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Faithful Peace By Anna Bishop Barker

Title: Faithful Peace Author: Anna Bishop Barker Genre: Romantic Suspense Release Date: June 23, 2020 Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

TAKING BACK HER LIFE WAS THE EASY PART. LEARNING TO LIVE WITH THE SCARS WAS NOT. When she was twelve years old, they took her childhood and made her a wife. Chattel. Property. When she was thirty-four, she crawled to her freedom. In Faithful, Tennessee she found refuge, safety, and family. Esther Howard spent the next two years clawing and scratching through her nightmares to take her life back. For those two years, he was there – a quiet, solid presence that never failed her—even when she pushed him away. HE MADE HIS UNEASY PEACE WITH WHAT HE HAD. John Valentine’s life had been little bits of heaven and huge chunks of hell. Now he focused on his sons and the land and tried hard to curb the need to be more to a woman who did not want more of him. Until the day he discovered that she did. THE LEADER WOULD RECLAIM WHAT BELONGED TO HIM. Eli Babylon had led the Brotherhood of The Father. He was the rightful Leader, and The Wife was his. He had earned her, and he would have her. The reckoning was coming.

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I was born in Kentucky and raised in Florida, so I am a southerner through and through. Since I was old enough to pick up a book, I have been a voracious reader. I wrote the usual poetry and short stories in high school, and I kept the dream of writing in the back of my heart until opportunity and encouragement helped me to realize that dream. I live in Tampa with my kids, grandkids, dogs, various other livestock, and way more books than is strictly healthy. Hot Romance. Suspense. Humor & heart. Grown up stories for grown up people. This is what I write. There’s also food, music, dogs, the occasional geek reference, and quite possibly an inappropriate joke. There will likely be dead bodies as well. Three random facts about me: 1. I was bitten by a shark when I was 14. 2. I have read War and Peace. (When I get to the afterlife, I am demanding that week of my life back. Sorry, Tolstoy.) 3. It is my sincere belief that any situation can be improved by eating some cheese. My life philosophy is guard your inner peace and read dirty kissing books.





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Release Date: June 8

Learning Curves is a single dad, enemies to lovers, curvy girl rom-com with a teacher that everyone wished they had in school, and a swoon-worthy dad that would do anything for his daughter. Throw in an over-eating dog and watch what happens next.

To Spencer Hurley, women only left pain and destruction in their wake. The only good thing that came from his disaster of an ex was his daughter, Annabelle. Right now, making sure Belle was taken care of and getting her the help she needed with her learning disabilities was his only focus. And if that meant moving to a new town, consider the moving truck rented and packed.

Ellie Ryan spent her childhood being judged and bullied because of her learning disabilities. Jokes on them, though, she was now the top special education teacher in her district. See, Ellie totally had her life together. Kind of. Maybe… Okay, really, she’s a word-vomiting, curvy, hot-mess, who hasn’t had a date in who knows how long. And then there was Roxy, her rude over-eating dog. Nevertheless, Ellie was fiercely protective of her students. She’d gladly rip out the throat of anyone that dared to mess with her kids. Including their parents. 

So, please explain to Ellie why, even after calling her new student’s father out during a disastrous parent-teacher meeting, Ellie couldn’t help being insanely attracted to the gruff single dad? Somebody, please help her. Besides, nothing good could come from it… right?

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Meet Molly O’Hare

YO! Hey, thanks for coming to my about me to check me out! Has anyone told you, you’re beautiful and amazing lately? Just in case they haven’t, I am!

So you want to know a little more about me? Well okay then. Much like any author out there, sleeping doesn’t come easily to me. As it turns out, I’ve got horrible insomnia. Like, scary horrible. Anyway, when I was younger, to help myself fall asleep I’d tell myself stories. Each night I’d pick up where the story left off previously until it was complete. Then I started writing them down. A few months later, here I am, sharing my lack of sleep with all of you. Who said the stories in our heads can’t be fun for others?

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Only Love is Deathless

Title: Only Love is Deathless

Author: Sita Bethel

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: June 8, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 78900

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, royalty, witches, mares, wizards, demons, magic/magic users, weddings

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Sreka’s younger brother, Dobrina, is in love. The only problem is that the law forbids him from courting until Sreka is married. Sreka hires the local adventurer, Košmar, to marry him so Dobrina can wed his love. Even if he has to sleep on the couch, instead of with the crown prince on their farce wedding bed, Košmar will get to live like a king for a year. And once Dobrina is married, Sreka will quietly divorce him and send him on his way with gold for his services. Nothing says destined romance like a battle with a dragon, so Sreka and Košmar stage their first public encounter to fool the royal court. However, as fate would have it, the dragon that was supposed to be as fake as their love is real.


