Book Blitz

Pretty Savage by T.A. Kunz

Pretty Savage
T.A. Kunz
Publication date: July 13th 2021
Genres: LGBTQ+, Thriller, Young Adult

“An intriguing mystery, Pretty Savage is a tension packed, wild journey with engrossing characters. A true page turner.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bad things never happen in the picturesque town of Haddon Falls … until now.

It all starts with a killer party.

It will end with a savage crime spree.

Seniors Donovan Walsh and Drea Sullivan attend a high school party for very different reasons. But after discovering the body of one of their classmates, they find themselves thrust into the same waking nightmare. From that moment, their lives become intertwined in a search for answers to questions they never should have asked.

As bodies pile high, the unlikely pair dig into Haddon Falls ’past and uncover secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. In a small town where every face is friendly and every door unlocked, Donovan and Drea must unravel who is an ally … and who is willing to bury them-and the truth-six feet under.

“Pretty Savage is a gripping, fast-paced YA thriller featuring a savvy gay male protagonist and his kick-ass female counterpart! Readers who love hints of horror with a blood spatter of romance mixed with page-turning mystery will be left gasping by this wicked masterpiece by T.A. Kunz.” -Bestselling and award winning author Raine Thomas

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EXCERPT:

Donavon

There he is.

Mr. Filthy Chai Tea Latte.

I mean, that’s obviously not his real name. It’s his usual drink order. Chai tea, steamed milk, and two shots of espresso. A rebel’s drink for sure. And since I haven’t gotten up the guts to ask him his name yet, he remains Mr. Filthy Chai Tea Latte.

It’s at times like this I wish we were like most coffee shops and requested a name for each order rather than just the to-gos. But the owner refuses to switch from the ever reliable—his words—order number system. Today, Mr. Filthy is number twenty-one.

My lucky number. Kismet?

At least once a week he meets here at The Pour Over with a group of similarly aged teens and they chat for hours. About what? Beats me. I’ve contemplated lingering by their table, performing menial tasks like restocking the oat milk at the drink prep area or wiping down nearby tables, in order to eavesdrop. But every time, I chicken out.

“A large filthy chai tea latte?” I ask before he has a chance to utter a word.

His eyebrow—pierced by the way—quirks up, and I realize I must’ve sounded like a major creeper for committing his order to memory.

A hint of a smile breaks the corner of his mouth. “Yeah. Thanks, Donovan.”

I die.

I die.

I die.

My name rolls off his tongue like caramel sauce dripping down the side of a hot latte. I’ve clearly been working here too long if I’m making coffee metaphors already … and it’s only my second month.

Wait, he knows my name. How does he know my name? Has he asked about me?

I glance down at my apron and see my name tag resting there. The bright white letters radiate against the dark background. You could probably see it from space. Makes sense.

He pays with his phone and then, just like clockwork, drops a folded five-dollar bill into the tip jar. He’s so intriguing, paying for his drink electronically but also having cash on hand. And when I’m at the register, he leaves five dollars. Every. Single. Time. He might do the same for everyone else, but I enjoy living in the fantasy that I’m his chosen recipient. I imagine them as little love notes he leaves behind for my eyes only.

Okay. Pull it together, man. Composure.

I take in the show as he strolls off to join his group at a table near the back of the café. His tall, dark, and mysterious routine never fails to work on me. I sigh internally, but I’m not convinced a little didn’t seep out by accident.

“Smooth.”

My co-worker Marcus stands there grinning like a fool. A ridiculously gorgeous fool, but a fool nonetheless. His slicked-back chestnut brown hair is perfectly shaped to accentuate his chiseled features. The solitary dimple on his left cheek adds an extra kick to the impish grin he sends my way.

I laugh. “Yeah, definitely not my best work.”

“Nah, you did great. A real pro,” he teases. “Hey, why don’t you go talk to him? We’re slow right now and someone does have to bring him his drink, you know.”

He wriggles his brows at me. I roll my eyes.

