Book Blitz

Amber Waves of Grace


Contemporary Romance
Date Published: February 2020
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

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After her father’s accident, Corrie Lancaster moves back to the family farm just in time to help with the harvest. With a bumper crop of wheat waiting, the farm’s only hired hand quits, leaving Corrie with no choice but to accept the help of her old boyfriend’s older brother, Aaron Tuttle. It seems like the perfect plan until Corrie realizes ex-flame Luke isn’t over her. But even with Luke’s apologies and attempts to rekindle their romance, Corrie can’t forget his past betrayal.

Between harvesting, keeping tabs on her younger siblings, and watching her parents’ marriage crumble, Corrie leans on Aaron for emotional support. Wading through jealousy was never on Corrie’s to-do list, but as she navigates the choppy waters, she finds herself falling for Aaron’s good looks and charming wit.

Just when Corrie thinks she has everything under control, a stranger seeking shelter comes to the farm, and an old nemesis returns for revenge. As destructive forces align against her, Corrie must decide which man’s love will bring her back to life and restore her faith in herself, her family, and her purpose.




Excerpt

Perchedhigh in her Peterbilt semitruck, Corrie Lancaster winced as the leather seat sucked at her tanned arms. She swiped at the sweat dripping down her nose. Didn’t matter. She loved harvest time. Consistent and efficient. Just what she liked.

Enclosed in the cab cocoon, she waited out the cloud of dust and chaff spewed out by the back end of the combine as it inched across the wheat field. She counted down the seconds until the last of the dust storm passed, then she opened the door and hopped down from the sweltering cab. Even a hot day felt like a fresh breeze after being trapped like that. Filling her nostrils with the smell of wheat and dirt, she shuffled through the stubble and knelt. With deft fingers, she moved aside the chaff and scoured the ground for wheat kernels.

Seeing only two, she exhaled. The old girl kept chugging along. If the 9600 John Deere combine could keep doing that for the next two thousand acres, they’d be set. With the years of drought and bad grain prices, the piggy bank had squealed its last a long time ago. A good harvest was the only hope for reviving it.

Corrie straightened, brushed her hands on her jeans, and readjusted her dark aviators as her gaze darted over the field she’d planted and cared for. Ambling to the semi to wait for the next load, she groaned when a familiar rusty-orange Ford F-350 tore into the field, wheels spitting up chaff in their wake. George, her hired man, slammed the door, the pickup shuddering with the force.

“Here we go again,” she mumbled, posting herself next to her semi, careful not to touch the black paint molten in the sun’s heat, and waited for the large oaf to close the distance. “George, what’s the rush?”

His tongue darted out and licked his chapped and peeling lips. His licentious gaze raked her while still communicating disdain. Quite a trick for someone with mush for brains. She hugged her arms around her chest.

“The rush?” George spat. “Rush is I quit.”

Her arms fell to her sides. “What?”

“You heard me.”

Corrie balled her hands into fists and kept herself from planting them in George’s overfed face. “You can’t quit.”

“I ain’t about to work for no woman for minimum wage. Especially a woman like you.”

Bright? Diligent? Caring and responsible? Words he probably didn’t know.

She narrowed her eyes. “Fine. Quit.”

“Or you could do what any reasonable woman would do. Sell the farm. To me.”

Corrie snapped her mouth shut on a nasty swear word. “When pigs fly.” She clambered up the semi steps and slammed the door.

Hot humid air and her heavy breathing filled the cab as George sped from the field, truck tires making a permanent rut. Corrie pawed at the window knob until the coolest breeze a ninety-five-degree day could muster blew through. Laying her head back against the headrest, she closed her eyes and, for the first time, longed to be back in Sioux Falls and ached for a juicy story to unfold to the readers of the Argus Leader. Impossible of course. Her family needed her.

“Corrie?”

She jumped in the seat and banged her knees on the steering wheel. She couldn’t remember praying for patience, but she made a mental note to remind God she didn’t need any more for a while.

“Nathan! You scared the living daylights out of me.” She quirked an eyebrow. His fifteen-year-old face resembled a Cheshire cat’s. “Did you scare me on purpose?”

