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Realm Of Darkness

Title: Realm of Darkness: A Limited Edition Fantasy and Paranormal Collection

Authors: J.A. Culican, Elise Knight, Christopher D. Morgan, Ava Silvers, A.L. Morrow, 
Skye Callahan, AR Colbert, K.A. Last, Daphne Moore, Mari LaRoche, Jade Waltz, 
Becky James, Wren Murphy, Lea Cherry, Susan Stradiotto, Claire Marta, 
Amy Pennza, Emily Clark, Ellie Thornton, Katherine D. Graham, C.K. Sorens, 
Rosalyn Briar, Vivienne Lee Fraser, KC Freeman, Sky Sommers, 
Jamie Schlosser, Miranda Honfleur, RA Winter, Jessica M. Butler, J.M. Butler, 
Carissa Broadbent, Monica Enderle Pierce, Clare Sager, Helen Garraway, 
Katherine Bennet, Melle Amade, Jessica Grayson, R.A. Cooper, L.M. Hughes, 
Bethany Adams, Sierra Knoxly, C.A. King, Emma B. Layne, Fatima Fayez, 
Catharine Glen, S. R. Breaker, Calla Zae  

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal 

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Release Blitz

Pompous Player by Brenda Rothert

Title: Pompous Player
A Cocky Hero Club Novel
Author: Brenda Rothert
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 14, 2021

Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward are excited to bring you the Cocky Hero Club: original works from various authors inspired by Keeland and Ward’s New York Times bestselling Cocky Bastard series.


I hate Harry Stone.
Before I’d even met the selfish former pro hockey player turned CEO, he was at the top of my shit list.
The entire city of Chicago thinks he’s God’s gift to humanity, but I know the truth.
He knocked up my best friend and then ditched her when she needed him most.
She got sick after that, and before she passed away, she chose me to raise her newborn daughter.
I just need Harry to sign away his rights to the little girl who means everything to me.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.
To stay in his daughter’s life, I end up moving in with the man I detest. Loathe. Despise.
Hating Harry Stone is the easiest thing I’ve ever done.
But slowly discovering a way to not hate him?
Now that, I didn’t see coming.

Pompous Player is a secret baby/enemies to lovers/sports romance inspired by Cocky Bastard.



Free in Kindle Unlimited


Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.


Blog Tour

The Ripening: A Canadian Girl Grows Up by Lily Iona MacKenzie

Title: The Ripening: A Canadian Girl Grows Up
Author: Lily Iona MacKenzie
Genre: New Adult/Adult Coming of Age Novel
Paperback Release Date: October 15, 2021
eBook Release: November 14, 2021

‘This is not necessarily a ‘light’ read, but if you’re interested in beautifully written literary fiction, are interested in people and what shapes them to become who they are, or even just want to read something that is structurally interesting in terms of how it all fits together, then I highly, highly recommend The Ripening!’ – Goodreads Review (John Wigglesworth)

Sexual awakening can be messy business.
Tillie Bishop never knew her father, and when her mother abandons her, Tillie quickly becomes streetwise. Even in Calgary, forces of the coming 1960s—a decade of rebellion, discovery, and upheaval—are already at work within her. As a Canadian Girl in Training, she’s tried to follow their Christian guidelines, but she prefers to make up her own. She smokes cigarettes in the church bathroom during the group’s meetings and plays kissing games afterward with neighborhood boys. Barely a teenager, glamour becomes her new guiding star, and she fantasizes about a future of dating men and having sex.

At seventeen, during a stay in Toronto, she becomes a band groupie and throws herself into the “sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll” scene—just what she she’s been looking for. Then, seeking more adventure, she moves to San Francisco, drawn to its psychedelic night life, leading to a deeper downward spiral. However, Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self.

Tillie takes readers on a wild ride through a period of riotous personal and cultural change. Join her if you dare!


Tillie was in bed, drifting off to sleep, holding onto Bleek. The dogs started barking, the sound reverberating off the window and waking her. The dogs were always chasing things in the night—images from their dreams. She drifted off again. 

Then she was awake. Wide awake. She heard someone pounding on the door downstairs, and a man shouted, “For Christ’s sake woman, don’t you know your house is on fire?” 

Mama shrieked, “Dad, get Tillie.” 

