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Grasmere Cottage Mystery

Want to curl up with a cozy mystery?
Grab the Grasmere Cottage Mystery for a first-time complete trilogy sale for the next few days.
Just #99cents per book! 

“Truly enjoyable! This book has a great pace, well developed characters and setting. Val and Bishan are two of the most endearing characters I’ve maybe ever experienced in literature.” 5 Stars, Adam W.

Part 1 – https://books2read.com/grasmere1 
Part 2 – https://books2read.com/grasmere2
Part 3 – https://books2read.com/grasmere3
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Termination Shock


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Book One of Interstellar Enforcement Agency
Space Opera (Scifi)
Date Published: First of December 2019

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In a galactic meltdown that threatens spacetime itself, the universe needs superheroes.  On offer:  a Spacelander with a slight attitude, an irritating protégée who talks back and vast alien beings who may span the cosmos but who have quite a problem communicating with other species.



The learning curve might be too steep.

Ryler Mallivan’s comfortable life as an upstanding young freighter captain has just imploded.  Avaraks are storming the training ship he is on and the bullets being fired are not blanks.  Interstellar war has broken out and unless he moves fast they will all be as stone dead as the instructor lying at his feet.

But this is one conflict they can never escape. The cause of the trouble is far closer than they know and will bring Mallivan and his ragbag fledgling crew under ferocious attack from all sides.

They are going to need all their wits about them if they are to stay alive. And they have to, because there is nobody else to save all their worlds from a doomsday weapon which is set to obliterate the entire cosmos.

Just how much can one lone spaceship do?




 Excerpt

 Chapter 1


Sammy was glowering and Mel was looking down at the decking. Neither of them thought I knew how to lead a squad. They were right, but I wasn’t about to tell them so.

 Sammy cleared his throat with a sort of huffing sound. “They’ll send someone else, Rye,” he told me, trying to seem helpful and not denigrating, something he could use some practice at.

 I gestured with my M596 long barrel, making a huge effort not to sigh. “Just aim at the Avaraks, Sammy. Let’s get the job done.” I didn’t have to say the same to Bull Cunningham. He was in his element, eyes shining, carelessly notching up accurate shots at the enemy. Despite being a Terran Flatlander, he was one of those souls born to be a marine. He hadn’t got there yet, but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t take him too long. If I hadn’t had two weeks seniority on him he would have been leading this team now. He would probably have done it better.

 For a moment I considered handing the job over to him, but the small Tyzaran girl clutching at my uniform made me focus. She hadn’t been in our remit, but having found her huddled shaking in a doorway, I knew I had to try to save her. There was no way she should have been here. All the visiting Tyzaran dignitaries had been hastily evacuated twelve hours earlier. She had just leapfrogged to my top priority.

 The sounds of inter-vessel torpedoes hammering old Commorancy continued. The ancient hull plating was shivering with transformed kinetic energy, making it hard to concentrate.

 I kicked Wolseley’s legs out of the way. No man left behind, I thought fiercely. Yeah. Like that had worked out well. Our intrepid leader wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon. He was missing most of his torso. I couldn’t have taken the remaining bits of him with us, even if I had wanted to.

 Major Wolseley hadn’t thought much of my insistent suggestion to fall back and regroup. He was old school. Gung-ho and give your all for the ship; what do you think we train you for, and so on. Rewards in heaven, I supposed. I’m a Spacelander too, but I didn’t believe in all that claptrap. He should be proving or disproving it pretty soon, I calculated. He must be hammering at the pearly gates about now. I hoped he found his misplaced stubborn heroism worth it.

 Unfortunately his rigid sticking to the rules had now left those of us remaining in combat with little choice. We could die or we could fight. Half the Avarak intruders had taken advantage of the delay to advance from the port side, trapping us in the corridor between the main engine room and the EM core, and we sure as fitz weren’t going to be retreating anywhere now.

 As for Captain Tevis … I didn’t think we would be seeing him anytime soon in this corridor. Not that I knew him. I knew of him. He’d been responsible for the death of one of my uncles. His specialty was keeping his own head down and persuading others not to. The captain would have more pressing work somewhere else on the ship. Somewhere more protected, my subconscious snarked. I tried not to think about it. Like it or not, I was now the de facto head of this decimated squad. I had better things to do than wonder where Commorancy’s just-give-me-my-decoration captain had got to.