“No.” Tinges of crimson crawled up his neck. “I swear on my ability to drive, I didn’t mean to.” His blue eyes radiated innocence, but he’d made her look like a fool before.

“If I even get a hint, a breath of a hint, that you did it on purpose, I’ll take Old Bertie away for two days.”

“How am I supposed to practice driving if you take the truck away?”

“You shouldn’t have sworn by it, then, should you?” She reached out and ruffled Nathan’s hair. Ignoring his scowl, she asked, “Why are you here, anyway? I thought you had a grain bin to clean.”

“The auger’s broken, and I couldn’t get ahold of George to fix it. I thought he’d be here with you.”

“George quit.” And all she wanted to do was find ways to exact revenge upon him. Ex-lax in his morning coffee? Too messy. A new mouse infestation in his pickup? Too mousy. “Losing” his last paycheck—

 “Corrie? Are you there?” Nathan waved a hand in front of her face.

“What?”

“What do you want me to do?”

Go find the loser and run him over. No. That wouldn’t help. He would be only slightly less useful dead. “I’ll figure something out. Did you finish the rest of your chores?”

“Yeah. I was just about to finish cleaning out the grain bin when the stupid auger broke. Can I still go to the lake with my friends?”

His large boots thumped on the running board. Just this morning, he’d complained they were getting tight on him.

“Yeah, you can go.” Before he could hop down, she grabbed his arm. “Double-check with Mom and make sure you’re home by five to relieve Nikki. She’s been in that combine since eight.”

He beamed at her and walked away with a lanky stride caused by a six-foot frame and an arm span to match.

She hollered, “Why didn’t you just call over the radio?”

“Broken,” he yelled over his shoulder before he slammed the door to the old red manual pickup he’d learned to drive.

Rage exploded from deep inside. With a scream, Corrie scrunched up an empty Pepsi can, and pretending it was George’s head, she chucked it out of the truck cab. For all his horrible qualities, George had worked hard. And he didn’t earn minimum wage. He earned a dollar an hour more.

An approaching tractor’s purr drew her attention. Her cousin Joey bounced up and down as the John Deere inched closer. He lined the grain cart up to the semi and began dumping golden wheat kernels into the trailer. After several minutes, he pulled away and headed down the rough field to await another combine hopper.

She started the truck and drummed her fingers while it aired up. When the red light signified the truck was ready, she shifted into first, exited the field, and began the twenty-mile drive into Sandy. Metallica screamed through the truck’s speakers, and she bobbed her head to the vicious beat.

They would have to hire another person. A person crazy enough to work for a dollar an hour more than minimum wage.

* * * *

A full moon illuminated the well-kept Lancaster farmyard as Corrie pulled into the driveway. She hauled herself out of the pickup, every muscle in her body threatening mutiny.

“Well, Old Bertie, you did well today. I hope Nathan’s treating you right.” Giving a tap to the pickup’s hood, she chuckled. “I’ll have to remind him you’re three hundred thousand miles old.”

Trusting that Nathan had fed the dog, she rattled the doorknob on the barn to check the lock and trudged to the large two-story colonial-style farmhouse. Its brick façade with white windows and a red front door welcomed her home. She scratched the panicked idea of going back to Sioux Falls. As much as she enjoyed the city, she needed the country and its peaceful quiet and its meandering back roads.

She inhaled the cool summer air bursting with the scent of her mother’s pansies planted snugly in terra-cotta pots. She sank into a white wicker rocking chair. A plane’s red lights blinked in the starlit night, and a shooting star soared into the black abyss.

Nearer, farm equipment not being used in the field hunkered down in the tree belt, far past the reach of the single farm light on the barn roof. Most of it would have to wait until spring to be brought out and put to use. Corrie shook her head. Although perhaps idiotic and slightly neurotic, she couldn’t help feeling as if the planting equipment stewed in jealousy and dejection for most of the year. Maybe her parents had read her too many Corey Combine books. Apparently, they had thought she would be a boy and had chosen the name before she drew her first breath. Surprised but not beaten, her parents had ditched the spelling and kept the name. With a grunt, she heaved herself out of the rocking chair and tiptoed into the dark house. Nikki, Nathan, and her mother would have gone to bed hours ago.