Heavy boots sounded on the kitchen floor. The screen door squeaked and slammed shut several times. Another unfamiliar voice shouted, “We need lots of water. Alan, start pumping. Lloyd, start a bucket brigade. Murray, get the goddamn hose!” 

Tillie could smell smoke, and it scared her. Headlights leaped across the bedroom wall, chasing the dark away, and tires ground on gravel. Cars pulled into the yard. Their doors slammed. More shouts. Voices yelling. She couldn’t understand what they were saying. 

Tillie wanted to sleep again, but the door opened, and smoke float- ed into the room. Her grandpa stood there, coughing, a halo of light surrounding him. He was wearing only his dark trousers and white undershirt. The black suspenders cut into his shoulder, his gray hair stood straight up like a rooster’s comb, and his eyes bulged, red crowding out the white. He said, “Get out. We don’t have time to waste.” 

Tillie held back. All the rooms she had lived in since she was born marched in front of her. One had no windows—only a grimy skylight. Another had cockroaches. They crawled out of every crack. None of these places ever felt like a real home. Not until she and her mama had moved to the house on Harold’s farm that Tillie had grown to love, especially its big pantry. Shelves were filled with sealers of food she had helped to can: chickens, beets, dill pickles, beans, and sauerkraut. They never needed to worry about going hungry here. 

Tillie didn’t want to lose all of this.
Grandpa said, “Get a move on!”
She dove under her pillow, grabbed Bleek, and followed her grandpa. The smoke was getting thick now, and she coughed, waving her arms around, trying to push it away. Grandpa stopped in the kitchen and grabbed Rich from Mama. Then he took the kids to the car and put them inside it. He said, “You two wait here. Don’t leave till I come get you!” 

They both stared out the car windows, screaming. Smoke hung over everything. Harold appeared suddenly and then floated into the house on a wave of smoke. Mama flickered in and out of view, still wearing her bathrobe and slippers. In the barn, the cattle kicked against the walls. And the chickens screeched louder than when Tillie had accidently ridden Smokey into the hen house. The dogs crouched at the edge of the yard and barked constantly. 

Neighbor men and women rushed into the house and grabbed clothes, dishes, and furniture. They dropped them in the yard and went back for more. The flames now were lashing out and taking large bites from the roof. It looked like a dragon was attacking the place. Sparks sent shooting stars into the night sky, but Tillie couldn’t tear her eyes away from the fire. The flames changed shape, reminding her of clouds and all the images they made. It was beautiful. Though she was screeching, and tears ran down her face, the scene thrilled her. 

Then the fire was over, and Tillie didn’t feel excited any longer. The flames had swallowed the house, not leaving much behind. Just some charred clumps. Rich had fallen asleep, but Tillie couldn’t stop staring, waiting for their house to appear again. 

It didn’t. 

Smoke still filled the night sky, and its smell was everywhere. It followed them for months. Everything they rescued stank like smoke. Tillie felt as if she’d been roasted over a fire. It took a long time to get over the shock of seeing their home destroyed and how quickly things can change. 

A Canadian by birth, a high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in Lily Iona MacKenzie’s early years, she supported herself as a stock girl, as a long-distance operator, and as a secretary. She also was a cocktail waitress at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (she was the first woman to work on the SF docks and almost got her legs broken), founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, co-created The Story Shoppe, a weekly radio program for children that aired on KTIM in Marin, and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative writing and one in the Humanities).

She has published poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction in over 165 venues. She also has published three novels: Fling! (2015), Curva Peligrosa, (2017), and Freefall: A Divine Comedy (2019). A sequel to Freefall, The Ripening: A Canadian Girl Grows Up, will come out in October 2021. Her poetry collection All This was published in 2011, and her poetry chapbook No More Kings in 2020. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning and blogs at

Book Tour

The Runaway Bride of Blitzen Bay, by Donna Schwartze.


The Runaway Bride of Blitzen Bay

By Donna Schwartze


Genre: Contemporary Romance | Christmas Romance | Small Town Romance | Sweet Clean Romance

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Read in Kindle Unlimited.


A heartwarming Christmas romance set in the charming small town of Blitzen Bay.