 Mel’s eyes were sidling towards Sammy. She was wondering whether to mutiny or not.

 I cocked the firing mechanism and pointed my gun at her. She rolled her eyes, but at least that brought them back in my direction. She pushed the barrel of her own M487 XRS against her shoulder and squinted down the corridor at the invaders. The sound of her firing was just one more boom amongst the juddering metal which screeched its demise. If we didn’t clear this position soon we were lost. Tears were streaking down her cheeks. I wasn’t sure if they were of rage or fright. It didn’t matter. All she had to do was keep firing. If she didn’t I might shoot her myself.

 I turned to cover our rear. Poor old Commorancy was groaning like a collapsing whale. This ship wasn’t going to last much longer.

 A computer voice suddenly crackled into life over the ship’s loudspeaker system. “Abandon ship. Abandon ship. This is not a drill. Proceed to your nearest exit port and board the shuttles in an orderly fashion.”

 Thanks a lot. Would if we could. I guess the announcement was one step better than ‘we are about to abandon ship leaving the rest of you to die in this old bucket’, which is what our esteemed captain really meant.

 Mel wavered. My back was jammed up against hers. I could feel her gun go quiet as she processed the information. A bullet hit Sammy, who collapsed on the floor.

 I snarled backwards at her. “Keep firing, damn it! Don’t you even think about taking your finger off that trigger!”

 I felt, rather than heard, the gasp of outrage, but my words were effective. She started to return fire again. I squashed the Tyzaran girl between me and Bull. She was half our size. At least we could act as human shields for her. She was cringing at the sounds and the flashes of gunfire, her crest sticking out rigidly from her scalp in panic.

 I tugged at Sammy’s shoulder lapels, dragging and pushing him slightly to one side, where a small doorway gave him a little better cover. I couldn’t spare the time to look at him. I just kept returning their fire. The shuttles in the stern cargo hold might as well have been ten kilometers away. We were not going to get there in time. I was pretty sure our part in this newly born war was just about over. I was pretty sure our part in life was just about over.



About the Author

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Gillian Andrews is also the author of the award-winning Ammonite Galaxy series, and Kelfor, the Orthomancers.  She is English but lives in Spain, and is passionate about Cosmology.  She likes to write upbeat space opera with strong protagonists and complex aliens.

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BRoken Exit


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Thriller
Publisher: Grosvenor House Publishing

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Terrorists have targeted the Prime Minister in a Post BREXIT Britain and Barnaby Aitken finds himself on the run, rescued from certain death by a father out with his son for the day.

As the security services mount a rescue, the terrorists are always one step ahead.

Will the PM see out the night or can MI5 discover who is behind the plot and get to him in time?

An explosive and enthralling ride through political divides and the desire to stay alive.



About the Author

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K.N. Palmer is a self-published author based in England. His first book BRoken EXIT is a finalist in the ‘First Novel’ category of the 2019 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Competition.


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#FREE, Sale Blitz

Nobody Knows

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#FREE #FREEINKU #SALE #LIMITED TIME

Nobody Knows

http://amzn.to/21n5nvk – Amazon US
http://bit.ly/1VIWQMe – Amazon AU

Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…

Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.

Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…

When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.

But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.

Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…

Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.

While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.

Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.

Tagline: Even love has its limits.  