One person, however, would still be up. After kicking off her shoes, Corrie walked into the living room. The fresh scent of furniture polish spoke of her mother’s Friday cleaning. The television glow illuminated vacuum tracks in the plush white carpeting. A solitary figure sat in a brown leather recliner.

“Hey, Dad.” She stooped and kissed the top of his head, noticing for the first time the lines and wrinkles edging his eyes, signs of aging he’d always hidden.

Jake responded with a slurred variation of her name and a wobbling smile. She muted the game show. He’d never liked game shows, and now the Game Show Network was the only thing on when he was in the house. The no-nonsense man she’d known all her life had died when a semitrailer slammed into his truck one icy December evening.

As she did every night, she sat by his slippered feet and told him about her day. The damage hadn’t touched the part of his brain that loved and lived off farming. Every day convinced her even more that his love of the land was nurtured not in his head but in his heart. Nothing could kill that.

“George quit today.” Corrie saved the worst news for last. Her father’s eyes met hers and reflected the anger he couldn’t formulate with words. Then a sliver of worry crept around the anger in his eyes. Wanting to reel the words back in and swallow them, she sighed. “Don’t worry, Dad. I’ll take care of it. I’ll find someone to replace George.”

The worry and anger didn’t leave his eyes. With a sigh, she got off the floor and laid her hands on his once broad shoulders. “Don’t stay up too late. Morning comes early on the Lancaster farm.” She pressed a kiss to his forehead and left him watching Deal or No Deal. He would be up for hours.

* * * *

Corriegroaned into her pillow and hid from the protruding fingers of sunlight soaking through her window shades. If only she could cover her head with her comforter and fall back into her wonderful dream about Middle Earth and hobbits, but she couldn’t afford the luxury. Not with a truck full of grain to take to the elevator. Not if she wanted to beat the line so she could get back and service the combine. Nikki could take care of the other morning chores, but the combine was Corrie’s baby. Nobody greased it except her.

Bacon and eggs sizzled as she entered the bright kitchen. The west wall, full of floor-to-ceiling windows, faced her mother’s garden. As a child, Corrie had loathed weeding and watering the garden. Now, a day in the garden would be a nice reprieve.

“Good morning, dear.” Corrie’s mother, Cynthia, greeted her with a smile.

“Good morning.” Corrie took the proffered tongs and flipped the bacon, careful to avoid the splattering grease. “How’s Dad this morning?”

“Fine.” Cynthia no longer cried when she talked about her husband. A steely reserve now crept into her eyes and flared whenever Jake was mentioned.

Corrie took the hint to shut up. After transferring the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, she set the table. She watched closely as Cynthia stirred the scrambled eggs with a little more force than necessary. Corrie stopped herself from chewing on her bottom lip, a. A bad habit carried over from toddlerhood. She wanted to ask her mom about her dad, needed advice about the future of the farm, of them, but all was cut short when a herd of stampeding feet echoed down the stairs.

“You two make enough noise to scare the dead,” Corrie scolded as Nikki and Nathan scooted around the corner.

“We’re just hungry. That’s all.” Nathan nipped a piece of bacon. “Where’s Dad?”

Before Corrie could intercept the question, Cynthia spun around with a spatula covered in scrambled eggs and whipped the air with it. “Eat. Now.”

Nathan ducked his head. “Sorry. I just wanted…” Corrie’s hand squeezed his shoulder, stopping his comment.

Cynthia threw the spatula into the pan of eggs, tossed a potholder on the table, and slapped the pan down, egg shrapnel exploding over the table. She left the kitchen, and when the master bedroom door slammed shut, Nikki and Nathan jumped in their seats.

Several minutes of awkward silence, thicker than bacon grease, permeated the kitchen. The cheery yellow of the walls and crystal-clear glass of the white cupboard doors did nothing to stop the shadow of doubt lurking in every corner. No one mentioned the unspeakable but not improbable event they most feared.

Nikki exhaled. “Do you think they will… you know… get a divorce?”

Corrie shushed her and grabbed the salt and pepper. She no longer had an appetite, but it would be a while before a meal came her way. Forcing herself to swallow, she glanced at Nathan as he scraped at his full plate. “You need to eat, Nathan.”