“Get a fuzzy blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, then read this sweet, snuggly Christmas love story. You will be swept away just like I was.” Reader Review

Noelle’s getting married three days before Christmas. It’s a dream come true—for her mom. For Noelle, it’s starting to feel like the walls are closing in. She’s known for months that something’s changing—namely, her fiancé. He’s becoming someone she doesn’t know anymore. She’s tried to ignore it, but her gut’s telling her that she’s marrying the wrong person.

Nash retired from the army three months ago. He’s not in the Christmas mood this year. He just wants to be left alone. His high school buddy’s getting married in a few days. He has no desire to go, but every time he tries to throw the invitation out, an alarm goes off in his head. For some reason, he feels like he’s supposed to be there.

It’s thirty minutes before the wedding starts. Noelle’s in her wedding dress. Nash is in his seat. The universe is trying to bring these two strangers together. Can the magic of Christmas deliver a miracle before it’s too late?

About Donna Schwartze:

Donna Schwartze is the bestselling author of The Trident Trilogy (Eight Years, The Only Reason, and Wild Card), Truth or Tequila, and The Runaway Bride of Blitzen Bay. Be the first to know when a new book publishes in your favorite series by signing up for her email list at

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Book Blitz

The Worst Best Friend by Nicole Snow

The Worst Best Friend: A Small Town Romance
Nicole Snow
Publication date: November 10th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow returns with a hilariously uplifting standalone romance where two jaded friends next door bring their lost hearts home.

It’s all sunshine and butterflies until your brother’s best friend dropkicks your heart.
I knew I had it coming with Weston McKnight.
The Adonis next door. The fever crush. The always protector.
The man who walked away after pulverizing my soul.

Seven years ago, he left our little town with a promise he couldn’t keep.
I waited. I worried. I suffered.
I stopped chasing dreams built on that boy’s mile-wide shoulders.
Then I found the pig—and sweet chaos found me.

I had to rescue that poor squealing baby before he was roadkill.
I didn’t know he belonged to Captain McGrumpy.
I never guessed I’d collide with a scowling, moody, scary-hot West again.
Same man. New secrets. Oh, but that all too familiar tension…

We’re stuck as frenemy neighbors for the next two months.
Facing a dilemma with bittersweet memories and flaming glances.
What’s the harm in seeking a little closure?
Can we even use words without risking an all out kissing war?
Am I in trouble with my worst best friend again?

Full-length romance thriller with a sticky sweet Happily Ever After forged from friends-to-lovers madness. Witness one broken man’s redemption quest to claim the girl he shouldn’t with so many small-town hijinks, countless dad jokes, and a little help from a bad-tempered pig.

Goodreads / Amazon



“Look at me,” I rumble.

“W-why?” she stammers with a sniff.

For this.

The moment our lips meet, it’s like a generator blown to pieces. A hundred thousand watts of raw electricity, hot and fast and furious, so wild with sparks it welds our lips together.




She gasps into my mouth and I groan back a curse. Her lips firm with surprise, then soften, giving way to the sudden attack of my tongue.

I’m no longer in control of my own body.

This kiss has its own rules, its own gravity, its own soul.

I’d be a complete fool to try to stop its energy.

Her lips are too soft. Too warm. Too perfect in every way, shape, form, and whimper.

When my tongue claims hers, soft and wet as a summer strawberry, she molds to my chest, dragging her body against mine.

I can’t separate my hot mouth from hers, even though I know full well I should.

Stumbling back a step is the only thing that saves us.

That’s what she does to me, her and her thieving, glorious lips. She knocks me upside the head and renders me fucking boneless.

I tear myself away violently, just a few inches, both of us staring in wild-eyed shock at each other, fighting to remember how to breathe.

Goddamn. My eyes slide to those ruby-red lips again with a need to bite her.

I can’t. I won’t.

But hell…one more time, maybe.

Just one more taste and then I’ll stop. I’ll pull back from the brink before we face annihilation.

It takes nearly all my willpower to crush my lips against hers, to roam her mouth every way I’ve wanted for years—fucking years—only to shove myself away.

Dammit all. My bright ideas especially.

I’m panting like a wild animal—breathing like I’m in disbelief—and for her, I want to be.

Author Bio:

Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.

Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

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Ruby Island by Stephanie Ruth

Ruby Island
Stephanie Ruth
Publication date: November 12th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

First impressions are hard to shake…
Big-headed ex-rugby star, Daniel Dante, refuses to believe a word celebrated ceramicist Kanako Janssen says, though why her new landlord’s opinion bothers her so much is anyones’s guess. She has enough to worry about, with her soon to be ex-husband refusing to sign divorce papers, Daniel’s dog appearing regularly to freak her out, and an exhibition date looming.

Kanako is everything Daniel isn’t, and nothing he’s used to. Trust doesn’t come easily to a player who’s been burnt so publicly before, but if he can’t learn to lean on this fresh-faced, quirky artist, he could well lose her altogether.

Like the swallows, Kanako’s only in Otago for the season. But willing or not, the self-proclaimed introvert is being slowly absorbed into small town life on the lake, and she’s in grave danger of falling in love with it.

RUBY ISLAND is the second story in Stephanie Ruth’s Otago Waters series, set in the beautiful South Island of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Each book stands alone, but reading them in order provides a deeper experience. Intended for readers who enjoy their feel-good romance on the steamy side, and promising a happily ever after.

Sign on to Stephanie Ruth’s newsletter to receive bonus short stories, prologues, epilogues, and cut scenes set in the same world, with the characters you love.

Goodreads / Amazon


“Imagine I hold in my hand a small, but very potent syringe of truth serum…” Holding his thumb and forefinger a little apart, Rugby twisted his hand from side to side as if shaking up invisible contents. “There’s just enough for two doses.” Flicking the veins of his inner elbow, he looked directly at Kana as he mimed the injection sliding into his vein. “Ahhh…” The grimace of mock pain made her smirk.

When he loosened up, he was almost likeable.


Rugby put down his half-biscuit on the paper bag and held out his hand.

“Your turn.”

“What? No.”

“Don’t you want to play?” he spoke with deceptive softness, eyes challenging.

Kana blinked at him, unsure where this was going, or why Rugby was putting in the effort to hook her into his silly game. She slowly extended her arm towards him anyway.

Expecting him to mime the injection sliding into her inner elbow, like he’d done to himself, she faltered when he took her wrist again, trailing one large thumb across the faint blue of the sensitive skin. She had just enough time to wonder if he could feel her pulse skitter in reaction to the intimate touch, before he plunged the imaginary truth serum into her vein.

“It takes a moment for it to kick in.” Rugby continued with the pretence, releasing her arm as he leant back on his hands, out of her personal space but still holding her gaze. “Okay, here comes my truth. I find you very attractive. In fact, you’re stunning. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you. Not since that first time at the lake, when you took your sunglasses off and scowled down your nose at me.”


Kana stared at him.

Yup. Rugby appeared to be dead serious.

He’d been so much easier to deal with when he was wishing her off his property. This close-contact charm-offensive was much more focussed in its assault, and a lot more confusing.

“Ah, thank you, Mr Dante. Mr… ah, Daniel… D. Flattering, but—”

“Your serum should be taking effect about now,” Rugby interrupted, somewhat grim.

“Right.” Kana hugged her knees to herself again. No point in hanging back. If she were upfront and honest, it’d clear the air and perhaps get their landlord-tenant relationship back on an even playing field.

She looked sideways at him. “I don’t want to be attracted to you.”

The statement had the opposite effect to what she’d been expecting. Rugby broke into a slow and beatific grin.

But… you are?”

“That’s not what I said,” Kana negated; realising belatedly it was exactly what she’d implied. And, to be honest, exactly how she felt.

“I’m just out of a long-term relationship, and not looking for any complications.”

“Who said I was aiming for complicated?”

“Just telling you where I stand.” She rose with purpose, grabbing her empty cup with her free hand. She hadn’t made it two steps when Rugby blocked her path. “What are you doing?” she snapped, agitation mounting.

“Did you know who I was when we first met?”

“No.” she shook her head to confirm. “There wasn’t any mention of a landlord on the application information.”

“On the application…?” Rugby shadowed her speech with a frown. “The artist in residence form?”

She nodded.

The confusion on Rugby’s forehead began to clear. “No, I meant did you know… You know what? It doesn’t matter. I think you just answered that. Why did you pretend to be a tourist?”

