I had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation. When Pinkie’s arrest leaves me struggling to run his two bars, I vow not to let my mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Now I’m forced to trust the cops, people who hurt me, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save my life?
Excerpt from Chapter 3 and song lyrics:
The band takes the stage again. Before the first note Jon says, “This is for Gillian.” He beams his sexy smile at me. I immediately recognize the opening riff to Dark Energy, the song he wrote for me about how I turned my screwed up life around.
Dark Energy lyrics
Shadows always lurk into the voids.
The great destroyer follows me.
A powerful force
Rips apart my universe
As I want it to be.
Dreams they shatter across the sky
Like shooting stars flying by.
Give it up. Throw it away.
One less win. Another day.
In this dark energy.
Find someone else to conquer.
What does it mean this dark energy?
Dark energy won’t control my fate.
Why do I deserve this dark energy?
I create my own history.
Don’t push this, this on me.
Tipping the balance
Shed some light and set it free
This dark energy.
Find someone else to conquer.
What does it mean this dark energy?
Dark energy won’t control my fate.
I do not deserve this dark energy.
Dark Energy by Brian Miller and Dark Energy .germans remix by Brian Miller and Bobby Hoke, are available for download or streaming from your favorite music source including Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, Beatport, Tidal, Juno Download.
About The Author
Addison Brae is an award-winning author of new adult and adult romantic suspense and young adult contemporary fiction. She lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant.
When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.
Calliope Garland’s newsdesk assignment was fairly straightforward—dig up the dirt on the sketchy CEO of a Wall Street hedge fund. But when the man is murdered and valuable data destroyed, a simple investigation turns deadly. Calliope is unwittingly in possession of vital financial information and a priceless work of art; either of which may get her killed. With an ever-growing list of people who want to harm her, Calliope must set aside her reservations and turn to the one man she knows can trust. Miller “Tox” Buchanan is a study in contradictions: kind but lethal, passionate but distant, self-possessed yet hesitant. He knows he should keep his distance, but when Calliope is hurled into danger, Tox will stop at nothing to protect her…
Her first instinct wasn’t to dial 911 but rather to call a certain Navy SEAL. She forced down the antiquated damsel in distress fantasy floating around in her head and rationalized the police would surely ask questions she was unwilling or unable to answer. She brought up her contacts. At the bottom, she touched the entry labeled, Tox, and the call rang through.
A grizzly bear answered. “This better be good.”
“I need your help…”
Be advised: this story contains scenes of violence equivalent to an R-rated movie and explicit sexual situations.
Other books in the Bishop Security Romantic Suspense Series:
Bishop Security Series, Book 1
Published: April 2020
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
• a steamy romantic thriller
• a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel
• a timeless romance
Emma Porter is not real. She is an accomplished young woman, living a fulfilling life in New York City, working for an online news agency, and striving toward normalcy. The truth, however, is something else. She was once Emily Webster, a child of privilege, and the twenty-first century Lindbergh Baby. Her high-profile, unexplained abduction and subsequent rescue led to a childhood of paranoia and preparedness, as her kidnapper remained at large and still on the hunt. With her father’s guidance and resources, Emily became Emma Porter, living each day in her new identity, vigilant and unattached. Unattached but for the seemingly unbreakable tether that connects her to the man who, as a young boy, lived next door.
Like Emma, Nathan Bishop is not what he seems. Preparing to helm his family’s defense contracting company, Nathan is better known for his womanizing and reckless behavior than his business acumen. His striking image peppers the pages of society tabloids and police blotters, but beneath the facade of a rake, lurks a warrior. When an arms dealer procures a lethal bioweapon and is rumored to be selling it on U.S. soil, Nathan and his team must use every resource at their disposal to stop the threat.
With danger closing in, fate, once again, puts Emma in Nathan’s path, and the two must determine if the weathered bond between them is enough to find the truth behind their false fronts.
Fans of Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and Jayne Ann Krentz will love False Front.
Be advised: this story contains scenes of violence equivalent to an R-rated movie and explicit sexual situations.
The biggest of the three goons, the one in the painter’s clothing, pointed, and the other two men took off in different directions. Painter goon stood facing the building, hands on his hips. For a solid minute, he didn’t move. Calliope didn’t move either. She suddenly regretted her fuschia yoga tank and hoped it wasn’t visible through the window covering. Painter man moved toward the stairs, and Calliope backed out of sight. She spied her hiding place, a hole in the wall waiting for a panel of drywall, but something else caught her attention. The entire floor, which at one time had been bedrooms, was blown out into a large open space with areas taped off for the new floor plan. Attached to a window at the back of the building was a construction chute, a giant, yellow caterpillar dropping straight into a dumpster below. Calliope wasn’t an idiot. Inside a chute or out, a fall from the third floor would not be healthy. However, as she stepped closer, she saw that the chute was segmented; pieces of debris had caught in the joints. If she could slow her descent, dropping segment by segment, she could escape the building.