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Book Tour

Aryana’s Journey

Aryana’s Journey
Excalibur’s Decision Book 1
by Aspen Black
Genre: Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance
Publication Date: December 20, 2019
In the twenty third century the gateways were opened by Merlin between Earth and The Realm, the home of the Fae, in search of the next King Arthur. Magic flooded the Earth, overtaking most of technology. Now, hundreds of years later, Fae have learned to coexist peacefully with humans and Merlin still searches the Earth with Excalibur.
Aryana works in the Mayor’s kennels overnight. She’s been content with her life up until the moment her eyes meet those of Merlin’s. Everything changes during the Star Festival. Her life becomes a whirlwind as she travels to Avalon with her Knights of the Round Table, her Wizard and a new ally that no one was ever expecting.
It’s up to Aryana to help stop an ancient evil that dwells deep within The Realm. She will have to learn to fight for herself with the help of Excalibur to aid in the upcoming war.
This is a slow to medium burn fantasy reverse harem why choose novel.
Aspen Black is often described as kooky by her friends. She writes the stories that have floated continuously in her imagination since she was a child. She’s a lemonade addict that really shouldn’t be allowed near lemons.
Being an introvert, she spends most of her time writing and reading her favorite books.
Please join her on her facebook and twitter feeds for up to date information on current and in-progress books.
She is a lover of all animals, having a small zoo at home.
Google Home Mini, $10 Amazon, $5 Amazon – 1 winner each!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Release Blitz

Met His Match series by Louisa Masters

“𝘚𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘵, 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘯𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘣𝘶𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘴…” – Rainbow Book Reviews
Author: Louisa Masters
Title: Charming Him & Offside Rules
Series: Met His Match Novels
Re-Release: December 11th 2019
Genre: M/M Romance
➔ Amazon US: https://amzn.to/372GBX0
Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois.

After getting off on the wrong foot—as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia—their attraction blazes.

Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.

As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective.

They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.
𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑙𝑦 𝑝𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝑎𝑠 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐵𝑢𝑛𝑛𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐵𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑖𝑟𝑒.

Available in Kindle Unlimited
➔ Amazon US: https://amzn.to/372GBX0
➔ Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Ki3D2s
➔ Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2CG3z8a
➔ Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2NKwGh1
Teasers

Rogue Booty by Golden Angel

Be ready to board January 1, 2020…
Rogue Booty by Golden Angel – a part of the Pirates, Passion & Plunder Anthology – is coming!
ANTHOLOGY BLURB What’s a lady to do when she’s boarded by ruthless brigands and barbarous buccaneers, kidnapped on the lawless High Seas?

Stripped to the skin by piercing eyes.
Captive and claimed by rough, strong hands.

She knows it’s forbidden but how can she resist… a pirate’s pleasure.

‘Pirates, Passion & Plunder’ features nineteen all-new scorchingly satisfying historical romances.

*Warning: Bodices will be ripped!*
TEASER EXCERPT

Blythe

Captain Jake sat down in a chair, his long legs stretched out in front of him, shirt gaping open to show off a muscular chest. His hair was longer than Mack’s, a lone curl curving over his forehead and nearly reaching his scarred eyebrow. Even without the scar, he and Mack weren’t identical, just very similar, but the scar certainly helped differentiate them.

His eyes, which were more deep brown than his brother’s black, moved over her body, inspecting her from head to toe. Normally men’s gazes had no effect on her, but his left her feeling both hot and vulnerable, as though he could see beneath not just her clothing, but her skin to all her secrets.

Jake Raw was a dangerous man. She’d known that, she just hadn’t known how dangerous until now.

“Bonny Blythe,” he said, leaning back and resting his face against one hand. “Why do you wish to join my crew?”

Well, if he was going to get right to the point, then so was she, although she was a bit surprised he was asking ‘why’ and not ‘how are you going to convince me?’

“Rumor has it you’re warring with the Governor of Antigua. That you’re targeting his ships and ports above all others and making him look a fool.” She tilted her head at him, wondering at the lack of change in his expression. “They say you don’t mean to stop till he’s dead.”

******

Jake

For once the gossip was right, although it was not completely surprising, since Jake had not been quiet about his intentions. He wanted Hopkins to know that the Rawbone was coming for him. Wanted the man jumping at every shadow, paranoid of every interaction, wondering if today was the day that his bastard sons had returned to take their revenge.

“They are right,” Mack growled from behind her, making her jump. His brother’s eyes met his over her head. They shared a moment of anticipation, of knowing the day was coming. Soon.

But until then…

“What does it matter to you?” Jake asked, curious, turning his attention back to Blythe. Very little was known about her past, even within the wild stories told about her, and he hadn’t heard her name mentioned with any connection to Antigua.