Marcus is no stranger to affection. Unlike me, he probably hasn’t been rejected by anyone. He exudes confidence, which comes in handy when he dons a dress and a wig to perform in drag on the weekends at the one and only gay bar in Haddon Falls, Mae’s Lounge. Marcus becomes Miz Markie Marc. And yes, he does have a slight unhealthy obsession with Mark Wahlberg. Hence, the drag name. And he loves to refer to me as Donnie for the same reason.

“I don’t even know if he’s into guys like that,” I say. “Besides, he’s sort of out of my league. I mean, will you just look at that jawline?”

“With the perfect amount of scruff too,” adds Marcus.

“Exactly. And he has at least four or five inches on me in the height department.”

“What a shame, Donnie.”

“Huh?”

“Oh, nothing.”

I know that’s not all he wants to say. He has more. Marcus loves to give input … and constructive criticism.

“It’s just….”

And there it is.

Author Bio:

T.A. Kunz is the pen name for Adam Kunz, who lives in Orlando, Florida. And unfortunately a lot of the rumors you’ve heard about his state are true. When he’s not writing, Adam spends his time reading, playing video games, watching anime and Korean dramas, and spending time with his partner while cuddling with their two dogs, Nicky and Rusty. Since childhood, he’s had a great fondness for reading and writing. His fiction genres of choice are eclectic, but mainly are in the YA, MG, and NA categories. So, it was no surprise when he decided to write his own books that he’d be a grab bag kind of author in terms of story ideas. And he just loves mashing up genres. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Adam advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. He may or may not have a coffee addiction, the jury’s still out on that one. And his hands-down favorite holiday is Halloween, which holds a very special place in Adam’s heart.

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Daughter of Hades Collection by Dani Hoots

Daughter of Hades Collection
Dani Hoots
Publication date: November 22nd 2020
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

What would you do with the dichotomous power over life and death? For Chrys, apparently, it was to stay cooped up in the Underworld all her life. She wishes she could leave and see what the human world is all about, but her Father would never allow it, as she was never supposed to be born. If Zeus found out, she would be sent straight to Tartarus. So she has stayed in Hades ’palace all her life, her only friends being a punk whom she convinced her father was a genius tutor, and a demigod who she may or may not have almost kissed (father would be so mad if he found out).

After a huge fight with her mother Persephone, Chrys decides she can’t take it anymore and has to travel to the human world, since her mother loves it so much more than she seems to care for her own husband. With her two best friends, Chrys travels through Oceanus and finds herself in London, England. Ready to experience what it was like to be human, Chrys decides they can stay for a couple of days before having to return.

Nothing could go wrong in that short of time, right?

This is the entire Daughter of Hades Collection:
Endangered (Book 1)
Engaged (Book 2)
Entangled (Book 3)
Enchanted (Book 4)

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Only 99¢ for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

Hello and welcome to the Underworld. My name is Chrys, and I am the daughter of Hades. May I take your coat?

I really wanted to say that to the group of recently deceased that stepped up to my father, begging him not to send them to Tartarus, the place of eternal torment—pretty much where all the bad people went. Beside Father was Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Aiakos, the other judges of the dead. I sure as Cronus didn’t want to be judged by that deadly trio. First off, they had been here longer than I had, since Zeus appointed them, and although nothing really ages here after death, they seemed to be older and grumpier than ever before. And I, unfortunately, had to witness today’s session of pleas because “I needed to learn the ins and outs of the business in case anything ever happened.” At least, that is what my father, Hades, kept telling me.

Father sat there, quiet, as the three stooges (that’s what I called them in my head, if they ever found out, I would be in so much trouble) examined the next contestant. The man before them was on the fence of being sent to either Tartarus or the Asphodel Meadows, which was why he was being judged. I already knew my father’s decision, since he was quite predictable when it came to judging people.

It would be Tartarus.

Father always took a long while, as if his decision hadn’t already been made. He could have finished judging today’s deceased already if he didn’t take his time about it. It annoyed me tremendously, which I knew he could tell as I sat there nervously fighting with my dress sleeves.

One of the men went down on his knees. “Please, have mercy on me. I never meant to do those things, had I known— “

“Had you known, you would have been perfect, right?” Hades interrupted with a scowl. “Done everything you could to be in paradise? There are no second chances here, the gods have given humans a chance to obey them, a chance to live in paradise. It is not our fault you don’t see the signs.”

