standalone.
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There wasn’t any other way. I’d have to trust Carrie. We’d worked on the same team for two years and weren’t friends outside the office because I couldn’t have close friends. I’d tried but he drove them off, by being rude to them until they gave up, or telling me what would happen to them if I didn’t pull back, so I stopped calling and eventually, they did too. But Carrie and I were co-workers who talked every day, so in a way, we were friends after all. And Carrie knew who my former boyfriend was, and what he was capable of.
“Okay,” I whispered. “I’ll hold on to the phone for ten more minutes, then I’ll leave it behind.”
“Shit,” Carrie said again. “Okay. Shit. Move toward the airport, Lottie.”
I closed the call without saying goodbye and started walking. Everything hurt, but now I had a plan, and that gave me the strength to keep moving, step after agonizing step. I’d pulled the hood up to cover my face and used the arm to wipe off blood as I walked, hoping the dark blue color would hide the stains. The phone was in my hand, and I answered before the first silent buzz had come to an end.
“Benito is waiting for you. Side door, west of the building.”
“Side door, west of the building,” I echoed. “Carrie?”
“Oh, Lottie…”
I could hear how Carrie sniffled but didn’t know what to say to assure her everything would be okay. It wasn’t okay, and I wasn’t sure it ever would be.
 “Carrie?” I rasped out, finally.
“In my real life, the one I had before him… I wasn’t Lottie then. I had a real life once, and everyone called me Charlie.”
A sob came through the phone, and a quiet, “Oh, sweetie.”
“I’ll keep moving toward the airport now.”
Then I closed the call and started the long, painful walk toward my escape. I stopped outside a convenience store to put the phone in the back of a pick-up, hoping the owners wouldn’t get hurt if someone were tracing the signal.
When I reached the airport terminal, my head was spinning, and it felt as if I was stumbling along in a strange bubble where all sounds were warped, and the only emotion available was a dull, thumping pain.
“Side door, west of the building,” I repeated as a mantra, placing one foot in front of the other until I walked straight into a man.
“Jesus. Fuck, what the –”
I tried to smile and used the sleeve of her hoodie to wipe away sweat and blood from eyes which were swollen almost completely shut.
“Benito?” I asked.
“You’re Carries friend?”
“Jesus,” he repeated and reached for me.
“I’m good,” I mumbled and sidestepped. “No one can know I’m here.”
“I know,” he said. “Shit. Okay, let’s go.”
He led me around the building, through a gate, and over the tarmac. When I was sitting in one of the passenger seats, he tilted the chair all the way back and wrapped a blanket gently around me.
“Thank you,” I slurred. “Don’t talk about me on the radio.”
“He might hear. There can’t be any trails to follow.”
“Okay, honey. Okay. Shit. Just rest, and we’ll leave in a few minutes.”
There was no way I’d relax, not as long as he could find me, but it was nice to take the weight off my aching foot and close the small slits that were my eyes. Then the engines roared, the plane started moving, and finally – we were in the air.
Silently, hot tears started running across my temples and into my dirty and blood-streaked hair. Two minutes later, I slept.
About the Author

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The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.
Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them  heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…
Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say).
Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.
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The First Time I Saw You Tour Graphic
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Lorhainne Eckhart
The First Time I Saw You cover
Series: The Friessens # 16
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: July 22, 2018
When Gabriel Friessen puts up an ad looking for a roommate, he never expects to meet a down-on-her-luck gorgeous single mom with a meddling family, a crazy ex-boyfriend, and enough chemistry between them to heat the county.
Like his parents Andy and Laura Friessen, Gabriel knows what it means to face an impossible situation. What he doesn’t realize when he puts up an ad looking for a roommate he never expects to meet a down on her luck gorgeous single mom with a meddling family, a crazy ex-boyfriend, and enough chemistry between them to heat a county. The only problem is she doesn’t believe in happily ever after and sees falling in love as a mistake only fools make. But Gabriel can’t stop thinking about her, wanting her, and is determined to show her the road to love isn’t as dangerous as she believes.

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Book Excerpt

“Let me.” His hand covered hers, and he took the box from her before she could say anything. She pulled her hand back from the touch, which shot fire through her. There was no way in hell she was going to let herself feel that, so she fisted her hand and forced a smile to her face.
“You know what? I can carry my own boxes.” She forced the words out and took in the moment he registered what she’d said. He actually handed her back the box and stepped away, lifting his hands in the air. Of course, now she felt like a first-class bitch, but boundaries were imperative, and the last thing she ever planned on happening was getting sucked into another pair of dreamy eyes, a killer smile, and a rugged body she could stare at all day. No way. Been there, done that.
“After you…” he started just as the voices behind them grew louder. Her mom was walking up the sidewalk carrying nothing other than her handbag, whereas her dad was carrying two big suitcases. Her mom went on and on about something she didn’t have a clue about.
“Mom, Dad, this is Gabriel,” she called out as she stepped into the house and glanced at the clean floors and her shoes. “Is it okay if we leave our shoes on?” she said as her dad nodded and her mom shook Gabriel’s hand.
“Oh, so nice to meet you,” Chloe said. “Gabriel, is it? Tell me, what is your family name? Who are your people, and where are you from?”
Elizabeth took in what she could only assume was a thrown expression on Gabriel’s face. Yup, that was exactly what her mom was famous for.
He darted a glance back to her and shrugged. “Ah…don’t worry about your shoes.”
She kept walking, hearing him say something to her mom, who she knew would be dogging him with questions, a lot of questions. Then she’d report back to Elizabeth and everyone else exactly what she’d learned.