Only Love is Deathless Sita Bethel © 2020 All Rights Reserved Košmar slammed the lager to the back of his throat and sighed. The pub was alive with Shrovetide festivities. Music and playful shrieks echoed from one end of the tavern to the other while mead and vodka flowed from bottles to cups to mouths faster than hands could pour it. He glanced at the dancers, thinking maybe he had drunk enough to give dancing a try. The music changed and a cheer rang from the crowds. Everyone clapped in unison as they formed a circle on the dance floor. They wore linen garments dyed green and purple. Crowns of corn poppies, baby’s breath, and sweet basil topped the heads of both the women and the men. Košmar himself wore faded riding leathers and a felted wool cloak which had once been deep sable but now was the gray of watered-down ink. Before he could stand and sneak closer to the crowd, a lad in an ugly woolen slouch cap sat across from him. Košmar blinked, examining his cornflower-blue eyes. The lad set a key on the table between them, stood, and vanished into the crowd. Košmar picked up the key, noticing the flash of a gold coin below it. Košmar’s jaw dropped. A flaming falcon was stamped into the coin and on the other side a crown. He slipped the gold into his vest pocket and rushed to the third room in the back. The man in the woolen cap sat cross-legged in a chair near the hearth of the room. His eyes flicked upward as he gazed at Košmar. “Sit.” “Remove your cap.” Košmar dropped to the edge of the bed, crossing his arms over his chest. “The coin wasn’t enough?” “Most nobles have gold coins.” Košmar shrugged. “Very well.” The stranger stood. He tugged the cap away from his scalp and shook his head. Long strands of pure citrine glittered as they fell to his waist. The princes of Zetva were rumored to have magical hair the color of citrines or yellow sapphires. The man in front of Košmar could only be one of those two princes. “Satisfied?” “To what do I owe the pleasure, my liege?” Košmar bowed forward from his position on the bed. The prince dropped into his chair. “They say you’ll do any task for the right price.” “Most any.” Košmar chose his words. “I’m not an assassin. I’m more of an adventurer.” “I do not need an assassin. I need a husband.” “Don’t we all, but I’m sure your father, the king, would be more qualified at arranging a marriage than me.” Košmar laughed. “Everyone in the royal court is a weasel, and the neighboring kingdoms are full of ambitious vipers looking to strengthen their own positions of power. No, Košmar Marelock, I do not want you to find a husband for me—I want you to wed me.” Košmar laughed until he choked. He fell onto the mattress, coughing into his fist. The prince peered over him, long, jeweled hair hanging from his face and flashing in the hearthlight. “Not forever. I need a farce wedding and a sham spouse, and after a year or so, we’ll divorce in private, I’ll pay you for your troubles, and you can run back to your adventures.” “Farce wedding?” Košmar sucked in a breath, recovering from his outburst. “Gotta admit, I’m fascinated. Why would a prince need to fake his own wedding?” “Will you take the job or not?” “You haven’t given me enough information to decide.” “I’m the oldest.” The prince shrugged. “So you’re…” Košmar wracked his memory for what he’d heard of politics. “Prince…Dobrina?” “My little brother is Dobrina. I’m Prince Sreka.” “Pleasure to meet you.” Košmar held out his hand. Sreka hesitated before extending his hand. Košmar took it and used Sreka’s grip to pull himself to his feet before shaking their clasped hands. After the friendly greeting, he brought Sreka’s hand to his lips and kissed the prince’s knuckles. “My liege, my name is Košmar.” “I know. I sought you out, remember?” “Need to have a proper introduction if we’re going to be business partners. So you’re the oldest, but your father is in good health. Surely you have more time to find a spouse?” “Dobrina is in love. The law demands I marry first, but I have no interest in the suitors who plague me night and day. So, to rid myself of their presence and give my brother the happiness he deserves, I need a surrogate to play the role of my affectionate husband.” “Lemme get this straight. You bring me home to Dad; we hold hands and take lingering walks in the gardens at night to convince everyone we’re in love, and after we’re married, all I have to do is stick around stuffing my face and sleeping on top of a goose-down mattress? And after a year of this you’re going to pay me for the trouble?” “You’ll be sleeping on the couch within my private chambers. I have no intention of sharing my bed with a man I do not love.” “Here. Do you see this? Do you feel this?” Košmar pounded the old, sagging mattress beneath him with his closed fist. “And don’t even get close enough to smell it. I spend most my nights in a tent in the woods or on rented beds.” “My…condolences.” Sreka wrinkled his face. “Is your couch more comfortable than this?” “By far. The fibers are woven from silk imported from—” “Say no more. I’m your man.” Košmar jumped to his feet. “Let’s see, we’ll need a public introduction. How do we want to play this?” “The simpler the better,” Sreka said. “No, no. We need a story to tell. Something for the scullery maids to whisper about as they scrub pots. You should rescue me—from a dragon.” “Why? It sounds like the plot to a romance novel.” Sreka rubbed the bridge of his nose. “And shouldn’t you save me from the dragon? I’m the one you should be wooing.” “I rescue people from dragons all the time, but when do I ever get to sit back and swoon for a hero? Never. If we’re going to play the lovers, let’s have fun with it.” “But—” “Or is palace life too exciting for you already?” Sreka paused midcomplaint. He stared at Košmar for a long time. Košmar smirked. “I’m right, aren’t I? You’re bored out of your skull in that castle. You’d love to play the hero for a day and scoop a handsome, swarthy stranger into your arms before carrying him off to your palace.” “You shouldn’t assume I find you handsome.” “Doesn’t matter, everyone else will. You can pretend if you don’t fancy my looks.” Košmar winked. “There’s one problem with your plan. We don’t have a dragon who will play along with our scam.” “Watch this.” Košmar walked to the fire, holding his hands to it. He gestured with his fingers and pulled a section of the flames toward him. The fire resembled freshly pulled sugar in the candy-maker’s shop. It flowered and twirled with color, and Košmar molded it into the shape of a dragon the size of a hunting hound. The flames cooled, hardening to bright, poisonous green scales. The creature roared and lunged for Sreka’s shins. When Košmar snapped his fingers, the dragon dissolved into smoke that spread between them in a gray haze. “Magic?” “Yes, an illusion. Are you familiar with the northern road leading through the Czerwony Woods and into the mountains?” “No one goes there because of bandits.” “But there is a royal hunting ground near there, yes?” “There is.” Sreka nodded. “Plan a hunting trip one week from today. Arrive at dawn, and make sure you’re near where the northern road enters the forest an hour into your hunt.” “How will I find you?” “The roars and screams should be a good indication.” Košmar grinned. Sreka mirrored him. “I confess, I’m looking forward to our official meeting.” “Until fate brings us together, my love.” Košmar dropped to one knee, kissing Sreka’s hand. “No need for theatrics when we’re alone.” Sreka averted his eyes. “Best to get into character now.” Košmar plopped onto the worn mattress beside him. “You already paid for the room?” “Yes?” Sreka twisted his jeweled hair into a rope and tucked it back into his woolen cap. “No use letting a bed go to waste. I’ll see you in a week.” Košmar rolled up in the threadbare woolen blanket and shut his eyes. “Sweet dreams, Košmar.” Košmar snorted after he heard the door shut. “Pretty funny for a prince to tell a nightmare to have sweet dreams.” Košmar kept the fire burning in the hearth but blew out the lantern on each side of the bed. The darkness hugged him close as he slept.