I let out a brief yawn, trying to cover it with my hand, but my father noticed right away and gave me one of his cold looks. I tried my hardest to sit up straight, to appear as though my mind hadn’t drifted off to thinking about meeting up with my friends Huntley and A.J., or what I told Father was “being tutored about modern Earth affairs” by these friends of mine. Really, we just hung out and tried not to get into trouble.

Tried was the key word there.

“Tartarus. Send in the next one,” Hades ordered.

Author Bio:

Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University.

Currently she is working on a YA urban fantasy series called Daughter of Hades, a YA urban fantasy series called The Wonderland Chronicles, a historic fantasy vampire series called A World of Vampires, and a YA sci-fi series called Sanshlian Series. She has also started up an indie publishing company called FoxTales Press. She also works with Anthill Studios in creating comics through Antik Comics.

Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, cooking, studying different languages, wire walking, hula hoop, and working with plants. She is also an herbalist and sells her concoctions on FoxCraft Apothecary. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and visits Seattle often.

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Honorable Rogue by Linda J. Parisi

Honorable Rogue
Linda J. Parisi
(Blood Rogue, #2)
Publication date: July 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

There is the blood and can only ever be the blood. So how can love survive in a world of pain?

As a Roman gladiator and slave, vampire Hunter Pierce only knew death and destruction. Never love.

Dr. Victoria Roberts only knew love and safety, never fear or death, until the day her life was shattered with a home invasion that destroyed her world.

Now Hunter and Tori’s worlds collide, with Blood Rogues continuing to menace both human and vampire alike.

Tori is in danger and it’s all Hunter’s fault. To keep watch of the clever doctor, the vampire enlists

her to aid in finding a cure for Nirvana, the dangerous poison rogue vampires are using to kill.

When Tori is kidnapped, Hunter faces his corrupt former master and a race against the clock to save his own life.

But can a vampire who has only watched out for himself risk his life, and his immortality, for the love of a human?

Can a woman who has lost everything rebuild her shattered heart with a man who thinks he hasn’t got one?

Only love, trust, and an Honorable Rogue can save them all.

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EXCERPT:

Tall, with auburn hair swept up into a Grecian knot, she wore the same dress as the other women who stood by Stacy as she married Charles.

Hunter hadn’t really noticed her before, and he wondered why as he found himself walking toward a small set of stairs. Something about this woman tugged at him. She seemed…sad, and he wondered what sadness could intrude on such a festive occasion. “Apologies. The night is beautiful, the silence self-explanatory. May I?”

She turned. Her brown eyes reminded him of amber glass, bright in the moonlight which made him think of being alive and unfettered. Yet her gaze held the vulnerability of a doe and the threads of a pain he could only guess at. “Free country.” She turned back to the skyline. “Friend of the groom?”

“Yes. For quite some time.” Hunter bowed his head. “Hunter Pierce at your service.”

The line of her mouth softened from straight to curved. “Chaz said those very words the first time we met,” she murmured. “I’m Tori. Tori Roberts. Friend of the bride.”

“I gathered by your dress although I was a little late for the ceremony,” he remarked.

“We’re sisters. I couldn’t want anything more than for Stacy to be as happy as she is right now.”

Hunter frowned. “Stacy didn’t mention any siblings.”

Tori laughed softly and Hunter enjoyed the sound. “Sorry. Not by blood. We’re sorority sisters. Best friends.”

“Ahh. Would you like to sit? He indicated a stone bench nearby.

She faltered and Hunter found her hesitation unsettling. But then she agreed which he found to be even more unsettling. “Not too long otherwise they’ll send out a search party.” She placed her pocketbook on the bench. “Have you known Chaz long?”

He allowed a slight smile. “Long enough.”

She glanced toward the ballroom windows then back at him and she rose slowly. “If you’ll excuse me? As much as I would love to continue this conversation, I really need to get back.”

Hunter stood also. He wondered how someone so astute could be so sad inside. So he asked, “A question before you go?” She lifted her chin, almost a dare to continue. “Why are you so sad?”

She reached for the small pocketbook sitting on the bench. The movement caused her shoulder to hide part of her face. Hunter knew all about hiding.