“I just want to talk to you.” The voice came from the floor below. The boards creaked beneath her feet as she moved to the back of the building.
“I’m not here to hurt you.” The sound of a chambering bullet said otherwise.
Yeah, right. Calliope moved toward the window with the chute attached. What was happening? Did they have the wrong person?
“Calliope Garland, You have something my employer wants.” Well, that answers that question. “This can be very easy if you let it.”
She didn’t dare turn her back on the staircase that ended at the front of the house on this level. A balding head came into view, moving slowly up the stairs. Then shoulder, then torso. He was looking down, probably texting his goon buddies. She sat on the sill and twisted her lower body so her legs dangled down the chute, and her midsection rested on the sill. She slid a bit more, and she was hanging from the window with her arms and shoulders hooked on the sill. She chanced a glance down the chute and immediately regretted the plan.
As with so many things in Calliope’s life, what she imagined was far from the practical reality. That was a long drop, and those joints she envisioned slowing her descent seemed little more than seams. She started to hoist herself back into the room when she saw the man standing in the middle of the space and staring right at her with a malevolent smile.
Calliope hesitated for only a moment. The last thing she saw was the thug’s shocked face as she let go of the windowsill and disappeared into the chute.
Calliope clawed at the yellow plastic and managed to slow her fall twice as she plummeted almost vertically to the ground. Less than three seconds passed when she hit the top of the pile of trash in the dumpster with a thud. She felt a stabbing pain in her hip and realized she must have scraped her side on the broken lid of a toilet tank.
No time to dwell on it. Painter goon was no doubt barreling down the stairs to cut her off. Calliope vaulted out of the dumpster, ran to the narrow walkway separating the houses, and emerged out onto the street. To her right, the other two men were heading straight for her. Behind her, painter goon appeared in the front doorway of the house. Looks like left.
Calliope started to run when around the corner, moving like a jungle beast, Tox appeared. She ran straight to him and hugged him tight around the waist. He briefly returned the hug, then rotated her around so she was behind him with her arms still ringing his middle. Tox stood calm and still, facing the men who continued to approach but now warily. One man pulled a retractable baton from his coat. The other grabbed his taser. Tox reached into his hoodie and withdrew the Magnum from his holster. He held it at his side, pointed down, but it was impossible to miss.
The three men stopped and kind of stumbled over each other. In an attempt to save face the head thug looked at Tox with a grin. “I’ll see you again soon.”
Tox remained stoic. “Notify your next of kin.”
The crash of a dumpster lid startled the men into action and they bumped and scurried, finally disappearing around a corner.
Tox rotated Calliope around so she was in front of him again. “You okay?”
“I really want to know the story of your tattoo.”
Tox tipped his head back and laughed. He pulled her to his side and they started walking.
“Happy to share, but I have a few questions of my own first.”
“Yeah, okay. I seem to have gotten in over my head.”
About The Author
Debbie Baldwin is a successful print media and television writer. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law. Debbie and her husband live in Saint Louis, Missouri with their puggle, Pebbles. They have three children in college.
Sultry romantic suspense set in Florida’s untamed wilderness…
When your heart’s involved…
If you dare venture beyond Disney’s magic and Miami’s high-rises, you’ll find yourself in Florida’s untamed wilderness.
A bush pilot and officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Josh Tanner is one of the tough cops needed to manage these rugged areas. And the minute he finds Delilah Atwood deep in the woods without a good explanation, he knows something is very wrong…
All the stakes are raised…
Delilah barely escaped her ultra-fundamental militia family years ago. Now she’s back to save her sixteen-year-old sister, and no government man is going to stop her. Josh isn’t going to stand by and watch Delilah risk her life, but unless he can get her to trust him, she may end up being the next victim.
Other Books in the Florida Wildlife Warriors Series:
Florida Wildlife Warriors, Book 1
Release Date: January 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Author Connie Mann delivers clean romance with a side of intrigue and suspense the likes of which you’ve never seen. Florida’s untamed wilderness beckons with its beauty and mystery, but this paradise has a dark side that’s waiting for you to step off the path…
Former Florida Fish & Wildlife Officer Charlotte “Charlee” Tanner still carries the guilt of a tragic drowning accident that occurred on her watch. She hoped moving back home to central Florida would provide a safe haven―until she learns that her beloved wilderness is full of twisted lies and deadly secrets, including the fact that the death that’s haunted her was no accident…and she was the intended target.