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Meet the Author

Hey there, readers. It’s me, ya boi, Sita Bethel. And this is a biography where I tell you all the boring facts about my life- like how I have a degree in writing, and how my two cats, Odin and Anpu, will one day rule this land as your feline overlords. Enough of that same old, same old. Here’s the real dirt. Sita Bethel likes to wrap up like a burrito with a weighted blanket. They host coloring parties as a personal eff-you to anxiety, and read everything from trash British sensationalist novels like The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins to literary masterpieces like The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Had enough of Sita Bethel yet? If not, check out @sita_bethel on Twitter, or sitabethelfiction on Facebook, or even

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Seductive Santino

Savage’s Buck & Doe #4
Adult Romance
Date Published: January 30st, 2020

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Words like love and hate invoke strong feelings that can change a person, but the word revenge can make a seemingly normal person pure evil. Santino Savage understands all these feelings because he lost his dad and oldest brother to a madman in a mass shooting. Everyone asks: how do you move on after such a loss? Santino would say he survived because he had to. The choice wasn’t his to make. The family left behind needed him.
The same protective instincts Santino has for his family kicks in when the captivating, soon-to-be bride, Chloe Marsh, shows up at his family’s resort for her bachelorette and bachelor party. Deep in his bones, he knows something is off with her fiancé. Santino will have to betray those closest to him to do what he knows is intrinsically right.
Chloe has felt the sting of wickedness that life has to offer. For the soft-spoken woman, trust is a word that is the hardest to achieve and the easiest to be broken. However, she is ready to leave the past behind and start afresh. But then the four-day, mini-vacation brings back the ghosts from her past and thrusts her into a nightmare of epic proportions.
Can Santino save Chloe from the ghosts of her past and the evilness of the present? Is saving a woman he is instantly attracted to worth the sanity of the woman he has always protected? Santino has to discover if truth is a word consisting of facts or feelings. Or if both depend on the beholden.