“How do you know I’m sad?”

“Part of my business is reading people. Can you tell me a few moments ago you weren’t?”

She stepped back trying to put distance between them. “I’m not sure that’s any of your business.”

“Agreed.” Hunter approached her as he would a doe trying to suppress the predator inside. “You wear a mask and if I may be so bold, I think your friends would prefer you didn’t.”

“Really.” Her brows drew together. “Was this part of your ‘service’?”

“Apologies,” he said, inclining his head. “I’ve found most people prefer the truth—eventually.”

She bit her lip, paused, and then blurted, “What’s your truth?”

Hunter found he had to hold back a bitter guffaw. “I’m a vampire.”

“Wow.” Her mouth opened, no sound came out, and then laughter burst from her lips. “That is the first time anyone has ever used being a vampire as a pick-up line on me. Incredibly inventive.”

She clapped her hands together lightly. Whatever had possessed him to tell her his most guarded secret? Nonplussed, he answered, “You asked for the truth. I gave it.”

“Right,” she answered. “I wonder what Chaz would say if he knew.” She clapped again but the sound faded as he drew even closer.

For the first time in a very long time, Hunter found himself completely engaged by a woman. He stepped forward and this time, she didn’t step back. He lifted his arms to circle her body and said, “He would tell you I have no business thinking what I’m thinking.”

She lifted trembling fingers and tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear yet her lips lifted with an almost roguish smile. “Would he now?”


Author Bio:

As a major in biochemistry with a minor in English literature, Linda has always tried to mesh her love of science with her love of the written word. A clinical research scientist by day and NJRW Golden Leaf award winning author by night, she creates unforgettable characters and puts them in untenable situations, much to their dismay. Choices always matter and love conquers all, so a happy-ever-after is a must. Linda is the current Treasurer of Liberty States Fiction Writers. She has served on the boards of other writing organizations, and loves to teach the craft of writing at worshops and conferences. She lives in New Jersey with her husband John, son Chris, daughter-in-law Sara, and Audi, a Cocker Spaniel mix who had her at woof!

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Release Blitz

Alone With You by C.N. Marie


 

★.•°`☆ NEW RELEASE ☆`°•.★


#NewRelease for #CNMarie with #PhoenixBookPromo

➜ Alone With You (Book #1 in the Broken Trust series) by C.N. Marie is #NowLive

Hosted by Phoenix Book Promo ➜ @c.n.marieauthor @phoenixbookpromo


Buy Link:  https://books2read.com/u/4Nwvz8 

Add to your TBR:  https://bit.ly/2SwegFU 


Synopsis

HARLOW

Escape was the only thought in my head.

I had to get myself away from my brother Johnny and his best friend, Elijah Ingram.

A chance to stand on my own two feet away from the crowd. Away from the jerk who loved to mess with my head.

That is until my world shattered all around me and I had no choice but to return home back to my brother.

Back to the man I called my nemesis…

ELIJAH

Best friends have two important rules that should never be broken; bros always help each other out and little sisters are off limits.

I lived by those rules, especially when it came to my best friend, Johnny.

When his parents died unexpectedly, I knew what I had to do… I wouldn’t let him down.

Time changes people, so when I laid eyes on Harlow, his little sister, I knew I was in deep trouble.

I did everything in my power to keep her at arm’s length, even if it meant she hated me.

I’m not supposed to crave her, but rules are meant to be broken.

How am I supposed to keep my hands off her when she’s everything I could ever need?

 

#CNMarie #AloneWithYou #BrokenTrust #ContemporaryRomance #enemiestolovers #Author #JulyRelease #NowLive #hotnewrelease #bookaddict #newrelease #PhoenixBookPromo #indieauthor #authorsofIG #2021read #givemethebooks #coverlove #romance #romancereads #tbr #teasergram #booklovers #romancereaders #bookrelease #bookboyfriend #bookworm #bookstagram
Book Blitz

Nefarious by Mary Ann Marlowe

Nefarious
Mary Ann Marlowe
Publication date: July 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Warning: What you’re about to read is not a romance . . .