Other Books by Lorhainne Eckhart

In New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart’s big family romance series, The Friessens, each of the brothers, a cousin and now their children find love, overcome heartache, and through it all are a family that stick together no matter what differences they may have.

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About Lorhainne Eckhart

Lorhainne Eckhart

With flawed strong characters, characters you can relate to, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart writes the kind of books she wants to read. She is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, and her second book ever published, The Forgotten Child, is no exception. With close to 900 reviews on Amazon, translated into German and French, this book was such a hit that the long running Friessen Family series was born. Now with over sixty titles and multiple series under her belt her big family romance series are loved by fans worldwide. A recipient of the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Readers’ Favorite Award for Suspense and Romance, Lorhainne lives on the sunny west-coast Gulf Island of Salt Spring Island, is the mother of three, her oldest has autism and she is an advocate for never giving up on your dreams.
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Prizes up for grabs:
Three eBook Copies of It Was Always You by Lorhainne Eckhart
Contest runs from August 18 – 24, 2018.

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Mabel of the Anzacs – Blitz

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A Friendship for the Ages
YA/Women’s Historical Fiction
Date Published:  July 2018
Publisher: AUSXIP Publishing
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Two women – one a fiery teenager, the other a cantankerous octogenarian – find their mutual antipathy blossoms into an unlikely friendship in this heart-felt multigenerational story about finding a kindred spirit where you least expect it.
Zoe Lambros meets Mabel Andrews, a mercurial, cantankerous World War I Australian nurse. Zoe’s introduction to the fiery octogenarian is an explosive mix of sound and fury. Neither woman wants to give ground and they are determined to be proven right. For Zoe, actions speak louder than words and she sets out to uncover the enigma that is Mabel Andrews. Mabel discovers a kindred spirit that leads to an unlikely friendship. Together the two women forge a close bond that will change their lives forever.
It’s a friendship for the ages..
About the Author

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Mary D. Brooks is a geek with too many imaginary friends who speak different languages (knew those language classes would come in handy). She is a historical romance and urban fantasy storyteller and addicted to stories and song about strength and courage. Mary plays well with others (for an introvert) but then retreats to talk and write about her imaginary friends.  She is passionate about lots of things that inspire the mind (art/design, psychology, science and tech) and that sets her muse on fire (she’s a busy lady!).
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Dark Ride – Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway

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Romantic Suspense
Date Published: 8/7/18
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Adrienne Fuller is used to working late hours and long nights. As a nurse, her job is to save people, but when she witnesses a wreck on the road in front of her home and sees the men involved leave a dead body in a crumpled car, saving anyone is the last thing on her mind. This was no accident, and she’s already learned a hard lesson about the criminal justice system. She vows to tell no one what she saw, even the cops who come knocking on her door the next day.
Henry “Zan” Duncan is deep undercover investigating a human trafficking ring, and in his line of work he has to pretend to be the bad guy. During a horrendous car chase, it’s either kill or be killed. When he spots a woman with fiery red hair hiding in the bushes, he goes back the next day to save her life, unaware he just raised the stakes on his mission, blew his cover, and failed in his effort to never fall in love.
Dodging bullets, fights, and explosions, Adrienne must learn to trust the man who claims he wants to protect her, and Zan must open his heart to the woman he is starting to love.
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When Mike told Adrienne they were relocating her to a different safe house, her world fell apart.

“Why? What’s wrong with this one?”

“The buzz is out that Nick knows about it. So we’re taking you somewhere else. I’m sorry, Adrienne, but witness protection is going to have to talk to you.” He held up a hand when she opened her mouth to speak. “It could be temporary, but it needs to happen as long as Nick is still out on the streets. Just listen to what they have to say.”

Her leg muscles twitched, refusing to hold her upright much longer. Heat flooded her, her mouth souring like rotting fruit. Her skin itched, as if the rotting fruit drew flies. She swallowed, but the tang lingered.

She couldn’t afford to get too comfortable. Anywhere. Best this way, because she was getting too comfortable here.

“Zan’s going with you,” Mike said. “At least for now.”

At that moment, the man they’d been speaking of, the one she’d been fantasizing about for the last few days, walked in and gave her a shaky smile. The tension in her body released, a dreadful giddiness overtaking her. Her knees almost buckled, but she reached for the wall and held her ground.