Tough and decisive, Lieutenant Hunter Boudreau has just been promoted as a law enforcement officer with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, though not everyone on the force is happy about the change. Despite the friction at work, Charlee is his best friend, so when she comes under fire, he’s not letting her out of his sight until the killer is caught. But Hunter has secrets of his own, and Charlee is determined not to let anyone else die for her.
As danger closes in and Charlee and Hunter’s attraction threatens to consume them, Charlee has to decide whether she can trust Hunter. And to save Charlee, Hunter will have to trust her, too.
Delilah raced after Mary, ignoring the gunshots spitting sand up at her. She’d pulled her weapon from her waistband, but she didn’t fire, wouldn’t risk hitting Mary by mistake. She just had to find her, fast.
If Mary disappeared now, Delilah might never see her again. Her family would disappear, and their like-minded friends would make sure no one could find them. She couldn’t bear the idea of her sister going through what she had.
She ran despite the bullets that just kept coming. Some part of her brain was surprised she wasn’t down on the ground, bleeding, but whoever it was knew exactly where they were placing those shots. They were trying to keep her away, not kill her.
The moon slid behind some clouds, and Delilah momentarily lost sight of her sister. One minute, Mary was ahead of her, and the next, she’d disappeared.
Delilah ran farther, heart pounding, until the gunshots stopped and the silence told her Mary was gone. Panting, defeated, she collapsed against a live oak tree and slid down to the ground. Bark scraped her back, but she didn’t notice. “Oh God. Mary.”
She’d hoped once her sister knew she’d come to rescue her, she’d meekly follow and they’d get the heck out of Dodge. Easy-peasy. She snorted at her own naïveté. What had made perfect sense in her Tallahassee apartment she now saw for the same childlike thinking that had gotten her trapped eight years ago.
Frustrated, she climbed to her feet. She wasn’t that scared girl anymore, but she understood Mary’s thinking. Her sister had no doubt been rigorously indoctrinated into the importance of family and sticking together against the outside world. Her reaction tonight said she’d also seen enough to want to protect Mama.
But given the gunshots, Mary’s cooperation was only part of the equation. Either Aaron or John Henry obviously didn’t want her to leave. They didn’t go to that much trouble for a “mere woman” without good reason.
Which meant she not only had to find them, she had to find out exactly what they were planning so she could use that as leverage, too.
When Delilah stopped behind a tree, Josh deliberately made noise as he approached so as not to startle her. He was shocked to his toes when she stepped into view, Glock held in front of her, hands rock steady on the grip, eyes hard. “Hands up and move closer so I can see you,” she ordered.
He froze, stunned. Her confidence hit him square in the gut and made the attraction he felt for her burn even hotter. Damn, she looked good like that.
“It’s Josh Tanner, Fish and Wildlife. Please put down the gun, Delilah, for my safety and yours.”
Through his night-vision goggles, he saw her eyes narrow in surprise and suspicion, but she immediately holstered the gun.
He stepped into the small clearing, hands on his utility belt, in reach of his own weapon.
She gave his uniform a quick once-over, then fisted both hands on her hips. “What are you doing here?”
“I was going to ask you the same question,” he responded, her attitude fueling his own. He pulled off his goggles. “Why are you sneaking around out here in the middle of the night?”
She huffed out a breath. “Seriously? Since when can’t people go outside at night without being interrogated by Fish and Wildlife?”
He almost laughed at her belligerent tone. Almost. But then he noticed the pain shadowing her features. He softened his voice. “Who were you meeting with?”
Her chin came up, lips pursed. “I’m not sure that’s any of your concern.”
She was dressed in black from head to toe, the fabric of her T-shirt clinging to her curves, her hands propped on a utility belt that looked a lot like his own. He’d thought her beautiful when she was sipping coffee. But whoever the girl was, she’d sent Delilah into full-on protective mode, reminding him of Xena, the warrior princess. He felt the jolt all the way to his toes.
He took a step closer, and she stilled. When he reached out and plucked a leaf from her hair, she captured his wrist, questions swirling in her huge blue eyes. Seconds ticked by as they watched each other, her mix of strength and vulnerability drawing him closer. He ran his thumb along her jaw, and her grip on his arm tightened. He studied her lips, lush and full, and the urge to taste had him inclining his head. Inches before their mouths touched, their eyes met, held. She blinked, effectively breaking the spell as she eased out of reach.
He shook his head to clear his muddled thoughts. Focus, Tanner. “Who was the girl?”