Diabolical Wall Street traders, Dane Russ and Val Montgomery, vaulted into fame and fortune as the power duo of financial technology. But after they lost the internet trading company they built from the ground up to ruthless Geraldo Valencia, they had to tuck tail and run to a Midwestern firm. Dane deals with the boredom by leaning into his playboy ways. Meanwhile Val plays the role of a scrupulous mentor, while secretly playing mind games with everyone at the office.

When Geraldo’s daughter shows up as an intern in Val’s summer training program, Val sees the perfect opportunity for her longed-for revenge—she’ll teach the girl nefarious business practices and send her home ethically compromised. But Dane’s not interested because he’s stumbled across his own opportunity for vengeance—a chance to seduce Noelle, the new CEO, and the woman who spurned him years ago.

As Val and Dane play cat-and-mouse with everyone else, their long-simmering history of unresolved romantic injuries with one another begins to burn beyond their control. While Dane doesn’t notice that a jealous Val has set him on a path to ruin Noelle, Val’s blind to the traps Dane has laid to bring her down. Although they’re adept at using everyone around them like chess pieces, their interpersonal game has no rules and can only end with their mutual destruction. If they don’t agree to a cease fire, Val’s reputation will be destroyed and Dane will lose his heart before he even realizes he’s risked it.

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EXCERPT:

Val scanned the other interns, chess pieces on her board, sizing up their value to her. So far, the only one with the chutzpah to approach her sat at the far corner of the table. Anthony. He stood out in the way he sat. Leaning back in his chair, one foot crossed on his knee. Val raised an eyebrow at him, and he straightened up and put his forearms on the table. Now they were all a neat row of matching pawns.

The door swung open, and Dane waltzed in. Fifteen intern heads swiveled away from Val and gawked at him. Anthony vacated his chair with alacrity, as though he feared someone else might beat him to it. He gestured for Dane to sit, but Dane’s lip curled up on one side in disdain, and he simply leaned against the back wall, languidly pushing a stir stick around his Styrofoam coffee cup. Dane never sat at meetings. These kids will learn.

Anthony sheepishly pulled his chair back and returned to his place at the table.

As Val waited for order to return, she let her gaze linger on Dane, draped against the wall in all his languorous beauty. She knew he’d spent a fortune to look like he did, but knowing it didn’t make her appreciate it less. Of course, she’d seen him before he’d learned to groom himself so handsomely. She’d taught him after all. But he’d been born with those dark sultry eyes and that decadent luscious mouth. Fully aware she was drinking in her fill, he puckered his lips like he might blow her a kiss.

She inhaled, searching for a hint of his scent. If it wouldn’t be considered unseemly, she might be tempted to cross the room and take him up on his implied offer.

Instead she turned her attention to the interns, now waiting for her lead.

“This company,” she continued, “was founded by Martin Fleetwood in 1957 with a specialization in mortgage trading.” Val clicked through the slides, expanding on the historical events that nobody wanted or needed to know. The subject of the slides moved on to the current state of the company. “Have any of you researched the company’s stock position?”

Anthony raised his hand. “Yes, ma’am. Stocks are trading at thirty-eight as of this morning.”

Val glanced at Dane. “Are we up or down?”

Anthony opened his mouth, but Dane’s voice commanded the room’s attention. “The market’s hot, and our stock is rising.”

Val controlled her expression, but the corner of her mouth rose slightly. “What do you make of our throughput?”

Dane lifted his shoulders from the wall, engaged now. “I like our position with regard to market penetration.”

The interns had stopped taking notes, and their heads followed the volley as though they were spectators at a tennis match.

Val set up the shot. “And the projected yield?”

“Coming together.” Dane crumpled the Styrofoam and tossed it into the trash bin.

Val exhaled. “Our stockholders will be very satisfied.”

Dane reached in his pocket and produced a single cigarette. He toyed with it for a heartbeat before walking out the door.

Val bit the end of her pen. My most valuable chess piece moves in every direction.

Except into her bed.

No, she wouldn’t cede that game until she knew how they could both win.

With all the eyes back on Val, she proceeded to lecture them on expectations of ethics and compliance, chuckling to herself as they diligently took notes.