About the Author

Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have two beautiful granddaughters after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favorite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She worked with special-needs teenagers, that taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes. Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier than riding on the back of her husband’s Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.

Contact Links
Facebook: Anne Marie Citro
Twitter: @AnneMarieCitro
Pinterest: Anne-Marie Citro

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Steal My Breath by Amanda Bailey

Literary Designs Presents 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐌𝐲 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐛𝐲 𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚 𝐁𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐲.⁣⁣


💋𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐛 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐩𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐌𝐲 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐢𝐬 #𝐍𝐨𝐰𝐋𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 #𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐨𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞 𝐔𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝. 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐓𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 >> 𝐡𝐭𝐭𝐩𝐬://𝐰𝐰𝐰.𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐨𝐧.𝐜𝐨𝐦/𝐝𝐩/𝐁𝟎𝟖𝟕𝐋𝐕𝟖𝐕𝐆𝐉 💋⁣⁣


𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵. ⁣⁣


When newly single Teresa Mancuso spots Finn at a party, her palms sweat. Once upon a time, he was her every dream—that is, until he left her behind, brokenhearted. So much time has passed, yet she still remembers how he once made her pulse race. ⁣⁣


Finn Thomas has spent years living with the fallout from his father’s mistake. Back in town with a chip on his shoulder, he never sees Teresa coming. It’s been nearly twenty years, and suddenly there she is—the woman he’d been forced to abandon—sending him reeling once again.⁣⁣


She’s stolen his breath a second time, but will he be able to win back her heart?⁣⁣


𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧 𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚 𝐁𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐲𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 >>⁣⁣


𝐋𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐀𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚 𝐁𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐲𝐬 𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐞 >>⁣

#StealMyBreath #AmandaBailey #NewRelease #LiteraryDesigns


About the Author

Amanda Bailey lives in Virginia in her dream home in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. She enjoys staying home with her two children and husband, watching movies and reality TV, and reading books. She writes what she loves to read—swoon-worthy romance with a little angst thrown in on the side.

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Darkness Lies Waiting by Mercer Scott