She looked back at him for a long moment, pressing her lips together as if deciding what she was going to say. A flicker of pain passed through her bright eyes just before she nodded.

“It’s where my husband and I had our farm,” she said. The sultry husk to her voice was almost gone, her tone flat as if she was pressing down all emotion by sheer force of will. “A neighbor, Sir Joseph Ready, decided he wanted our land. My husband was killed a week after he refused to sell. An unfortunate accident, he somehow managed to slit his own throat while working in the fields.” Her eyes flashed with anger. “I was turned out to make my own way.” The clipped way she said it made Jake feel sure there was more to the story.

Especially because he knew Sir Ready. The man was Hopkins’ brother-in-law. There was no way there would have been a fair investigation into her husband’s death. Corruption in Antigua ran deep. The man would have been smarter to sell, but perhaps he hadn’t realized the kind of men he was dealing with. Sir Ready had an impeccable reputation amongst his peers after all.

He and Mack exchanged another look. Neither of them would shed a tear over Ready’s demise, but neither did they wish to be distracted from their main goal.

Still, with the news he’d heard today… a woman could be most beneficial to his next move against Hopkins.

“My crew is full,” he said conversationally. If she truly was Bonny Blythe, she’d know what he was getting at. “There are no extra beds.”

Her chin lifted. “Then I supposed I shall have to share someone’s. It won’t be the first time.”

Jake chuckled. If she expected him to be put off by that, she was sorely mistaken. He preferred a woman with experience. Shrinking, horrified virgins and prudes didn’t entice him in the least.

“The crew still has to vote, but Mack and I will back you if we’re pleased. Let’s see what we’re getting. Strip.”

About Angel

Angel is a self-described bibliophile with a “kinky” bent who loves to write stories for the characters in her head. If she didn’t get them out, she’s pretty sure she’d go just a little crazy.

She is happily married, old enough to know better but still too young to care, and a big fan of happily-ever-afters, strong heroes and heroines, and sizzling chemistry.

She believes the world is a better place when there’s a little magic in it.Find Angel Online! Amazon → http://amzn.to/2DplX3X BookBub → http://bit.ly/2G68e3O Facebook → http://bit.ly/2Ds7c0e Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2rt4rdL Instagram →  http://bit.ly/2CkqiqZ Website → http://www.goldenangelromance.com

Release Blitz

A Husband for Santa

Title: A Husband for Santa

Author: Doreen Heron

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 23, 2019

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 20600

Genre: Holiday, LGBT, Folklore, magic, elves, Christmas, romance, fantasy

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Synopsis

Father Christmas knows his time delivering presents is coming to an end, and his son is more than ready to take his place at the helm of the sleigh. But family tradition stands in Turk’s way. He must find a Mrs. Claus to help share the burden. Unfortunately for tradition, he would rather a husband than a wife, and he doesn’t have time to meet anyone anyway. At the same time, Christmasologist and PhD candidate Symeon Golightly finds himself sad and alone over the holidays. Maybe a chance encounter and a Christmas wish will bring them together.