Kana drew a big, dramatic sigh. “I tried to explain this already. You made out like I was a tourist.”

“I did not. I asked you if you were lost. Polite-local-guy helps woman-with-open-map. Woman thinks, who is this hot guy?” Rugby grinned. “It was a very simple plan.”

“Well, I wasn’t lost,” Kana muttered, a little incensed he was finding this funny.

“But you did think I was hot?”

There he went with his big ego again. She moved to step around him.

“One more question. Did you take my Saturday newspaper?” The words were softer this time, like they meant more.

Kana hesitated only for a moment. “Yes. Sorry. I used it for clay without thinking.”

“You read it first, though.” It was a statement, not a question.

“No. I don’t read the paper. It’s too depressing. I needed it as stuffing for a hand-built piece.” Kana frowned, thinking back. “There is one bit I remember though. A headline. ‘Doctors Fail To…’ I don’t know what they failed to do, because I’d already ripped that piece out and used it. It’s been bugging me ever since.”

“Has it now?” Rugby considered her with an intent gleam.

“It has. Yes.”

“There’s something I’ve failed to do.” The corner of Rugby’s mouth tugged back up into a smile, and Kana was conscious of a faint warning bell in her head. There was something very unpredictable about this man. “One more minute of your time. I’ve been wanting to try something out…”

His hands moved to her shoulders and rested lightly, and Kana could’ve pulled away from him when she realised what he intended to do. Those hazel eyes told her exactly what he was up to. Instead she stood stock-still as Rugby’s head lowered, and his lips slid softly atop hers.

Author Bio:

Award winning New Zealand contemporary romance novelist and short story writer, Stephanie Ruth lives in the South Island, Te Waipounamu, with her husband, three children, and an ever expanding array of animals. If it doesn’t have a happy ending in some form or other, Stephanie’s not writing it.

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Rook’s Palace by Alexa Piper

Rook’s Palace
Alexa Piper
(Her Five Monsters, #1)
Published by: Changeling Press
Publication date: November 12th 2021
Genres: Reverse Harem, Urban Fantasy

Emilia is excited to start a house-sitting job, even if the house is creepy and more than a little on the odd side — as odd as the owner’s requests. When she finds an unusual gaming console, she is drawn into a lusty video game in which she crosses paths with five inhuman creatures. She is drawn to them all, but when the five men keep telling her that the game is very much not what it seems, Emilia realizes she can no longer play along.

As the path she follows offers not just desire and intense experiences but also sadness, cruelty, and hurt around every bend, Emilia’s resolve firms: she will free the five men, who tell her they are already a family, already lovers. Whatever she has grown to feel for them, she cannot let them suffer if saving them is within her power.

With the rules of a game she doesn’t understand forcing her to play along, Emilia must find a way to get to the end of the game and get everyone out — whatever the cost. The freedom of her five monsters depends on her.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


The console that had caught Emilia’s attention was an oval design, smooth silver. She touched the casing, and found that it was warm, polished metal rather than plastic, with a smaller oval display set in the middle. As soon as her fingers brushed against the console, the display lit up with words.

“Play me? Huh,” Emilia said. “You’re strange. How do I play you?” she asked. There was no controller anywhere that she could see. The other wireless ones were neatly lined up beneath their respective console, but this oddity…

The screen brightened, and the words play me blinked at Emilia.

“Right. I want to.” She turned to look around. On the table behind her, on the chairs, there was no controller in sight either, nor did her search reveal one behind the cushions. Shrugging, Emilia hit the screen on the console. She felt the slight give of a button. “Ah.”

The television set flickered to life, and a suitably eerie voice echoed to Emilia from hidden speakers.

“Welcome to the Rook’s Palace,” said a male narrator. On the screen, the camera was following a path through a thicket of trees. It wound toward a castle that rose like a waking dragon in the distance.

“Wow, this looks super HD,” Emilia said. She pulled one of the floor cushions stacked to the right of the TV toward her and sat down cross-legged.

“Brave traveler, you have chosen to walk the paths to the palace, but beware,” said the narrator. “These paths are full of the pleasures of the flesh, and none that walk them may escape the lust and desire of those who call the palace their home.