Title: Darkness Lies Waiting
Series: Raven Island Series
Author: Mercer Scott
Genre: Single Parent (mom); Alpha Hero; Small-town romance; mafia romance, woman in peril (abusive ex); romantic suspense
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Wow. Mercer Scott has written a stunning second novel in the Raven Island series. Jacob is a bad guy I can’t help but like! ~Author Julia Jarrett
A standalone, contemporary romance in the Raven Island Series.
What do you do when the man who betrayed you is already dead? If you’re ruthless gang leader Jacob Cole, you find a distraction from your fury… like the beautiful, single mother without a past who just moved to town.
Fueled by rage, Jacob only has himself to blame for the death of his lieutenant. He trusted the wrong man. With nowhere to focus his rage, Jacob grows restless – and when Jacob Cole is restless cities burn. As soon as Jacob sees Laurel Wells, he knows that she’s the perfect distraction from his need for revenge. But Laurel becomes more than just a distraction, and Jacob is never going to let her go…
Can one monster be your salvation from another?
Single mother, Laurel Wells, ran away from her abusive husband to the last place anyone would look for her – the idyllic Raven Island.
Laurel’s quiet life becomes complicated when the Pacific Northwest’s most notorious gangster decides that he wants her for himself. Jacob Cole is exactly the kind of trouble Laurel needs to avoid, but she can’t deny her attraction to the beautiful, tattooed gangster.
It’s only a matter of time until Laurel’s past catches up with her, and she has to leave Raven Island. But this time will she be running from Jacob Cole, too?
Only selfish girls get everything they’ve ever wanted and then want more. 
That’s what Eric said to me before he left for work this morning. It’s not the first time he’s said it. And I know it won’t be the last. But it’s how I know things are going to be bad when he gets home tonight. 
I’ve spent every minute of the day since he left dreading my husband coming home from work. I cleaned the entire house. I made sure that every room is perfect. Every picture frame is hanging perfectly level. Every pillow is perfectly fluffed. You could take a white glove to any inch of this house, and you wouldn’t find a speck of dust. 
It probably won’t make a difference. But it’s worth a try. Maybe it will help? Maybe it won’t get so bad if everything is perfect when Eric gets home? But I know better than that. I hate the part of me that still hopes. I know by now exactly how bad it’s going to be. 
Dinner is in the oven. Everything will be ready right when Eric gets home in an hour. I made Eric a roast and all the fixings. I’m a vegetarian. I hate touching meat, but Eric won’t be happy unless he gets his meat. I let Riley watch videos on his tablet while I made dinner. And I’m going to let him keep watching videos. I can’t risk him making any messes before Eric gets home. I know that he won’t mean to, but Riley’s only four. Mess follows him around like a shadow. 
That means I have an hour to myself until Eric comes home. I’m so anxious that I need to distract myself. There’s nothing left to do. Nothing left to clean. So, I slip into my makeshift studio to paint until it’s time to serve dinner. It’s not a studio, exactly. But it’s a little space that I carved out for myself to paint. In this giant house with six bedrooms and only three people living in it, Eric insisted there was no room for me to have a studio. So, I paint in the laundry room. The light is actually really pretty in here. And Eric would never come anywhere near the laundry room, so it’s all mine. That’s what matters.
My thoughts flow freely as my hand automatically sweeps my brush over the canvas. Painting is where I feel at home. Where I feel at peace. My body knows what to do when I have a brush in my hand, even if feel completely helpless the rest of the time. I wasn’t always helpless like this. I used to be normal and fun. I used to have a life outside the luxury home that’s become my prison. 
Eric Wellington was everything I ever wanted. He was exactly what every girl is taught she’s supposed to want. Eric was tall and strong. His sandy, blonde hair shone like a golden crown. He had piercing, light blue eyes. He came from a wealthy family, but he chose to become a police officer because he wanted to help people.
He was the prince from a storybook. 
And somehow, he wanted me. I couldn’t believe it the first time that Eric asked me out. I couldn’t believe it the second time or the time after that. I couldn’t even believe it when he proposed to me two months later.
Eric was perfect. My friends from university all pretended not to be surprised that he was interested in me. But I could tell they thought he was out of my league. I did too. My hair was always in a messy bun and paint could perennially be found under my short, practical, artist’s fingernails. I was the exact opposite of the type of woman that a man like Eric Wellington should marry.
I didn’t need to think about it when he proposed. Eric was exactly what I had always hoped for. He was my happily ever after.
Our wedding was a fairytale.
Our marriage became my nightmare.
Eric didn’t even make it through our honeymoon before he started hitting me. Something changed in him like a light switch once we said our vows. Or maybe it was always there, and I just didn’t see it. But once Eric started hitting me, he never really stopped. Eric was always careful not to hit my face, so no one could see the bruises. No one could know about how he punished me. That was just between him and me. 
I didn’t want to get pregnant. But Eric decided after we’d been married for two years that it was time for a baby. He didn’t want people to start talking about why we didn’t have children. He hated the idea that people might think it was his fault. He told me that it was time I provided him with a son. 
Once he decided it was time to start trying, Eric wouldn’t let me take birth control anymore. And I was afraid of how he would punish me if he found out that I defied him. But I tried everything I could find online to stop myself from getting pregnant. But everything I tried didn’t work.
When I was pregnant with Riley, Eric made sure to never hit my stomach. He made sure I never fell on my stomach when he punched me hard enough to make me fall to the ground. But everything else was fair game. It was all fair to him. He was punishing me. He had the right to punish me. He told me that every day. I heard it so often that I started to believe it.
Eric wanted a child so badly. He wanted a boy that took after him. A boy he could raise to be just like his daddy. Once I got pregnant, I prayed for a girl who looked nothing like him. I got half of what I wanted. A boy who looks just like me. Riley has my green eyes, my same cute little nose, and my heart-shaped face. He’s a beautiful child, and he’s going to be a beautiful man. But he looks nothing like his father.
“Mommy! Mommy!” Riley calls out from the door of the laundry room. 
That’s when I hear the beeping. Beep! Beep! Beep!
The smoke alarm’s ringing loudly in my ears. I don’t know how I didn’t hear it. Shit! Dinner!
“It’s okay, baby!” I cry out to reassure him, before I’ve even turned around.
I start running towards the door and back to the kitchen, but I jerk to a stop when I see Riley standing in front of me.
“Let’s go, Mommy. We need to go,” Riley tells me.
He looks so serious. He’s wearing his little backpack and he has his little suitcase he likes to stuff with dress-up clothes. Both are covered in sea turtles. Riley is obsessed with sea turtles.
I kneel in front of him, ignoring the screeching smoke alarm in the kitchen, as it drills into my head.
“Sweetie, it’s just the smoke alarm. Everything’s okay,” I promise him. “Why do you have your suitcase?”
“We need to go, Mommy,” Riley says again. “So, Daddy doesn’t hurt you.”
