Uncategorized

Pieces of You by Willa Woods

Title: Pieces of You
Author: Willa Woods
Genre: New Adult Romance
Tropes: Steamy, Sexy, Alpha Male, Age Gap, Office Romance
Release Date: August 16, 2022
Cover Design: Arden O’Keefe



Have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet a stranger and act on your impulses?

My name is Remington Edwards, and I did just that. It was a chance encounter that changed everything…

I’d finally landed my dream job with a top advertising company. I was collaborating with an award-winning team, and I couldn’t believe my luck.

And then I met my boss.

Except we’d met before…

He was the stranger I had spent the last three months obsessed with.

He acts like he doesn’t remember me but, I can’t let him forget. As I descend further into his world the more, I want from him.


Willa Woods, writes about over the top alphas and the woman they fall for. She wrote her first short story when she was in the sixth grade. Her first alpha was her dog, Bruiser. She has always been an avid reader, spending all her free time when younger at the library. She loves chocolate , pineapple gummy bears, and jewelry. When she’s not writing, she is binging the latest show on Hulu or Netflix. She is an avid gardener and loves to hang out on her back deck watching all the birds and bees, (see what I did there) enjoying all the plants and flowers she has grown. Her and her husband love to go to stock car races. This is her first novel. She hopes you will enjoy reading it as much as she did writing it.



HOSTED BY:
Release Blitz

Ask Me To Stay by H. D’Agostino




Title: Ask Me To Stay
Author: H. D’Agostino
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 2, 2022


BLURB

The Bradshaws have owned a beach house down the coast from ours for as long as I can remember. Every summer since I was six, we’ve vacationed there.

Russell, their youngest son, was my best friend growing up. He taught me how to spit and punch like a boy. He gave me my first beer and first kiss, which was terrible by the way. We spent many days and nights commiserating together about how our parents knew nothing and were so uncool.

Casey Bradshaw, Russ’s older brother, was everything I thought I wanted in a boyfriend. He was cool, mature, and very hot. Each summer I tried and failed, to get him to notice me as more than Russ’s friend and the girl from down the beach. The last summer I was there, he broke my heart.

It’s been six years, and my best friend Aimee has decided we need a vacation. The last thing I expected was to be back at the beach. Sometimes we don’t realize what we need has been right under our nose all along, and sometimes it takes a little push and some alcohol to admit we were wrong.





PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited






AUTHOR BIO

Heather D’Agostino is an avid reader turned Bestselling Author of the Contemporary Romance Series The Broken Series, The Shattered Series, The Second Chances Series, The Cook Brothers Series, and Romantic Suspense series The Witness Series.

She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics.

She currently lives in Central New York with her husband, two children, dog, and two cats. When she’s not writing she can usually be found at the track, soccer field, or one of the many other places that she plays ‘Supermom’


AUTHOR LINKS




Release Blitz

Blackmail by Amelia Wilde




Title: Blackmail
Series: Controlling Interest #1
Author: Amelia Wilde
Publisher: Dangerous Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 2, 2022


BLURB

Bristol Anderson will do anything to protect her younger siblings. Even if it means embezzling from the company where she’s a temp. No one will find out. And the wealthy owner of the investment firm will never notice.

Except Will LeBlanc doesn’t miss a thing.

He could call the police, but he has more interesting plans for her. In the copy room. On the conference table. Under his desk.

The coldhearted venture capitalist will make her pay back every last cent.







PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






AUTHOR BIO

Amelia Wilde wrote her first story when she was six years old, a narrative strongly inspired by The Polar Express. When she was nine she wrote her first novel-length work, all in one paragraph.

Now, Amelia is all about that love. Her romances feature unique, independent heroines and alpha heroes who are strong of heart and body. Readers have described her work as “emotional,” “intense,” “phenomenal,” and “like a child scribbled with a crayon,” which she takes as the highest praise.