“I’m not hungry.” He scooted back his chair and stalked out of the house. Nathan ran across the farmyard and into the barn, where he would most likely find solace in the soft fur of his miniature Australian shepherd, Bacon.

After the barn door slammed, Nikki turned back to her food. “So, do you think Mom will want a divorce?”

Corrie winced at the pain radiating from her seventeen-year-old sister’s eyes, the same glacier blue of their father’s. Nikki twirled her curly blond hair around her index finger, warming Corrie’s heart for a moment with memories of holding her baby sister, mesmerized by the tiny index finger creating equally tiny curls. Her chest swelled as she surveyed her sister, a combination of dirt and the most delicate of wildflowers struggling to soak in the last raindrops.

“I don’t know. I really don’t.” Corrie finished her orange juice. “I can’t imagine what Mom is going through right now. I don’t think I want to.” She started cleaning up. “We need to keep praying.”

“It’s not working.” Nikki swirled the rest of her scrambled eggs around on her plate.

Corrie abandoned her task of clearing off the table and sank beside her sister. “I know things are hard right now. Trust me, I feel the weight of all this. Sometimes, we can’t see where God wants us to go. And sometimes, instead of smoothing the mountain for us, he gives us the tools to climb that mountain, and only from there can we see the beauty and majesty of his plan.”

Nikki laid her head on Corrie’s shoulder. “I’ll keep trying. I’m just really tired.”

“Me too.” Corrie pressed a kiss to Nikki’s hair. “Tomorrow is Sunday. We can rest then. Until then, we’ve got work to do. I’ll take the truck into the elevator and meet you at the field later.” She headed for the door. “Don’t forget to pack a lunch. I don’t want to have to go to the café again.”

Nikki rolled her eyes. “One time and I’m branded for life.”

“Forget again, and I’ll brand ‘lunch’ on your forehead,” Corrie teased. She laughed at Nikki’s pouty face and rushed across the yard.

Nathan was busy gassing up Old Bertie and making sure the fuel tank on the back of it was full of diesel. Corrie slipped into the passenger side and waited until he finished turning off the tank.

He ambled over to the passenger door, opened it, and blinked in surprise. “You’re going to let me drive?”

She chuckled. “Don’t expect this every day.”

He sprinted around the front of the pickup, hopped in, and started the old girl up. Stomping on the clutch, he slammed the stick into low gear then let off the clutch while easing the gas pedal down. Old Bertie responded with a grunt and spasm but obeyed with jerking movements.

“Okay. Now let the clutch fully out. Good. Give her a little gas. You’re choking her. Okay. Now ease in the clutch again and shift to first.”

He complied, and soon the pickup was soaring down the road toward the field. She glanced at his profile and wondered when he’d grown up on her. Gone was the scrawny boy who cried every time he came across a dead bird or a hurt farm cat.

“Nathan?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you okay? You know, with what’s been going on and stuff?” Good grief. As a reporter, I should be able to ask a better question.But this wasn’t some stranger or some big news-breaking story. This was her brother, and his soft heart was breaking.

His pronounced Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. “I guess.”

“It’s just this morning you seemed… I don’t know…” The countryside whizzed by in a blur of color.

“I just miss Dad. I want him to be him again. You know?”

She nodded and bit the inside of her cheek to keep her tears in check. “Yeah. I do. But Dad will always be your dad. You have to know that. He still loves you, loves us, but he can’t show it like he used to. You have to have faith and believe he will get better. You never know. He might play football with you again or take you fishing.”

Nathan shrugged. “Sure. Maybe.”

In other words, conversation over. From the time he’d learned to walk, Nathan had been Dad’s sidekick. Now Jake hardly noticed his son.

Nathan brought the pickup to a jerking halt in the field, and she stepped out. “I’ve got to take this truckload in.” She poked her head through the open passenger window. “We’ll be okay.” Before he could reply, she jumped in the semi, started it, and after it aired up, drove into town.

After twenty miles of rolling cropland and pasture, she crested the hill into Sandy, South Dakota, a small town nestled against the Sandy River. At this time of year, it was more of a creek, but a river it would always be to the residents who’d grown up around its banks. She downshifted in the truck’s descent. Judging from the myriad trucks and cars, Corrie guessed Mabel must have cheese buttons as the café special. Corrie’s stomach rumbled. She could almost taste the cheese-and-onion mixture tucked deliciously in dough and cooked in cream.