Riley’s little lip quivers as he says it. And my heart shatters into a million tiny pieces.
He doesn’t know. He can’t know. I’ve been hiding it from him. I’ve been protecting him. I’ve been protecting him from all this. From the bruises. The fighting. The sound of Eric punching me. 
But he knows. My baby knows
I wonder what it does to a child to grow up in a home where what Eric does to me is normal.  And as the smoke alarm screeches at me again, I know something more certainly than I’ve ever known anything in my entire life. 
I’m not going to stay and find out.
Chapter One
Four months later.
I’m restless. My morning runs are getting longer and longer. I can’t sit still. No matter how much I run, I can’t get my anger in check. Part of me doesn’t even want to. It’s been three months since I helped my brother dispose of Danny Jones’ body. 
Danny Johnson’s body.
I have to keep reminding myself that he was Danny Johnson, not Danny Jones.
I trusted the wrong man. I brought him into the Black Ravens. And he betrayed me. Danny Johnson lied to my face every day for three years, pretending to be one of us while he was out for revenge against us the whole time. I don’t know how I fucking missed it. I can never make a mistake like that again. When I make mistakes, people die.
Dean Joras is dead. My best friend for twenty-five years. And Danny Johnson killed him to get back at me, or get back at my brother, Silas. It doesn’t fucking matter. The effect was the same. 
Dean is dead. He left behind a widow and two teenage sons. They’re my responsibility now. I have to watch out for Delilah and the boys like they were my own.
Dean paid the price for what Silas and I did seventeen years ago. But haven’t we already paid enough for Sabrina Johnson’s death? My brother spent ten years in prison. He walked away from the Black Ravens – the gang we started in high school. He walked away from me. 
How many lives need to be ruined in exchange for the life of one innocent girl? We didn’t mean to kill her. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and, she got caught in the cross-fire. Shit happens. We can try to minimize the risk, but it’s always there. People get hurt when there’s this much money and power at stake. It’s inevitable. And I would choose that risk every fucking time.
Silas may have been the one to go to prison, but we all suffered. My brother likes to think of himself as the great martyr for taking a plea deal and going to prison for manslaughter. He asked me to walk away from the Black Ravens back then, too. 
I refused. I’m a Raven. I’ll always be a Raven. My blood runs black.
Danny Jones may be dead. But I’m not the one who killed him. And I needed to be the one who fucking killed him. My men want answers. They want justice. But all I have are two dead Ravens and no answers to give the Ravens they left behind. Or at least none that I’m willing to give them.
The cops are still circling my brother for Dean’s murder. Danny framed Silas for killing Dean, and the cops are too stupid to figure out that it was a set-up. There’ve been a few rumblings from my enemies questioning whether the Ravens are weak now with the loss of two members and no retaliation.
I usually don’t see the point of violence for violence’s sake. It’s a means to an end. And an effective one. I can be as violent and as brutal as I need to be to get the job done. But there’s no target now. Danny Jones is dead. And none of my rivals have come for me in years. I made sure of that. I’ve instilled enough fear in them to make me untouchable. They can rumble all they like. There’s no real threat. They wouldn’t dare rise up against me. They value their lives too much.
There’s no target for my rage. I want to burn, kill, destroy – but who? The man who deserves my wrath is already dead at my brother’s hand. Until I figure out where to aim my fury, I need a fucking distraction. And I have one in mind. My brother hired a new server at his diner. She’s been on my island for a month or two. And I can’t get her out of my head. I’ve started frequenting my brother’s diner almost daily just to see her.
I’m happy enough to see my brother. Our relationship is less murderous these days than it’s been for seventeen years. But I’m there to see her. Fucking her will be the perfect distraction from thinking about Danny Jones’ – Danny Johnson’s – betrayal and what I’m going to do about it. 
Her name’s Laurel. Laurel Wells. I already know everything about her – well everything there is to know about someone who’s only existed for two months. I had my private investigator in Vancouver look into her. I have him look into everyone who crosses my path because I don’t like surprises. In my line of work, surprises get you killed. 
My investigator couldn’t find any trace of Laurel Wells before two months ago, shortly before she arrived on Raven Island. Pretty, single mothers don’t just miraculously appear on this little, out-of-the way island off Canada’s west coast out of thin air. But this one did. She’s running from something. Finding out she had something to hide only made me want her more. I want to unravel every single one of her secrets and find out what she’s hiding from me.
Silas may have hired her, but I don’t think he has any idea that she’s not who she says she is. I didn’t tell him. I don’t want her to get spooked and run again. Not before I get what I want from her. Not before I taste her. Before I’m inside her. 
As soon as I get back from my run, I shower and change. I’m headed for the diner without even deciding to go there. Something about her just keeps pulling me back. 
I don’t even talk to her when I’m there. Not really. I just watch her. That ends today. I’ve waited long enough. It’s time to make Laurel Wells my distraction.
I see her the minute I walk into my brother’s diner. She’s carrying a tray of food, and she stops dead in her tracks when she lays eyes on me. 
Good. I like that I make her nervous.
That piece of shit, Tommy Watkins, is here. Raven Island PD’s finest. I can feel his eyes on me as soon as I set foot in the diner. Tommy’s hated me since high school. Part of me wishes he would just fucking come for me. I’d be happy to end him. At least then I wouldn’t have to see his fucking ugly face walking around my town. 
And this is my town. My island. It’s my fucking coast. I’ve run organized crime in the Pacific Northwest since my brother and I weren’t all that organized. We were just two angry kids looking to take back some power from those who had it. And we fucking did. All that power is mine now.
I walk over to my usual booth in the corner, and wait for her to come over and take my order. I’ve been coming to the Raven’s Claw diner so often since Laurel started working here that I have the damn menu memorized. So, I bide my time just watching her. She’s small. She can’t be more than five-foot-two. She’s tiny at the waist and has gentle curves at her hips and tits. Her breasts are full for how small she is. Maybe not quite a handful, but I bet they’re close. I mean to find out. 
Her blonde hair falls just past her shoulders. As much as I want her body, it’s her face that keeps me up at night. She has a heart-shaped face with green eyes and full, pink lips. She doesn’t wear a lot of make-up to wait tables. Her hair is always either up in a ponytail or hanging loose around her shoulders. I want to see her all dressed up for me in something tight and sexy. And then I want to tear off her clothes off and taste everything she’s hiding underneath. 
Soon, Laurel. But not soon enough. 
Mercer Scott always wanted to be a writer. One day she discovered that life is too f*cking short, so she wrote down her stories and sent them out into the world. She hoped that one day someone like her would find her stories and read them. Mercer Scott lives in the Pacific Northwest and spends her days pursuing pleasure… in all its forms.