“Traveler, should you choose to continue, there is a mission you must carry out.” The screen washed out, the scene shifting from the outdoors to a room. It could have been a room right here in Blakely’s castle. As the camera did a slow turn, Emilia gasped a little as a tall, dark-haired figure came into view. At that exact moment, the man turned and looked at the camera, almost as if he’d heard Emilia’s gasp. His dark hair ran down his back, and he wore what was probably supposed to be some sort of stylized Victorian garb. The pants were tight enough to show off muscular legs, and the pressed white shirt with the silver buttons — half of which were undone — showed a broad chest and a narrow waist. The man, whose hair trailed down to the small of his back and half hid his face, looked straight at the camera. His eyes were the color of amethyst, and a wild emotion stirred in their depth for a second before the man shut it down.

“Lord Radovan, the vampire prince, has been hidden away in the palace’s highest tower. Traveler, if you dare, it is your mission to free Lord Radovan from his captivity.”

Emilia wanted to look at this strange vampire prince more. The video quality was good, uncannily so, everything looked real. It was almost like all she had to do was reach out her hand, and she’d be able to touch the amethyst-eyed vampire prince.

Emilia lifted her right hand, but before she could actually try reaching for the vampire, the camera moved. It went for a window and flew straight out, down toward a hedge maze.

“The palace grounds are full of riddles and challenges. Those who guard the path and the palace will not be assuaged by anything less than taking pleasure in your body, Traveler,” the narrator said. “They will demand you give yourself to them, and if they have no mouth or know not how to use it, they will take pleasure on you regardless, split you open and fill you with their need.”

Emilia felt like she should be taking notes for her chat room work. This was good enough to make warmth run down her spine, to make her shift a little on her floor cushion.

“Traveler, if you wish to proceed to the Rook’s Palace, you must consent now to have your body used. On the path to the Palace, your body will be your token. If you dare not, you may turn back, though you will never know what pleasures hide behind these walls. If you consent, your pleasure will end only once Lord Radovan is set free from his tower.”

The maze opened up to the path again, and the camera rushed back to the spot it had first been in, the one with trees to either side of it. Words wrote themselves across the screen.

“Traveler, do you consent?” it read. “Say yes, and proceed. Say no, and never return.”

Once more, Emilia looked for a controller. The button she’d pushed on the console had gone dark now. She looked back up at the screen…

Author Bio:

Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Alexa loves writing stories that make her readers laugh and fall in love with the characters in them.

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Audrey by Sean-Paul Thomas

Sean-Paul Thomas
Publication date: May 21st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

From the author of My Sister and I and The Old Man and The Princess (recently optioned to be a motion picture) – comes a new, suspenseful romantic tale that will knock you off your feet. A story that has a reminiscence of ‘500 days of Summer ’and ‘Midnight in Paris ’with a fair dollop of ‘The Graduate ’thrown in. And of course Audrey, a delightful, older female protagonist who takes the young and wayward ex-con Joe under her wing.

Just out of prison Joe, a young builder from Edinburgh who writes movie scripts in his spare time, randomly meets Audrey, a washed-up, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, middle-aged French film actress at his local film festival. After hitting it off and spending one crazy, magical night together, Audrey sees some potential in Joe and his writing and tries to help him win back his estranged daughter by getting his first screenplay made into a movie in Paris. And so, the adventure of a lifetime begins…

Goodreads / Amazon



Julie froze on the footpath only a few dozen yards ahead of him, although she did not turn around right away to face the familiar voice.

“Julie, please!” Joe cried, continuing to approach her but slowing down his pace just enough to appear as non-threatening as he possibly could. Surprisingly it was Sarah who turned around to face him first.

“Who is it, mummy?” were the first words out of her mouth. “Who is that man?”

Julie took a deep breath and finally turned her stiff body fully around to confront the man that she truly hoped she would never have to see again. There was a long, deep silence as the two just stared at each other for what felt like aeons. Joe looked deeply remorseful stuck inside his own emotional turmoil.

“I heard you were getting out.” Julie finally spoke up.

“I just wanted to say hello.”

“You shouldn’t be here, Joe. You’re not allowed to be here. There are rules and regulations that you need to follow.”

“I know, I know, but I just wanted to see my…”

Joe glanced down at Sarah. He tried to smile, even with tears in his eyes. Sarah hugged a little closer into her mother, unsure of the strange man standing on the street in front of them.