The knife of memory slid and cut its way into her mind as she passed the VFW dance hall where she’d won her first dancing competition. Her father had been her dance partner for the waltz.

She blinked her stinging eyes. Amazing how one phone call could change a life forever. Like a tornado, it sucked her up, spun her around, and spit her out. If only he’d stayed home that snowy night nine months ago. He would be the one harvesting. He would be the one shouldering the farm’s responsibility.

Coming to the end of town, she turned right at the only stop sign on Main, pulled up behind a mile-long line of trucks, and inched up off the highway and onto the elevator’s graveled property.

“Good morning, Corrie.”

She beamed at the old man who hopped on the truck’s running board and stuck his head in her truck cab. “Good morning, Baxter.”

A proud working octogenarian, Baxter tipped his stained and dusty DeKalb seed cap. Upon close inspection, his crinkly face mirrored his life—full of happiness with a dash of adventure and a few sprinkles of sadness and loss. She loved to hear his stories even though she knew most of them by heart.

“You’re looking good.” He patted her arm with a veiny, rough hand.

Without a doubt, her wrinkle-free skin had grown new fissures over the past nine months, and baggy, dark circles sat like bloated toads under her eyes. No matter how many promises different shampoo brands boasted, her hair had lost its luster and hung limp in a ponytail every day. “You’re much too kind. But thank you. It’s nice to hear.”

“How are things holding up on the Lancaster farm, dearie?”

“Not so well.” She could never pretend with the old man. He was far too wise and knew far too much. “George quit yesterday.”

Baxter took off his cap and slapped it against his thigh. Dust flew. “That good for nothing…” He slammed his hat on his bald head. “That rat! Sorry to hear it, Corrie. If you need anything, please let me know.” He peered at her with wizened eyes. “I mean it, young lady. All you have to do is ask.” Someone inside the main building called for Baxter. With an apologetic pat on her head, he hopped off and ran to the weigh house.

“Spry old man,” she muttered as she shifted the truck from neutral into first gear for her turn on the scales. The red light turned green, and she eased onto the scales. She waited until the mechanical arm swung over from the weigh house and sucked grain into its proboscis and into the building. The red light flickered green, and she drove through the obstacle course of trucks and grain bins to the correct dumping site. She watched in her side mirror as elevator employees swarmed the truck’s hoppers like worker bees. Eventually, they signaled her to leave, and she waited in line again. Several smaller farm trucks waited ahead of her to go back on the scale. Ten minutes later, she stopped the truck on the scale until Baxter came out with her ticket telling her the bushels and moisture of the load she’d just dumped.

“Here you go, little miss. See you again soon for the same song and dance.”

Corrie laughed. “Save me a spot.” She glanced at her ticket before veering onto the highway. After doing some quick math, she gave a whoop. Eighty bushels an acre. “Praise the Lord!” That number was exactly what she needed to hear.

All day, she trucked back and forth between the quarter of land they were combining and the elevator. With all that time to think, she couldn’t figure out where she would get the extra help she needed. At eighty bushels an acre of wheat, she really needed extra help.


About the Author


Jessica Berg, a child of the Dakotas and the prairie, grew up amongst hard-working men and women and learned at an early age to “put some effort into it.” Following that wise adage, she has put effort into teaching high school English for over a decade, being a mother to four children (she finds herself surprised at this number too), basking in the love of her husband of more than fifteen years and losing herself in the imaginary worlds she creates.


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FLAWLESS FOUNDATION – 425 Madison


Cover Reveal for Flawless Foundations
by Lauren Helms

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We are super excited to share the cover for FLAWLESS FOUNDATIONS by Lauren Helms, the next book in the second season of 425 Madison Avenue. Check out this awesome cover for this must-read best friend’s sibling romance!


Levi
It’s no secret I was born from money. And I’m destined to take over the family business, King Cosmetics when my father retires.

At least that was the plan. 

Until my father decided to impose some stupid rule about being married before I take the reigns. Everything I’ve worked for hangs in the balance and the future of the company is in jeopardy without a King behind the controls.  