Author Bio:

Some Kind of Magic is Mary Ann Marlowe’s first novel. When not writing, she works by day as a computer programmer/DBA. She spent ten years as a university-level French professor, and her resume includes stints as an au pair in Calais, a hotel intern in Paris, a German tutor, a college radio disc jockey, and a webmaster for several online musician fandoms, plus she has a second-degree black belt. She has lived in twelve states and three countries and loves to travel. She now lives in central Virginia where she is hard at work on her second novel. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.maryannmarlowe.com, on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/marlowemaryann/, and at twitter.com/maryannmarlowe.

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Book Tour

Hexes & Hijinks

Hexes & Hijinks
Danika Dreary Mystery Book 1
by Sherry Soule
Genre: Cozy Paranormal Mystery
This book will appeal to readers of Nancy Warren, Angie Fox, Molly Fitz, and Kate Allenton!
A whimsical matchmaker. A bizarre murder. And a psychic amateur sleuth…
Danika Dreary’s life is a hot mess. After her latest soul-crushing crisis, Danika moves in with her eccentric grandma, Elsie.
But there’s a catch: Danika must work at Karma Moon within the quaint town of Mystique, California. Except this is no ordinary new-age bookshop, it’s also where Elsie—a legendary matchmaker—helps the lonely residents find love.
When Ryker Van Allan demands his money back on a true love package, Elsie and Danika are shocked. Yet Ryker insists the woman never showed up for the date. And he’s telling the truth—Danika has a built-in lie detector that warns her whenever someone’s being dishonest.
That night, the woman’s body is found near the shop, and Elsie is accused of the murder. Danika can’t let her grandma serve time for a crime she didn’t commit. But the victim has more enemies than the town has secrets, and Danika can’t throw a tarot card without hitting a potential suspect.
With the clock ticking, Danika must prove Elsie’s innocence, suffer through the horrors of retail, and maybe even find a place where she truly belongs.
Do you enjoy clean cozy mysteries with a slice of romance and a dash of paranormal?
Then buy your copy now or read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited subscription!
Multi-Genre Author of Bewitching Mysteries, Unconventional Heroines & Swoony Romances!
Sherry Soule lives in Northern California with her family and two spoiled rescue cats. She writes cozy paranormal mysteries, supernatural mysteries, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and sci-fi romance. Many of her books have been on the Amazon bestseller lists and nominated as top picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories on numerous review sites.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$10 Amazon
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Played by Cara Dee

Played
Cara Dee
(Auctioned, #4)
Publication date: July 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

The Auctioned Series is a journey packed with action, nail-biting suspense, family, and love. In Gray and Darius’s fight for freedom and a future where they aren’t haunted by the ghosts of their pasts, they’ll make you laugh, cry, possibly yell at your e-reader, and swoon just a little bit.

One last mission. One last operation—and the stakes had never been higher. Truth be told, Darius was exhausted. He didn’t want his past mingling with the life he was building with Gray and the kids, but he had no choice.

They were facing their biggest threat yet, and in order to even stand a chance, Darius had to revert to the man he’d once been. He had to set aside fatherhood and love and be the grunt, the private contractor, the soldier who went deep behind enemy lines.

It was time to rally the troops. With Gray by his side, Darius cashed in the last of his favors and put together a crew that would hopefully help them bring an end to this chaotic year. The desert waited for them. Again. So did Las Vegas.

The problem with Vegas…?

Just when you thought you knew how to play the game, it played you.

This story takes place in Cara Dee’s Camassia Cove Universe, a fictional town where all books/series ’stand on their own, unless otherwise stated. The Auctioned Series should be read in the following order: Auctioned, Stranded, Deserted, Played, and Finished.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Pizza delivery!” Ryan’s booming voice echoed and sent a pack of birds fleeing the trees. “I have two brothers here too, bitching about how I drive!”

The cavalry had arrived.

Darius descended the steps and lit up a smoke. Sorry, knucklehead, the two-smoke limit wasn’t in effect tonight.

First to appear out of the shadows was his brother, the person Darius preferred to work with the most. A skilled marksman and sniper, bold, two steady hands, a happy-go-lucky grunt who knew how to go oorah.

“Brother.” Ryan handed over a stack of pizza boxes and eyed the cabin. “You’ve come a long way since last time. Good shit.”