Dead Serious

Dark Humor/Comedy
Date Published: 6/10/2020

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“In the past five years, I’ve lost four grandparents, three uncles, two aunts, three cousins, five classmates, and my parents. Even a car died on me…”

Comedian Michael Malone’s life has been punctuated by tragedy. He’s been to over a dozen funerals, but just three weddings – two of which were for the same friend. No stranger to loss, Malone has had ample time to reflect on what it means to grieve, and how to move forward when you’ve outlived so many of your loved ones.

Dead Serious is a look inside Malone’s mind and journal since losing his parents; a dark-humored exploration of depression, suicide, grief, and religion. Designed to be opened and read at any page, this collection of journal entries, illustrated one-liners, and humorous musings combine to create an unorthodox self-help book for anyone who has ever lost someone close to them and doesn’t know where to go from here.

Comedy has always been the lens through which Malone chooses to view the world; a way to shine a light on the dark times so his audiences feel less alone, and less crazy, during their own hardships. Dead Serious offers readers his signature comedic comfort on all life’s ups, downs, and confusing in-betweens.

Michael Malone is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and film director who is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He has been featured on Showtime, Comedy Central, FOX, Hulu, XM Radio, and his Amazon Prime special, “Laugh After Death” has over 2 million views. Michael is known for his dark sense of humor that breaks down the idiotic ways we deal with life, death, love, and sex.


Quote from Brad’s foreword:

“If you have any doubt that the best humor comes from deep, dark places, this page-turner will make you a believer. Malone’s life journey, which he describes with blinding transparency and unforgiving irony leaves you laughing your ass off as he candidly exposes how he himself has risen from the bowels of depression and self-loathing to personal and professional success.” – Brad Garrett

Excerpt From the story “Tomorrow is Thursday”

My grandmother is ninety-two years of age and full of two things: shit and vinegar. Despite her age, she was both sharp as a whip and ornery as hell.

She had recently fallen on her back porch and broke her elbow, so her left arm was in a cast. She fell again a few weeks after that and sprained her right wrist. Because you know, grandmas be tripp’in.

She had both arms completely wrapped up in bandages. They just flapped around at her sides like a drunk penguin. Watching her eat lunch was equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious. She would hold her fork with one hand, steady it with the other, bend forward as far as she could, and sort of flip food into her mouth. She had the accuracy of a young Shaquille O’Neal at the free-throw line.