I never considered Becca part of the plan for taking over, but when one kiss leads to so much more, I can’t help but wonder if she’s the answer to my problem.

Becca
There are two things I love – my beauty blog and Levi King. 
Coming from the same social circle has given me ample opportunity to crush on the next generation of King Cosmetics, but he made it clear a long time ago that I would never be anything more than “like family” to him.

Feeling the need for some serious changes in my life, I start shaking things up. 

It wasn’t part of my plan to kiss Levi, but one kiss could never be enough. When that kiss turns into a relationship and I find out that Levi’s been keeping a secret, I begin to question if our love affair was too good to be true.

Looks like we’re about to find out if we can truly build flawless foundations for the rest of our lives. After all 425 Madison is the perfect place to fall in love.

Add to Goodreads


About Lauren 

Lauren Helms has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. Lauren decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and joined NaNoWrimo and a month later, she had her first draft. 

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Anywhere Forever by Fiona Keane

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Sophia… We thought running would save us, but we never expected the safest place to be where it all began. We’ll never be who we were when we left there, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be than together.

Jameson… We tried to outrun death, to escape the past, but they haunted us at every turn. I promised Sophia forever, and I’ll do anything to give it to her, no matter where we are, or who we become.

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MEET FIONA KEANE:
Fueled by coffee and rainy days, shelves of books consuming her home in the Pacific Northwest, and a vivid imagination, Fiona writes about love because she believes the world needs more of it. She could spend eternity lost in a story, taken into someone’s thoughts while she is left lingering there long after the pages have turned. Fiona works to meld themes in the current world and spin them into stories of longing, determination, and hope. Her characters are relatable and relevant, as they battle their own fictional version of existence.
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The Ruthless Knight by Jeana E. Mann

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She stole my wallet, my car, and my favorite oil painting. I never expected her to steal my heart.

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Jeana is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author from Indiana. She gave up a career in the corporate world to write about sexy billionaires and alpha bad boys. With over twenty books and several awards beneath her belt, she’s never regretted her choice to live out her dream. She’s a free spirit, a wanderer at heart, and loves animals with a passion. When she’s not tripping over random objects, you’ll find her walking in the sunshine with her rambunctious dogs and dreaming about true love.