Excerpt

A Husband for Santa Doreen Heron © 2019 All Rights Reserved Chapter One “Prepare the landing bay to receive the sleigh. I repeat, prepare the landing bay to receive the sleigh. We expect the mission to be terminated in fifteen minutes. I repeat, the sleigh is fifteen minutes away.” The elves began to scramble, thousands of them getting to their feet and running from dormitories and lounges, through the glistening silver ice corridors and into the straw-lined landing bay. With nimble fingers, trained through years of constructing toys and preparing lists, they padded out stables with fresh straw and hay. They filled troughs with water and bowls with cereals and carrots. They swept the solid snow that had drifted in when the sleigh left and dried up the pools of water where the snow had warmed enough to melt. The elf children, too young to have any real responsibilities yet but old enough to graduate over the year and take on jobs for the following Christmas, took a break from observing and making notes and leapt to the gas lamps, lighting them to give the reindeer a cozy environment to come home to. “We expect the mission to be terminated in ten minutes. I repeat, the sleigh is ten minutes away.” Some of the older elves, particularly those celebrating their final Christmases, jumped as Turk’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker. They hadn’t enjoyed this particular “innovation” and much preferred when his father had been in training and instead came to each of them in turn to make the announcements personally. They were glad to be retiring to let the younger generations—who didn’t seem to be quite as attached to the traditional ways—take the reins. En masse, the elves retreated to the back of the room, where they surveyed their work. It looked nice. Cozy. They wanted nothing more than for the reindeer to be able to rest as soon as they arrived home, and for Father Christmas himself to feel the wave of relaxation hit him after finishing his deliveries for another year. The younger generations waited with bated breath as Inger—the oldest elf and Chieftain of their little tribe— surveyed the room. She pointed to a corner where one last errant cobweb was stubbornly clinging to a beam, and one of the children leapt to a broom and scurried to clear it away. “We expect the mission to be terminated in five minutes. I repeat, the sleigh is five minutes away.” Inger surveyed the room again and smiled as she was satisfied with what she saw. Her team had served her well, this final Christmas. She nodded to the corner, where an elf stood alone. He was easily two heads taller than the others, almost the size of one of the human children for whom they made presents and was well muscled. At Inger’s nod, he turned to the wheel at his side and began to crank it. A creaking sound boomed from the timber roof, as it began to part. At once, the elderly elves started their chant, an ancient elven magic to protect the stable against the elements. The snow itself obeyed them, falling to settle on the roof and avoiding the hole that was emerging. When it was wide enough for the sleigh to fit, the muscled elf stopped cranking. But the elderly continued to sing, keeping the heat generated by the gas lamps inside the room, and keeping out the snow that was falling so violently. “The sleigh has been sighted over the Crystalline Falls. I am on my way. I repeat, Turk is en route.” The elderly elves rankled at the announcement. Never before had a Santa-in-Training ever felt the need to oversee the landing. It had always been a privilege afforded to the elves as a reward for their hard work. But times were changing, and all new Father Christmases had to put their own mark on the role. Turk’s mark, it seemed to the elves, was micromanagement. But they continued to chant, regardless. One slip in their song and winter would get into the landing bay, undoing all their work and discomforting Father Christmas and his eight faithful deer who had fit an entire year of work into a single night. And not one of them was prepared to let that happen. The chanting could be heard across the palace. Turk emerged from the control room and stopped for a second to listen. The sound of the elves was the sound of his life. Of hours waiting for his father to come home from work and tell stories of all the children to whom he had delivered gifts. Of those he thought Turk might like to be friends with if it were ever possible to leave Polynya. Those who had grown older and who chose not to believe in him anymore, just because their parents had chosen not to believe. Those who ignored all the evidence right in front of them that proved he existed, and instead put blind faith in parents who had no evidence other than what their parents had told them, who relied only on what their parents had told them before. Those were the stories that saddened Turk the most, particularly when he entered his teenage years and the children who he had considered peers and friends stopped believing. They no longer wanted him to exist. It was a happy song and a sad song. A song of hope and joy and obligation and loss. And in that moment, as he finally allowed himself a break in his work to take stock, he felt the loss of his own father about to retire and the joy of his own life about to begin. He took a deep breath to steel himself. He couldn’t allow the elves to see his moment of weakness. Yes, they may have raised him and bathed him and changed his diapers, but as of the moment his father touched down in the sleigh, he was Father Christmas, and he had to lead them as a general leads his troops. He had a family legacy to live up to. He set his jaw, strong and stubbled, and took a moment to wipe the tears from his icy blue eyes. He pulled himself upright, towering over the elves at six feet and two inches and straightened his back. He’d read a book that said good posture commanded respected, and he needed his elves to respect him. The echo of his black leather jackboots clattered through the ice corridors as he strode to the landing bay. Another tip from his book. Walk with a heavy step and make your presence known before you arrive so people know you’re there. He wasn’t entirely sure if that one applied to working from his own home, but he figured the author knew what he was talking about and was quite determined to follow all the advice on offer. The torches lining the walls lit as he approached and extinguished as he walked by—lit long enough so that he could see, but not so long that they would begin to melt the walls. He moved deftly through the maze-like corridors and hallways, following the shortcut he’d figured out when he was a child and wanted to trick the elves into thinking his magic had developed. The truth was it would have been easier for him to teleport into the Landing Bay, but that didn’t quite make as much of an impact on the sound of his boots on the ice floors. And it was all about the impact. The elves scrambled out of the way as the two solid