“Don’t you dare say what you’re about to bloody well say, Joe? Don’t you bloody well dare!”

Julie turned to face Sarah again. She crouched down fast so they were both at the same height.

“Who is that man, mummy?” Sarah asked again.

“Just an old, old friend of your mum’s, that’s all. Nothing to worry about. But can you do me a wee favour, my angel?”

Sarah nodded gently.

“See that lamppost behind you, my wee darling? Can you go and wait for mummy over there, please? I won’t be long.”

Sarah simply nodded again and did what she was told. She took one last short curious glance at Joe before walking away. Julie then turned her focus back on Joe. With an angry glare and a determined steely walk, she made her way towards him with a face of thunder.

“Look. I knew this day was coming and I have been… mentally preparing for it to say the least…”

Julie hesitated. She closed her eyes and pressed her fingertips into her forehead, debating what to say next. Desperately trying to choose her words carefully in her emotional state of mind.

“Look. She doesn’t know who you are, okay? She doesn’t remember you. And I still haven’t gotten around to telling her about…” Julie hesitated again. Clearly choking up with the painful memories of it all. “…About what you fucking did.” She finally got her words out.

“It’s okay. I completely understand.” Joe swiftly replied, keen to comfort her. But Julie looked furious as hell at Joe’s casual answer. “No, Joe. No, you don’t understand. How could you ever understand?” Julie took a few moments to calm herself down.

“Look, if you want to see Sarah again then I guess I can’t stop you from trying. But you will have to go through all the proper channels to make it happen. I will not make this easy for you Joe, okay? So, this is your first and only warning. If you surprise us like this again in the middle of the bloody street, or if I see you anywhere near us without a social worker or a bloody lawyer then I will call the police and have you sent back to prison without even batting an eyelash. Do you understand?”

“Yes.” Joe replied as sincerely as he possibly could. “I understand.”

Julie turned around to leave, but Joe still had more to say.

“Do you think we could talk sometime, Julie? Please?”

Julie stopped dead in her tracks and whipped around to face him again. She looked utterly flabbergasted that he was still talking.


“I mean, just the two of us.”

“Didn’t you just listen to a bloody word I said?”

Joe suddenly began digging around in his pockets. By the desperate expression on his face, it was as if the thing he was searching for held the key to getting back on Julie’s good side again. Finally, he pulled out a pair of cinema tickets which only baffled her more.

“Look. I know it might sound stupid and dumb as hell, but I bought us some tickets for a movie at the film festival next week… I thought we could perhaps grab a bite to eat, talk, watch a movie. Like we used to do?”

Julie looked utterly confounded, but she restrained herself from raising her voice into an angry screech in the middle of the quiet neighbourhood where she could already feel the presence of hidden eyes from behind the twitching blinds and curtains of the surrounding houses.

“You want to go and watch a fucking movie? After all this time? After what you did?”

“I know it sounds dumb. I just don’t know what to do or where else to start here, Julie, please?”

“You could start by moving to the other side of the fucking planet and staying far, far away from us.”

Author Bio:

Scottish Author/Screenwriter.

Sean is an author from Edinburgh in Scotland. He is the best selling Kindle Author of ‘The Old Man and The Princess’ which was recently optioned to be a major motion picture.

Sean spent most of his childhood and teenage years on the move with his Scottish and Irish army Parents growing up in the likes of Cyprus, Germany, Wales, and England, as an army brat.

With a keen interest in both reading and writing, he was diagnosed with travel and writing bugs very early in life. Now, writing, travelling, reading, cinema, and Scottish football (Supporting the mighty Edinburgh City for his sins) are his main passions in life.

His main inspiration for writing today comes from living in such a beautiful, charming and hauntingly, Gothic city, such as Edinburgh. An awe-inspiring wee city that has given him so much amazing inspiration to write the more time he spends there.

Recently, Sean has been working on a couple of screenplay adaptations of his books. One of which ‘The Old Man and The Princess’ made the final of the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition 2018 and has since been optioned by an award-winning Director /Producer team. Scheduled to go into production in Ireland in the summer of 2021 filming has been postponed until 2022 due to the recent covid pandemic.

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