“Maybe next time you bring the family,” Darius replied. Because they had to fucking stop meeting up only for work they’d supposedly quit doing.

“Amen.”

After leaving the pizza on the porch, Darius went to greet the next two men. River and Reese Tenley. They’d met in the field maybe ten years ago. A set of batshit-crazy twin brothers who’d taken more risks than Darius had. Mainly because River’s job had usually involved handling sensitive information, and as soon as that was the case, you had a red laser dot on your forehead. His brother, Reese, had been in charge of security. He was loud and outgoing where River was quiet and observant.

“For the record, Riv was bitching, not me,” Reese stated. “Ryan was always good at operating heavy machinery.”

“I love you too, sunshine,” Ryan hollered from the porch.

Darius shook his head in amusement.

“Good to see you again, guys.” He shook their hands firmly.

“Not too good,” River noted with a wry smirk.

Darius chuckled.

“Fuck it. I’m stoked.” Reese looked it too. “Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t retire a minute too soon, but it’s still a rush, innit?”

No one could deny that.

“I am too fucking old for these rushes, boys.” The voice emerged from the darkness and revealed Alicia Dawson, a petite ballbuster with an impressive résumé. Everyone coming here tonight was in their early to mid-forties, but Alicia had the most experience, though not that many years in the field.

Once a wunderkind who’d started college at fifteen, she’d been recruited into the private sector from MIT when she was just two shits high. Granted, she was still only two shits high. She’d worked all over the place, it seemed. For one, she was former CIA. As a biochemist specializing in chemical warfare, she’d always been able to pick freely among employers. So it was no wonder she’d returned to the private sector eventually. That was where the money was.

“Ally.” Darius smirked and offered to grab her luggage.

She huffed and handed it over, then promptly lit up a smoke. Fuckin ’menthols. “I guess these heels weren’t made for walking in grass. Christ—ever the heathen, Quinn.”

She didn’t like the woods. She preferred penthouses, deathtrap heels, and lipstick the color of blood.

“How the fuck are ya, darlin’?” Reese asked.

“I’m rich, bored, and I’ve been trying to pin something on Lange for years. I guess that works in your favor,” she replied coolly.

Darius smiled. “By the way, we have a funder.”

Alicia smirked and raised her hand.

Ryan had never met Alicia before—they only knew each other through the grapevine—so while Reese handled introductions between the two, Darius shifted his focus to the next car that pulled up.

“We can talk and eat at the same time. I’m starving,” Ally announced.

Darius spotted two guys, so that had to be Elliott and Tariq. They were close, and both lived in the LA area. Elliott Jones shared a similar background to Darius. Semiretired, twenty years in high-risk security and extractions, and these days, he ran a bodyguard business.

Tariq Amin was a short guy nicknamed The Fly. Because he was the proverbial fly on the wall who got access to information nobody wanted to share. He’d started out as a photographer in combat zones who’d seen the demand for interpreters early on. He was fluent in nine languages, and Darius had worked with him more than a few times, especially in the Middle East.

“I see retirement’s working out great for you, Quinn.” Elliott slapped his hand into Darius’s and shook it.

“I got five years of peace.”

Elliott grinned. “That’s more than most, I guess.”

Darius chuckled and shook hands with Tariq too. “Good to see you both. There’s pizza and beer on the porch. Dig in.” He saw their last arrival parking now too.

Dante Williams. Another fucker with an impressive résumé. Born in Jamaica but came to the US before he’d started first grade. He was ex-Army, ex-NYPD, ex-PMC, and now worked as a consultant in risk assessment, all while running a martial arts center in Queens.

“Of course you have to live in the middle of fuckin ’nowhere, Darius,” he said with a laugh.

“Of course I do.” Darius smacked Dante’s shoulder and offered to grab one of his bags. “You’ve been promised food and a briefing, so let’s get to it. How’s your ma? Do you tell her I miss her cooking?”

“She asks about you sometimes.” Dante slid him a crooked smirk. “She worries for your restless soul.”

Darius barked out a laugh. “Oh—I guess that’s one thing you can appease her with. I’m settled down and have two kids now.”