pine doors to the landing bay swung open, and Turk strode in. Quickly, they pulled themselves back together and stood to attention as he had taught them. The elderly elves objected to this, finding the position highly uncomfortable, and their hearts were glad they were required to carry on chanting. “At ease,” he commanded, and the elves moved fluidly into position. Even the children, keen to impress their future boss, joined in and tried hard not to giggle as Turk walked back and forth past them, looking them over. “You are well presented, in spite of tonight’s working conditions. I’m glad I’m finally getting through to you.” Inger chaffed at his words and closed her eyes to drown out what he was saying so she could focus on the ancient and magical words of her people. “The loading bay is acceptable,” he continued, striding around the bay and peering into each hay-filled stall. “I feel we will have much work to do over the coming year to modernize this space and maximize efficiency, but that will come on December 26. For now, this is acceptable.” A single snowflake fell through the opening in the roof as Inger let her guard slip. The Landing Bay had never been merely “acceptable” on her watch. Nor on her mother’s. Nor on her grandmother’s. She and the Matriarchs took their role seriously, and they worked hard to ensure that everything was done to perfection. Thankfully, the flake melted long before it was noticed by anyone other than her. She felt it fall as she felt her concentration lapse, and she certainly wouldn’t allow herself to do anything that he would merely consider to be “acceptable.” She was so looking forward to retirement. She felt for her daughter, who would need to take the reins and put up with Turk’s peculiar brand of nonsense. A roar of wind and snow occurred overhead, and the children became antsy in anticipation of what was about to happen. Turk looked up and nodded, happy the elements were being kept out of the landing bay and satisfied the roof was open enough to allow the sleigh in so it could land. He squinted and saw a very faint red light in the distance. “Showtime, ladies and gentlemen,” he said. The elves scrambled once again, lining up along the walls and the stall doors, leaving as much floor space as possible free for the sleigh to come in and land. While still chanting, the elderly elves walked to the far north wall, against which was set a raised platform. They walked up onto the platform and stood, choirlike, continuing their chant for the last few moments of their careers. They were ready. Turk joined them on the stage, running his hand through his dirty blond hair and smoothing down his wine-red suit. This was his moment. The moment he had spent his whole life preparing for. From the moment his father landed the sleigh, he would take charge, and the next Christmas would be his. His book had said to “make sure one presents oneself properly” from the very beginning of the job. He was ready. The red pinpoint of light grew bigger and bigger as the distant sound of sleigh bells began to chime. Turk took a deep breath and shifted his weight from foot to foot. He would never admit he was nervous and was almost positive the churning in his stomach was caused by the questionable reindeer meat in the curry which his mother had served the night before. But as he straightened his red tie for the fifth time that minute, the elves could see he was nervous. A couple of the children sniggered and pointed, but the others had sympathy for him. They knew his dad was a popular Father Christmas, and so he had a lot to live up to. And if some of them were honest with themselves, they weren’t sure he would. The sound of the sleigh bells grew louder and louder until finally the sleigh itself hovered overhead. The deer were well rehearsed by now and hovered in place until they were given the order to descend. It was a silent command, given by a Father Christmas who had spent two centuries working with each family line. He allowed for a delicate lowering of deer and sleigh alike until its wooden rails and thirty-two hooves set down on the landing bay’s tiled floor. At once, the elves scrambled into action and the bay became a hive of interaction. The elves turned the wheel, and the roof closed. The elves standing by the stall gates unlatched them, and then headed to their own deer, unhooking them and leading them over to their stall. First Rudolph, then Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, and so on until all nine were safely locked away and gratefully lapping their water. As they were working hurriedly, Inger and the other elderly elves made their way to the sleigh and helped Father Christmas. He was wobbly on his feet as he stood but was able to make his way down to the landing bay floor entirely unaided. “Turk,” he called, his voice booming through the Bay. “Please see to it that the sack is returned to its rightful spot.” “Of course, Papa,” Turk replied. He turned to an elf, the only elf currently unemployed, and gave the command. “You heard him. Take the sack to the—” “No, Turk.” His father stopped by the pine doors. “I asked you to please take the sack and put it away.” “But Papa. This is what the elves are—” “The elves are not your slaves, Turk. They work for the children, not for you. Now, please put the sack away and then meet me in the Lounge.” “The Debriefing Room,” Turk corrected his father under his breath as he made his way to the sleigh and pulled the large, empty, hessian sack from the back seat. It looked so different with the enchantments faded and the magic gone for another year. Now, it was loose and malleable and normal. He didn’t like it. Carefully, he laid it out on the floor, careful to ensure no elf trampled over it and folded it in half, and then half again, and then half again. There was no ceremony to the sack any more, and that made him a little sad. He very much enjoyed being a child and watching his father and Inger fold it carefully and then carry it solemnly to its room to be put away. He looked at Inger, who was observing him carefully, and was certain he saw a tear in her holly-green eye. It was a shame, he thought, that she so disliked him that she refused to even help him with the sack ceremony. “At least there will be new Elders next year,” he mused, picking up the sack and carefully making his way out of the landing bay along the twisting corridors toward the Toy Room. “Maybe the new Matriarch will want to do the ceremony with me.” The Toy Room doors slid open, and he walked amongst the empty shelves to the illuminated glass box where the sack resided during the off-season. Gently, he opened the box and placed the sack inside. As it hit the bottom of the glass, it began to shine in gentle hues of red and green and gold, its magic immediately beginning to replenish and rejuvenate. “I’ll see you next year,” Turk whispered to it before he turned around and tiptoed to the Debriefing Room. He saw no need to announce his presence to his own father.