She crossed her arms over her chest and regarded him steadily. “And if I said, again, that it was none of your business?”
“I would say I was making it my business, since you are considered a person of interest in a recent death here in the forest.”
Her eyes narrowed right before she huffed out a laugh and called his bluff. “Seriously? You and your FWC buddies have declared me a person of interest because some poor hunter got killed by a bear?”
Josh had to tread lightly. He couldn’t discuss an active investigation, but that death scene wasn’t right, which was why he was out here in the middle of the night to begin with.
“Who is she?”
“I don’t like being backed into a corner, Officer Tanner.”
Josh propped his fists on his hips. “Are you going to make me drag this information out of you one word at a time?”
“Never answer a question you haven’t been asked. And never offer more information than what is required.” She tossed the words out in a way that made Josh think they had been drilled into her from childhood.
He pulled back his irritation. There was something else at play here, something that clearly worried her. “I am not your enemy, Delilah. Talk to me. Let me help.”
By the light of the moon, he saw myriad emotions cross her face. “I appreciate that, but you can’t. This is a family matter, something I have to deal with myself.” She squared her shoulders and set off again.
He easily caught up to her and matched his steps to hers. “You don’t have to say a word to me if you don’t want to, but if you’re heading back toward your camper”—he hitched a thumb over his shoulder—“you’re heading in the wrong direction.”
About The Author
Connie Mann is a licensed boat captain and loves writing romantic suspense stories set in Florida’s small towns and unspoiled wilderness. She is the author of the Florida Wildlife Warriors series and the Safe Harbor series, as well as several stand-alone titles. When she’s not dreaming up plotlines, you’ll find “Captain Connie” on Central Florida’s waterways, introducing boats full of schoolchildren to their first alligator. She is also passionate about helping women and children in developing countries break the poverty cycle and build a better future for themselves and their families. Besides boating, she and her husband enjoy hanging out with family and friends and planning their next adventure. Connect with Connie online at: www.conniemann.com
When investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, Jessie is determined to clear his name. Reluctantly, she turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett, her late brother’s best friend–a true heartbreaker, according to her brother.
With danger coming from every angle, time is running out and the game being played is deadly. Working together, Bran and Jessie must risk everything to solve the riddle and confront the threat–before it’s too late.
Too much downtime always made him nervous, kind of edgy as he waited for the other shoe to drop. It had been a week since his last client had headed back to Nashville, a week of peace and quiet he should have enjoyed.
Instead, he had this nagging feeling that something bad was coming down the line.
Lounging back in the chair behind his desk at Maximum Security, Brandon Garrett looked up at the sound of the front door swinging open. A gust of cool, late October winds swept in, along with a petite, whirlwind of a woman with the prettiest strawberry blond hair Bran had ever seen.
She had a sweet little body to match her fiery curls, he noticed, outlined by the dark blue stretch jeans curving over her sexy little ass and the peach knit top that hugged her breasts.
It wasn’t tough to read the anxiety in her big green eyes as she surveyed the room, but instead of heading for the receptionist’s desk, those big green eyes landed on Bran and as she started toward him, there was something about her that rang a distant bell. Interest piqued, he rose from his chair. “Can I help you?”
“You’re Brandon Garrett, right? You were a friend of my brother’s. Danny Kegan? I recognize you from the photos Danny sent home.”
The mention of his best friend’s name hit him like a blow, and the muscles across his stomach clenched. Daniel Kegan had been a member of his spec ops team, a brother, not just a friend. Danny had saved Bran’s life at the cost of his own. He was KIA in Afghanistan.
Bran stared down at the girl, who was maybe five-foot-four. “You’re Jessie,” he said, remembering the younger sister Daniel Kegan had talked so much about. “You look like him. Same color hair and eyes.”
She nervously wet her lips, which were plump and pink and fit her delicate features perfectly.
“My brother said if I ever needed help, I should come to you. He said you’d help me no matter what.” She glanced back toward the door and his mind shifted away from the physical jolt he felt as he looked at her to the worry in her eyes.
“I’ll help you. Danny was my closest friend. Whatever you need, I’ll help. Come on. Let’s go into the conference room and you can tell me what’s going on.” When her gaze shot back to the door, his senses went on alert.
“I didn’t mean I needed your help later,” Jessie said nervously. “I meant I need your help right now.”
Gunshots exploded through the windows. “Get down!” Bran shouted to the other guys in the office as he shoved Jessie down behind his desk and covered her with his body. Glass shattered and a stream of bullets sprayed across the room.