Dante did a double take. “What the fuck? I wasn’t too shocked to hear you’d hooked up with a guy, but kids? You fuckin ’with me? How many times have I heard you swear you’d never have any?”

Darius chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck. Safe to say, he had a fair bit of shit coming his way for all the years he’d been vocal about never settling down.

The two joined the rest on the porch, where the table was already filled with open pizza boxes. Despite having brought two extra chairs to the short end of the table, Darius had known it wouldn’t be enough. But he had no issues using the railing. Ryan was already seated there with pizza and beer for them.

Darius grabbed a slice and got comfortable too. “Y’all need foreplay first, or can I dig right in?”

“If that’s what you tell Gray, I feel for the kid,” Ryan said with his mouth full of pizza.

All right, so the first laugh at Darius’s expense was out of the way.
“Don’t be gentle with us, hon,” Alicia said. “Just cut to the chase. I’ve been waiting far too long to end that motherfucker.”

That was a good place to begin.

Author Bio:

I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex.

There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly.

Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.

I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.

Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.

I’m a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write.

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The Zone by Colleen Charles

The Zone by Colleen Charles is now live!
https://geni.us/TheZone
FREE with Kindle Unlimited


She’s turned demanding to speak to the manager into an art form.
But this pint-sized spitfire doesn’t look anything like a Karen.

During my teammate Cole’s wild bachelor party, a sassy blonde puts an unwelcome damper on our raunchy fun.

After just one look… I don’t even know what hit me.

She storms into my reckless playboy world with her platinum blonde hair, pouty lips and curves for days.

For the first time since I was drafted, I tee it up, take a swing, and –

Big. Fat. Miss.

** cue screeching tires here **

Bristol McKay delights in heating my heart to smoldering and then leaving it in pieces.

Then again, maybe she has a darn good excuse underneath all that bristling beauty and bluster.

The reason why she’s spent her whole life honing her hatred of hockey players.

I’m going to melt the frost from her wicked tongue, while relishing every single second of it.

And she’ll love it too.
*****

THE ZONE is a full-length emotional ice hockey romance novel from USA Today Bestselling Author, Colleen Charles, about two enemies coming together to heal each other. It’s the fourth book in the sizzling Rochester Riot series but can be read as a standalone. You don’t have to love or even understand sports to enjoy this series!

About the Author:
Colleen Charles is the USA Today Bestselling author of Perfectly Imperfect Romance for perfectly imperfect readers

Take a chance and join her… you won’t be sorry you did.

Colleen loves to hear from her readers, and she answers all communications personally. You can find her at:

www.colleencharles.com – FREE FULL-LENGTH EXCLUSIVE NOVEL for new subscribers

Facebook: https://geni.us/CCFacebook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/booksbycolleen
Email: colleen@colleencharles.com

Cover Reveal

Christmas Grace by Mindy Steele

Christmas Grace
Mindy Steele
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: October 26th 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance

Second chances and the Christmas spirit abound in Mindy Steele’s heartwarming novel, one of faith, love, and the power of community.

Grace Miller believed herself in love with the charming Englischer who eventually broke her heart. Now alone except for the secret life growing inside her, she arrives in the unfamiliar small village of Walnut Ridge, Kentucky, to hide and hopefully gain forgiveness.

She is pleasantly surprised, however, to find a tight-knit, welcoming group who help her heart grow right alongside her belly. And with the holidays around the corner, there’s plenty of preparations to occupy her mind. Also occupying her mind? Her strong, protective neighbor, Cullen Graber, the town’s blacksmith, who seems intent on not allowing her to ever suffer alone.

Cullen Graber gave up on love after too many losses early in life. He planned to live out his days focusing on his smithy business, yet the beautiful and mysterious Grace refuses to leave his thoughts. But can they open their hearts to God’s grace and create a new family together before Grace must return home?

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Author Bio:

Raised in Kentucky timber country, Steele writes Amish Romance peppered in humor, using rural America and the residents as her muse. Steele strives to create realistic characters for her readers and believes in engaging all the senses to make you laugh, cry, hold your breath, and root for the happy ever after ending. A hopeless romantic, with a lyrical pen, her readers will find something of themselves within her pages.

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