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Doreen Heron is a writer who is finally living her dream in Cornwall, England. She is lucky to live in the county she loves, and to be using her writing to entertain her readers.

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Forbidden Bond

Title: Forbidden Bond

Series: They Bite, Book One

Author: Lee Colgin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 23, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 54100

Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, vampire, werewolf, paranormal, supernatural, slow burn, alpha, college, interspecies

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Synopsis

Vampires and werewolves are historical enemies. When the Peace Accord that imposes an uncomfortable armistice between the species is threatened, the entire supernatural community must respond. Young vampire heir Sinclair Davis successfully petitions the council for permission to attend a werewolf dominated university. Surrounded by a pack of unwelcoming wolves, Sinclair’s first meeting with their alpha doesn’t go well. The handsome wolf hates him. Alpha wolf Mitchel Edgehill is furious when the university sends a vampire to be housed among his pack, even if he is cute. But there’s nothing he can do since the paperwork has been signed. They’ll have to find a way to coexist. As tension rises within supernatural society and violence escalates between vampires and werewolves, an uneasy truce develops between Sinclair and Mitchel. The pair attend a peace conference in hopes of preventing war, but when a rogue group of humans attacks, Sinclair is kidnapped and held for ransom. Can the alpha wolf work with vampires to save Sinclair, or will war break out after all?