AUTHOR LINKS




Release Blitz

Sabre by Kristine Allen

๑💜๑NEW RELEASE๑💜๑

இ ☠️SABRE.☠️ இ

Series: Royal Bastards MC

🔥 Ankeny, IA CHAPTER🔥

Author:  Kristine Allen

Model: Andrew Biernat

Photographer: Wander Aguiar

Cover Designer: Lucian Bane Graphics

💜☠️ NOW AVAILABLE ☠️💜

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/SabreRBMC

BLURB

People think they know what punishment is, but they have no idea. I’d lived enough lifetimes of misery that I’m an expert.

Soleil was my soulmate, but I was a Watcher and it was prohibited for us to be together.After we were caught, she was ripped away, leaving me begging for death. Dropped into the middle of the Civil War, I thought my wish had been granted. Little did I know, my punishment was my anguish on Earth and it would never end.

For years, I was a lost soul, wandering—until I found the Ankeny RBMC. With them, something within my empty chest settled and I dared put down roots.

When she showed up on our doorstep, I was stunned. Except she had no memory of me or that it was my fault her brother died.

Now, a sinister evil is toying with us, threatening to separate us… permanently.

It’s not happening on my watch. I failed once before, and we lost heaven to have each other. But nothing in hell would keep us apart.

They call me Sabre, and this is my real story.

Catch up with the other Ankeny, IA Chapter books… 

☠️ Voodoo: https://books2read.com/VoodooRBMC

💛 Angel: https://books2read.com/AngelRBMC

❤️ Venom: https://books2read.com/VenomRBMC

💙 Chains: https://books2read.com/ChainsRBMC

🥀 Roses Are Red: https://books2read.com/u/mVR6vA

🧡 Haunting Ghost: https://books2read.com/GhostRBMC

💚Charming Phoenix: https://books2read.com/PhoenixRBMC

Website/Series Links: https://www.royalbastardsmc.com/✔  Follow the Royal Bastards MC here:  https://www.facebook.com/royalbastardsmcbooks/

Book Blitz

Child of Etherclaw by Matty Roberts

Child of Etherclaw
Matty Roberts
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

The bonds of family go well beyond blood.
But can those bonds hold when the blood itself carries a devastating secret?

Fenlee’s opal necklace had always radiated a certain warmth since her mother’s death. But now, at sixteen, her world begins to unravel as the stone sparks to life, revealing itself to be an otherworldly artifact of untold power.

Between her mechatronics studies at the academy and scavenging expeditions beneath the sprawling city of New Cascadia, Fenlee and her adopted brother, Elliot, try to decipher the mysteries of her necklace and its link to events in Fenlee’s past.

But they’re not alone in their search.

Strange undercity dwellers offer cryptic warnings, drones track their movements, and deadly corporate agents lurk in the shadows. When tragedy rips Fenlee’s family apart, she must learn to use the artifact’s power to save those who are deeply precious to her. But nothing can prepare her for the dark truths that she will uncover on that journey…

“Lee,” Elliot mumbled. “I’m not who you think I am.”

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Thoughts of etherclaw and worries about her father had kept Fenlee up, so she’d spent almost the entire night installing and integrating the Elixir chip to keep her mind elsewhere. She got it working, but sleep still wouldn’t come, so she composed a message to her father. It’d be expensive to send, but she had to say something.

Hi, Dad. Hope you’re well. Me? I’m great. Except that I’ve been shitting myself because, you know, aer Mom died, we all promised we’d never leave each other. And that’s kind of what you’re best at these days. But, hey, it’s all fine because I found a chip that’s most likely stolen and worth probably half this apartment block, but in order to get it to work, I had to go into the Lunarinto Market for an adapter. But the adapter wasn’t exactly free, so I’m going to start working a part-time job while you’re gone to pay it off. In the Lunarinto Market. You know, the place you hate for me to even go near. One of my legs is just short enough to be constantly uncomfortable because I decided to wreck the one you gave me, my underwear is somehow still riding up my ass from the bike ride home yesterday, and I’m hyperaware of how bad my pits stink. Doesn’t matter because I got no sleep and I don’t have time to do much about it before academy. Also, Mom’s opal, which isn’t real, by the way, might actually be some kind of weird magic device from aliens. Woo! Oh, and your adopted son is smuggling a stray cat. Thought you should know. Don’t get yourself blown up. Love you!

She stared at the comm unit for an eternity before deleting it. Her opal felt cold on her chest in the morning gloom.