Stupid that his presence reassured her.

“I might be joining witness protection with you.” The snarl is his voice indicated he was not pleased.

They gave her an hour to get ready, told her they could get her more things later so not to bother with many clothes. Great news, considering how much she hated the clothes they’d given her—including the flimsy flip-flops she had to traipse around in—but she still ended up an overstuffed piece of luggage by the time she was done. Mostly because of Tonka’s things.

“Leave the cat. He’s better off here.” Mike stood in the doorway, a scowl etched across his face as Adrienne tangled with Tonka, a hefty purse, and her luggage. She searched for the cat carrier. It was around here somewhere, and she couldn’t take Tonka out without it.

As if Mike’s mere presence wasn’t enough, Meagan acted as a buffer between Adrienne and the door, as if they weren’t about to let her go until she abided by their command and handed over the cat.

Adrienne held Tonka tighter, only to get protesting mewls. “No. He’s coming with me.”

“Let’s get you to a safe place first. Then we’ll get the cat to you.”

“There’s no reason for him to stay.”

“You’ll be taking a circuitous route. It won’t be comfortable for you, much less a cat. You could be in danger of losing him then. He’ll be safe here.”

“Why can’t we fly?”

“You will, eventually.”

“Tonka will be fine right here,” Zan said. “Meagan is a cat lover.”

Adrienne eyed Meagan, studying her for any love written across her features. The agents enjoyed doting on Tonka, but nobody would care for her cat as much as she did.

How could she abandon him? Didn’t they realize he was the reason she’d stayed sane all these years?

“Come on, you see how Meagan has been with Tonka. She’s not going to let anything harm that cat.” Zan nudged her. “Mike doesn’t want to admit it, but he’s a cat lover, too. The only harm Tonka will see is choosing which of the two humans will spoil him the most.”

“You’ll have Tonka in a couple days,” Mike promised. “Three tops.”

“We need to get going,” Zan said.

Adrienne dropped her luggage and cuddled Tonka closer, who purred as she whispered words of endearment. She hated to let him go but had to admit he’d be in good company. The entire crew would spoil him rotten.

Meagan opened her arms and took Tonka, digging her hands under his neck and finding his sweet spot. He ignored Adrienne as she walked out the door, and tears gummed her eyelids as her chest constricted with an aching need to burst open and release all her anxieties.

She’d lost too much over the past few days, but she had to reassure herself she’d see him again soon.

“Hold up,” Mike shouted as Zan led Adrienne to their escape car. “I don’t want you taking that car.”

Zan stopped and turned to face Mike. “Why not? What’s the problem?”

“They might be on the lookout for it. Agent Brock is going to take it as a diversion. We have you in the van.” He pointed to an old gray Chevy cargo van.

Zan’s shoulders slumped. “Are you kidding me? A head’s up would have been nice. And if we need to run away from anyone, that’ll be impossible.”

“You’d be surprised. This van has nice mods under the hood.”

Zan nodded. “Hmm okay. I’d love to see it, but we don’t have time.”

“I’ll catch up with you later. Be safe.”

“Will do.”

Heat spooled down Adrienne’s spine when Zan palmed her lower back and steered her to the van. From the corner of her eye, she watched three agents get in the car they were supposed to take. Zan muttered under his breath, something about not feeling safe in a stupid van no matter what was under the hood.

“Look, I know you’re worried about Tonka.” Zan settled in the driver’s seat and pushed the key in the ignition. “Everything is going to be okay.”

“What happened? Why the sudden move? Was someone followed or something?”

Zan turned the ignition and slammed his hands on the steering wheel when it didn’t start. He’d kept the door open, maybe to bolt out and chastise Mike for his decision.

“There’s a buzz out on the street that Nick is looking for us, and might have found us.”

She clutched her stomach, fear spreading to every part of her body. It took three tries to get the van started, and Zan was pounding his fists, opening the door, and cursing by the time it roared to life.

“I can’t believe Mike wants me to take this stupid fucking machine,” he muttered atop a slew of other curses.

As he shut the door, resigned to his fate, a loud explosion blasted the area.


About the Author

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Angela Smith is a Texas native and was dubbed most likely to write a novel during her senior year in high school since she always had her nose stuck in a book. Although high school was decades ago, the dream began when her mom read ‘Brer Rabbit’ to her and her sister so often they could recite it back to each other before ever learning to read. Research is one of her favorite parts of piecing together a story, and she loves creating new characters. Angela started with writing romantic suspense and is branching into other genres, but she hasn’t been able to write one yet where falling in love doesn’t come into play. She works as a certified paralegal and office manager at her local District Attorney’s office and spends her free time with her husband and the animals on her small farm. Although life in general keeps her very busy, her passion for writing and getting the stories out of her head tends to make her restless if she isn’t following what some people call her destiny.
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