Excerpt

Forbidden Bond Lee Colgin © 2019 All Rights Reserved SINCLAIR Sinclair stood outside his father’s door, collecting his thoughts. This wouldn’t be easy. To get what he wanted, he’d have to remain calm and focus on the part of his plan most likely to benefit the Vampire Council, over which his father, Luther Davis, presided. Sinclair could do this; he just had to stand his ground. One last deep breath, a polite knock, and he stepped inside. “Hello, Dad.” “Sinclair.” His father welcomed him with a nod. Seated behind a large desk cluttered with papers, he looked busy as usual. Having been Turned and preserved at the young age of twenty-two, the fair-haired, sharp-featured vampire could be mistaken for Sinclair’s younger brother, not his father. Sinclair was twenty-six, but only twenty-six. His father had centuries on him, not that you could tell by looking. “What brings you by this evening?” Okay, here it goes. You can do this. “Dad, I’ve decided to attend Borson University for my PhD this semester,” he said in a rush. Slow down, Sinclair. “I know you weren’t expecting this, but Borson is the best school for Historical Supernatural Studies. I was accepted last fall and I’ve already registered. No other vampire in the council has this degree; I would be the first.” Sinclair prepared to continue, but his father spoke first. “Son, that’s a werewolf school.” His golden brows drew together. “It’s too dangerous. What’s the degree even worth, coming from Borson?” His stern voice matched his expression. “I understand your concern, but it’s safer than you realize. I’ll be part of an exchange program. It’ll be good for the council to have a delegate at Borson. It’s a quality academy with a fine reputation, werewolves notwithstanding.” Sinclair talked to fast when he felt nervous. Luther stood. At nearly six feet, he stood taller than his son by several inches. “The answer is no, Sinclair.” His father approached. “You’ll attend Moore as planned, and I do not appreciate you addressing this at the last minute either. Did you think that by waiting until now, you’d stand a better chance?” “Um, yes, actually,” Sinclair responded, a stubborn edge to his voice. “Dad, I’m an adult; I don’t need your permission. I need the council’s permission, and I think they’ll grant it. I told you first as a courtesy, the petition has already been submitted, so the discussion will happen at tonight’s meeting. Moore doesn’t offer the courses I require, and the council doesn’t need another finance major; it needs a historian.” His point made, some of the tension drained away. With an irritated sigh, his father’s gaze drifted to the window. “You’d do this to your mother? You know she will worry. At least accept the transition first, so you won’t be vulnerable. Let us Turn you. You’ve delayed too long. There are no other Living vampires your age.” Their eyes met. Sinclair felt both guilty and defensive. Guilty because he didn’t want to worry his mother. Defensive because he wasn’t ready to die for immortality. He liked his living, breathing body, eating food, and little things like not burning to ash in the sunlight. He’d hold on to it as long as he could, thank you very much. Being a Living vampire had its advantages, even if his father was too ancient to grasp them. Sinclair ignored the tired issue. “I’ll keep in close touch with Mom, I promise. I won’t let her worry. Look, Dad, this is a rare opportunity. Vampires don’t get accepted to Borson. Think of how much I’ll learn. It would be impossible without the exchange program. Only four students are selected. It’s an honor.” When his dad didn’t respond, he continued, “I have to go. I’ve already accepted. There’s no alternate to take my place, and it would be rude to refuse now.” “So you have me in a corner then, don’t you?” His dad’s gaze settled on him. Sinclair fought not to flinch. His father was not a harsh man, but everyone had their limits, and the head of the Vampire Council didn’t tolerate werewolves lightly. “Why bother to ask at all?” “I was hoping you’d come to a different conclusion. I thought maybe you’d be proud.” Sinclair’s gaze dropped to his feet. His dad came closer and took Sinclair by the shoulders, giving him a small shake. “You frustrating boy, of course I’m proud, but this is an unnecessary risk. I wish you’d reconsider.” “I’m going to go, and it’s going to be fine. I promise.” Sinclair accepted the cool embrace with relief. “We’ll see what the council has to say,” his dad conceded and ruffled his hair. Some hours later, the Vampire Council voted unanimously to let Sinclair attend Borson. Sinclair knew that, in the end, this meant even his father approved. Ultimately, a Doctor of Philosophy in Historical Supernatural Studies would be beneficial to the species. In a society full of forward thinkers and finance managers, Sinclair alone would be studying the past. He’d learn what had brought them to war, what mistakes had been made, and he’d prevent them from repeating those blunders. There were supernaturals, even now, whispering the beginnings of another war. Sinclair’s work among the werewolves would be crucial.

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Meet the Author

Lee Colgin has loved vampires since she read Dracula on a hot sunny beach at 13 years old. She lives in North Carolina with lots of dogs and her husband. No, he’s not a vampire, but she loves him anyway. Lee likes to workout so she can eat the maximum amount of cookies with her pizza. Ask her how much she can bench press. If you enjoyed this book, pick up Lee’s debut novel Slay My Love to find out what happens when you’re attracted to the very person who want to kill you an enemies to lovers 56,000k novel available now.

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