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Uncivilized










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Release Blitz

Ruthless Sentinel by Lynn Burke

Title: Ruthless Sentinel
Series: Vicious Vipers 2
Author: Lynn Burke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: February 20, 2020 Cover Design: Designs by L~ Add to Bookbub
Working security for my MC brother, I’m tasked with protecting a crooked judge who targets his willful daughter with emotional abuse.
She’s beautiful. She’s confident and has a backbone of steel, but I recognize the pain in her eyes.
She distracts me from my job, and echoes of Pop’s taunts of my being a failure fester in my head.
But I will prove him wrong.
I will withstand our connection, the relentless pull between us.
I will protect her family—her—from the unknown enemy, even if it costs me my soul.
*This is the second book in the Vicious Vipers MC series and may be unsuitable for someone under 18 years of age. HEA guaranteed, however, secondary characters make appearances in other’s stories. Reading in order is recommended.
A blast of cold air hit my face, but my breath caught for an entirely different reason as subtle lilac and vanilla scents swirled around me.
Giada Burtonelli stood on the granite stoop, coat gaping open to reveal a jade-colored dress that wrapped around her body, cradling the type of tits I wanted to fuck. Tiny, tucked waist, perfect for the span of my hands. The skirt’s center split to display the top of her thighs, inches from the apex of where I bet heaven lay in wait—much too fucking short. Toned legs, tanned and smooth, led to spiked heels porn stars wore while getting their asses fucked.
My dick jolted, and I clenched my jaw against the combustion of lust that roared to life in my balls. Lifting my focus off her hot as fuck body to her face didn’t help matters. Eyes, green as spring grass, sharp as a damn Samurai sword, pierced through me with the type of instantaneous connection that robbed a man of his identity. Her full lips parted on a quick intake of air as her focus moved upward over my body to meet my gaze.
I’d seen pictures. Knew she’d be beautiful, but I didn’t expect my breath to be ripped from my lungs or the hairs on my body to stand at attention because of the energy crackling between us.
“You’re late!” Burtonelli barked from behind me.
Giada’s eyes hardened as she lifted her pointed chin, her ruby red lips thinning into a line.
I moved back, fucking tongue-tied.
“Hello to you, too, Father.” Low and husky, her voice thickened my dick even more.
“Could you make an effort to be on time just once, Giada?” Burtonelli moved toward her, his scowl raking down over her. “What the hell are you wearing?”
“Oscar,” she snipped her reply, her eyes flashing.
“You look like a whore. Fitting, I suppose, since you can’t seem to keep your legs closed to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who shows interest in you.”
I blinked, but her façade didn’t crack. Not the first time she’d heard such a thing, I expected as my fists clenched, but not my monkey…
Her father stalked past her. “I specifically said to be on time,” he continued. “You know how important this night is.” Stomping down the granite stairs toward the waiting limo in the circular drive, he muttered about people contributing to his campaign and what they might think of his daughter’s inappropriate attire—and the fact it was too late for her to change.
“You look lovely, dear,” Giada’s mother said, stepping forward, hands outstretched.
Kiss, kiss—fake as hell, before Mrs. Burtonelli hurried after her husband as though he tugged her along with a leash.
Marisa came next to greet her sister, her face pained as though empathetic toward Giada being her father’s verbal punching bag, but it was Cristian’s infectious grin and grabby hands to hug her that brought a smile to Giada’s face.
And Christ, what a smile. Dimple, flashing white teeth, eyes alight with enough joy to slam an uppercut into my gut, stealing my breath again.
I stared as they hugged, jealousy slithering in like a damn snake to wrap coils around my stomach and squeeze. Possessiveness wasn’t something I’d felt before, but fuck if I didn’t recognize its gut-twisting presence—even if it was her brother putting his hands on her.
Stretching my neck side to side, I tore my attention off the two siblings whispering to one another and glanced at Greed who watched me with a smirk on his face.
I scowled and spun to follow Marisa outside. I should have been the first into the night even though Burtonelli’s personal guards already awaited us in the circular drive out front, but everything about Giada distracted me.
My scowl deepened. Focus.
The plan had been for Greed to ride in the limo with the family while I took shotgun in the lead car, but I decided on a change while scanning their gated property in the darkening sky.
Three Burtonelli guards, including their driver and head of security who’d been placed beneath my command for the duration of the contract, stayed positioned where I’d commanded along the drive. All of us were connected by top of the line ear pieces provided by Tellier Security.
The driver stood by the car’s back door as Mrs. Burtonelli slid inside, the other two packing with heads swiveling where they waited by the cars boxing the limo in.
Hairs on my neck stirred, but without any sense of impending danger.
Giada.
I could feel her focus on my back like a soft caress, a whisper of fingertips along my spine, but I didn’t turn, even after the mansion’s front door slammed shut.
Fighting off shivers and my body’s distraction from my job, I strode toward the limo, waving the driver away. Cristian moved into my periphery as I pulled up by the opened door, and he slid in behind his oldest sister.
I feigned disinterest as Giada neared in a cloud of sweet, subtle lilac laced with vanilla.
My hand moved on its own, offering her assistance even though I continued to scan the property, senses beyond alert, my body strung fucking tight as hell.
Her smooth fingers danced across mine, and I gripped tight in sudden need to yank her close. Soothe the hurt her father had inflicted that she’d tried to hide behind a mask of who-gives-a-shit stubbornness.
I turned my focus on her face—she stared up at me, her eyes wide and lips parted. Currents raced through our clasped fingers, straight to my dick.
“Giada!” Her father’s annoyed call from inside the limo jerked her attention off me, and I grit my teeth while she bent down to get into the limo and join her family.
I released my hold on her hand and fought the need to watch her ass as she climbed into the limo. Greed approached, his inquisitive stare on my face.
“I’m riding with them,” I told him, my tone not welcoming argument or question.
© Lynn Burke 2020
Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.
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Fractured Fairy Tales Anthology

FRACTURED FAIRY TALES:
A SASS ANTHOLOGY
Designer: Wicked by Designs
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation
Once upon a time…Happily ever after…all of the fairytales we know and love begin and end the same, but what if they were altered? Fractured? Would the magic still happen? Does that happy ending still come at the stroke of midnight or with a kiss?