Jaxon Ryker popped up, gun drawn, and ran for the door. Hawk Maddox and Lissa Blayne were shuffling through their desks, arming themselves. Jonas Wolfe drew his ankle gun and ran for the rear entrance, ready for any threat that might come from there.
“Black SUV with tinted windows,” Ryker reported. Six feet of solid muscle, dark hair and eyes, Jax was a former Navy SEAL, currently a PI and occasional bounty hunter. “Couldn’t get a plate number.” Jax’s gaze swung to the front of the room. “Mindy, you okay?”
The little receptionist eased up from beneath her desk. “I-I’m okay. Should I call the police?” Around here, it was never good to jump to conclusions.
Bran hauled Jessie to her feet. He could feel her trembling. Her eyes looked even bigger and greener than they had before. “Are they coming back?” he asked.
“I-I don’t know. It could have just been a warning.”
Bran turned to Mindy. “Unless someone’s already phoned it in, let’s wait to call the cops till we know what’s going on.” His attention returned to Jessie. “We need to talk.”
She just nodded. Her face had gone pale, making a fine line of freckles stand out across her forehead and the bridge of her nose.
Bran took her arm and urged her toward the conference room. “Keep a sharp eye,” he said to The Max crew. “Just in case.”
Jessie sank unsteadily down in one of the rolling chairs around the long oak conference table. The man she had come to see, Brandon Garrett, sat down beside her.
“Okay, let’s hear it,” he said. “What’s going on?”
She thought of the men who had just shot up his office and her pulse started thumping again. “Danny said if I ever needed help–“
“Yeah, I get that. Your brother knew he could count on me. Like I said, I’ll help you any way I can, but I need to know what’s going on.”
Bran was taller than Danny, around six-three, with a soldier’s lean, hard body, vee-shaped, with broad shoulders and narrow hips. Powerful biceps bulged beneath the sleeve of his dark blue T-shirt. With his slightly too-long mink brown hair, straight nose and masculine features, he was ridiculously handsome, except for the hard line of his jaw and the darkness in his eyes that contrasted sharply with their beautiful shade of cobalt blue.
“Start at the beginning,” he demanded.
Since she wasn’t sure exactly where to begin, Jessie dragged in a shaky breath and slowly released it.
“I’m here because of my father–Colonel James Kegan, Commander U.S. Army Alamo Chemical Depot. Just before he died a little over two months ago, my father was removed from active duty. He was charged with larceny–specifically the theft of chemical weapons stored at the Depot. Because the Army believed he was selling the weapons to a foreign entity, he was also charged with espionage and treason. I need you to help me prove his innocence.”
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.
Jessica and Robbie Mitchell’s belated honeymoon to Ireland begins with a surprise landing—ala Miracle on the Hudson—in the Shannon River. Robbie saves Jessica and the service dog of a blind passenger, who is the only casualty. Born in Ireland, Robbie is eager to see his native country 136 years after he emigrated to America, after bridging time to meet his contemporary Wyoming soulmate, Jessica.
The couple ends up at a B & B that was the manor house Robbie and his mother once served. Here, they learn that before Robbie left home, he unwittingly set in motion a dark family scandal that has affected generations who run the B & B. The family “healer” is a mysterious104 yr. old woman. As the couple sink deep into the enchantment of Eire and the mysteries and misfortunes of his descendants, including the actual 200 yr. old Magdalen scandal, he wonders if there is a way to reset history without losing the love of his life.
The book is set in two contemporary parts with an 1883 historic part sandwiched between, giving the reader a “fly on the wall” view of what happened to the family Robbie left behind. If history can be reset to restore a broken family, will it separate or spare the soulmates?
I squeezed Robbie’s hand as I gazed out the window. When the wing of the plane dipped again, the airport runway came into view along the Shannon peninsula. It was then I heard it, low and grumbling…escalating to a higher pitch that overpowered the drone of the engines. Every few seconds, the screech persisted. A buzz of bewilderment boiled into fear among the passengers.
“Did you hear that?”
“Oh God, Something’s wrong!”
The wing of the plane quivered as we tilted like a carnival ride in an orbit of descent. I could see vehicles, streaming out of an airport hangar, ants lining the runway, all moving toward the Shannon estuary. Suddenly, the loudspeaker crackled to life, but the clipped message was not an answer to my frightened prayer.
“This is your pilot… Brace for river impact!”
About the Author
Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, Cj moved to Rochester, MN where she raised her family, and on hilltop acreage pursued her lifelong dreams: horses, rescue animals and published articles, short stories and award winning novels.
On occasion she ventured downhill to climb a waterfall in Jamaica, float in the Dead Sea, kiss the Blarney Stone and always, always…research settings for the next plot.