It was hard to watch, but my grandmother was stubborn and refused any help whatsoever. At one point, I made the mistake of scooting her pudding cup two inches closer to her seal-like grip, and she screamed at me, “You trying to feed me like a baby!?!”

“No,” I nervously responded. “I just wanted to help out.”

She pointed her head down like a bull, and in a low tone, she growled back at me, “I don’t need anyone’s help. I’m fine.”

My grandmother then proceeded to clap her hands together in a sloppy attempt to pick up her spoon. It slid across her slick plastic food tray like an air hockey puck. Banking off the side railings for a few moments before she cornered it, scooped up some pudding with it, and then tossed the food towards her hunched and widened mouth.

About the Author

Michael Malone is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and film director who is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Michael has been featured on Showtime, Comedy Central, FOX, Hulu, XM Radio, and his one-hour special, “Laugh After Death” is now streaming with over 2 million views on Amazon Prime. “Dead Serious” is Michael’s first book, but not his first written work. Michael has a monthly column in Face the Current magazines that based on his popular storytelling podcast, “Punched Up.” Michael is known for his dark sense of humor that focuses on breaking down the idiotic ways we deal with life, death, love, and sex.

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The Little Dog Laughed

Date Published: February 2020

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The biggest secret in the Wellington house is not that they are a very wealthy family of vampires.

The biggest secret is what is hiding upstairs…a fresh blood source always ready to be drained.

Before Felicity married Conrad Wellington she was a struggling teenage mother, and when the family takes her in, she knows they would never do so if they knew of the irresponsible decision she had made. She hides her son Isaac away until she can think of a better solution…until she discovers that Isaac has a rare blood type that the family craves and can never find.

Isaac is AB Negative, and that blood is the most delicious and nutritious of all. She makes the decision to keep Isaac hidden and raise him as a personal blood donor, collecting his blood and putting him on the best kind of diet to make sure he always provides what is good and tasteful.

Yet, there are things brewing inside Isaac that might not be so good.

His own poison spreads faster than anyone could see coming, developing its own taste for destruction to everyone and everything that comes in contact with him. And it feeds a part of him that enjoys it more than anyone else could.

Sometimes good blood can go bad. The more Isaac grows the more this dangerous side does, and it does not want to remain locked up for long.

Other Books by Jckie Sonnenberg

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About the Author

Jackie Sonnenberg is a member of the Horror industry as both an author…and an actor. She is a haunted house actor thriving on every Halloween season, and has put use to her love of creating original characters with original costuming: By doing the same for her book characters. Jackie is known for attending conventions and events in costume to promote her work in interactive ways. She has won in different categories in costume contests and appeared in live interviews.

She has a background in journalism and has published a few reference books as well as fiction. She has short stories published in four anthologies and three novels in her collection, with many more planned.

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Twitter: @sonnenbooks 
Instagram: @sonnenbooks 

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Flick by Victoria Johns

Flick (A Black Sentinels Novel) by Victoria Johns ADD TO YOUR TBR:
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A woman jaded by their past.
A man still living with the horrors of who he became without her.
Felicity ‘Flick’ Peters had always loved her best friend’s brother, and when he gave her her first real kiss, she hoped he’d be her first… everything. Then, when he joined the army and left without saying goodbye, that love turned to hatred.
Beckett Hope hated his life.
His parents didn’t deserve his respect while his sister deserved so much more from all of them. With an impossible choice to make, he left to save himself from becoming the one man he despised, his father. Joining the army was supposed to be his salvation, but instead, it blackened his soul and he became Shadow.
Killer, loner and brother of the Black Sentinels MC.
Ten years later, a tragedy forces Flick and Shadow together, but with the dark deeds of his past still haunting him, Shadow is fighting a war on all fronts, his past, his future, his love for Flick and his need to save her from the horrors he perpetrated under the guise of war.
One last job threatens the life Shadow is so desperately chasing and when he returns, broken, lost and barely reachable, it is up to Flick to bring him back to life, back to her, and back to the brothers of the Black Sentinels MC.
Flick has one last chance to bring peace to his chaotic world, his unsettled mind and prove to him that not all shadows create a cold darkness, some bring shade in times of intense heat.
Victoria Johns is a writer who enjoys sharing a happily ever after and believes that it’s every good girl’s dream to experience a steamy one. Growing up in North West England in a large family surrounded by love and support she found her Prince Charming many years ago and enjoys living the life they’ve made with their son.
She’s always had a creative imagination and decided that some of the stories bubbling in her head need to be given life and shared. This pen name gives them the freedom to be loved by others.
When she’s not writing, she’s sewing, cycling or chomping on crisps in front of the TV.
FACEBOOK GROUP – Victoria’s Soul Sisters –