Join this group of SaSSy authors as they take you on a journey, weaving their own magic and putting a spin on the fairytales we all know and love to support Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Amy Marie
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Release Blitz

UNHOLY

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Unholy (Witchbane #5)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Release Date: February 8, 2020

Genre/s: Urban fantasy MM paranormal romance

Trope/s: monster hunting, paranormal, supernatural, magic, ghosts, curses, cursed lovers, hurt/comfort, established couple

Themes: loyalty, brotherhood, found family, keeping promises, trust, commitment

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 66 000 words/ 224 pages

It can be read as a standalone, but is book #5 of the Witchbane series.

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Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out.

Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination?

  Blurb A cycle of ritual murders. A coven of dark warlocks, drawing their immortality from the magic of their dead master. Two men sworn to stop the deaths, destroy the warlocks and avenge the victims. Except this time, the killer is hunting the hunters. Seth Tanner swore vengeance on the dark witches who killed his brother, Jesse. He rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is still new, tested at every turn by danger and magic. Seth and Evan head to Charleston to stop the next warlock and save his intended victim. But this time, they’re too late. The warlock has already powered up, and he’s determined to destroy the two hunters one way or another. A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out. Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination? Unholy is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with plenty of supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, hot sex, found family, dark magic and paranormal thrills. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.     Excerpt From Chapter 1

“I’m kind of surprised that the witch-disciple’s gotten away with things as long as he has, if Simon’s right about his cousin being some kind of badass supernatural vigilante,” Seth mused after they had driven several miles. “I would have thought she and her friends would have cleaned house.”

“Like you said, Charleston’s a haunted hotspot,” Evan replied. “That might take a while to clear out all the bad actors.”

“I hope we’re right about being ahead of the curve this time,” Seth said. “We know the witch-disciple is calling himself Michael Longstreet. We know he’s going after Blake Miller. And if Simon’s right about Cassidy and her friends, maybe we can take Longstreet down without nearly getting killed ourselves.”

“Working with Travis and Brent in Pittsburgh certainly helped,” Evan replied. “And I’m not sure what we would have done without Milo and Toby in Boone. Which makes it all the more amazing that you took out the first one all by yourself.”

“Both of us almost died.”

“But we didn’t.” Although Evan had to admit, silently, that it had been a near thing.

“We still don’t know where Longstreet’s anchor is, or what he uses for an amulet,” Seth pointed out.

“We’ll find them,” Evan replied confidently.

Evan’s phone rang, and a glance told him it was Simon Kincaide. “Hey, Simon. What’s up?”

“Where are you? Is Seth with you?” Simon’s voice had an urgent edge to it. That sobered Evan immediately.

“We’re in the truck, driving to Charleston. Is there a problem?”

“I had a vision. A warning.” Simon’s abilities as a psychic medium were the real deal. “You and Seth are both in danger.”

“Not to be a smartass, but we kinda knew that,” Seth replied. “Seeing as how we’re going after another witch.”

“I think it’s more immediate. I saw broken glass and blood…a flash of something pink…and something about a UFO.”

Evan and Seth exchanged a look. “A…UFO?” Evan echoed.

“Alien hitmen?” Seth sounded incredulous.

“I know how it sounds. I wish visions were more complete. But this was strong enough that it almost knocked me off my feet. That usually means whatever I saw is going to happen soon.”

Evan opened his mouth to say something, just as Seth gripped the wheel with both hands, and the truck swerved. A pink delivery van careened across the median strip, heading straight for them.

“Hold on!” Seth yelled. Evan braced himself.

“What’s going on?” Simon shouted over the phone.

Hitched to the RV, the truck couldn’t maneuver. The van crashed into the driver’s front corner, twisting metal and shattering glass, drowning out Seth’s cursing and Evan’s cry of alarm as the airbags deployed with a bang like a gunshot.

“Guys? Seth, Evan—” Simon called through the phone.

Evan’s world went black.

   

 

About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

 

Author Links

Facebook Group | Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail) | Twitter: @MorganBriceBook

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