Author Bio:

Matty Roberts began their career in journalism where they earned an Emmy and had the privilege of working on several other award-winning projects. They hold an MS from Johns Hopkins University and are now an engineer in renewable energy in Denver, Colorado where they live with their wonderful partner, two extraordinary kids, and the best doggie ever.

In addition to writing, engineering, and parenting, Matty is a vegan enby nerd who is in love with this world and will forever be doing all they can to make it a better place. And they may be known to occasionally play in a punk band here or there.

For more information about Matty and their upcoming books, visit http://www.mattyroberts.io.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Book Blitz

A Coup of Tea by Casey Blair 

A Coup of Tea
Casey Blair
(Tea Princess Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

When the fourth princess of Istalam is due to dedicate herself to a path serving the crown, she makes a choice that shocks everyone, herself most of all: She leaves.

In hiding and exiled from power, Miyara finds her place running a tea shop in a struggling community that sits on the edge of a magical disaster zone. But there’s more brewing under the surface of this city—hidden magic, and hidden machinations—that threaten all the people who’ve helped her make her own way.

Miyara may not be a princess anymore, but with a teapot in hand she’ll risk her newfound freedom to discover a more meaningful kind of power.

A Coup of Tea is the first book of the Tea Princess Chronicles, a cozy fantasy series full of magic tea, friendship, and lifting people up even when the odds seem impossible.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

She hands me a third cup, and I eye her mistrustfully, that unease back again and sharp.

“Earning your tablecloth,” she reminds me.

I smell the grassiness of the green tea before I taste it. But the flavor is so strange I can’t immediately identify the elements—she’s used aloia nectar not just as a sweetener, but to bind this mystery ingredient, and the result has a strangely smooth, nutty element. I frown at the cup and take another sip, swirling the tea in my mouth.

“So?” Lorwyn asks.

It’s much better than the other two, but this tea gives the impression of oozing—no, crawling through the grass—

I set the cup down abruptly. “Please tell me your mystery ingredient is not insectoid.”

Her eyebrows rise in surprise. “Wow. Okay, I’m impressed. Apparently the trekkers named them sleekbeetles. New species discovered in the Cataclysm. Talmeri bought crates of their scales.”

I am drinking beetle scale tea.

This morning I was a princess, and now I sit sopping in a tablecloth drinking beetle scale tea.

“Why?”

Lorwyn shrugs. “I’m sure they were cheap. Talmeri’s always on the lookout for novelty items to boast the most unique tea flavors in the city, and she also likes torturing me. Who can say which was the primary factor this time?”

I grimace. “Wonderful. A hitherto untasted bug. I hope it’s at least magically inert and you haven’t poisoned me?”

“Of course I didn’t poison you,” Lorwyn says. “I tasted it before you did. How could you tell it was beetle?”

“The grassiness of the green tea,” I say. “It’s too sharp. You need something mellower that’s still robust enough to hold up to the aloia nectar.”

Lorwyn slumps back—I’m not entirely sure how she manages to, since she’s sitting on a stool.

“Aloia is tricky,” she grumbles.

“Maybe it needs another note,” I say. “The aloia manages the beetle flavor into something nearly salvageable. Now you need a bridge between the aloia and the tea.”

Lorwyn bolts out of her stool. “Wait there!”

She returns with another small pot and a cup, adds them to the tea service. She lifts the pot to pour, and all at once I realize, beetle scales aside, what’s been bothering me.

The water from that kettle should not have correctly brewed different kinds of teas and tisanes. The temperature of the water has to have changed, and there are no cooling or heating devices anywhere near the table.

I glance around for a structure, anything she could have used to anchor magecraft. The stools aren’t in any particular order around the table, there are no candles, and the teacups are arranged for the taster’s benefit alone.

Which means this isn’t magecraft at all.

It’s witchcraft.

I promise I can maim you in any number of ways, she said.

Lorwyn holds a cup of tea out to me with an excited look on her face.

I’ve lost my wits. After realizing what she’s doing, it’s the only explanation for what I do next.

I take the cup, and I sip.


Author Bio:

Casey Blair writes adventurous fantasy novels for all ages, and her serial fantasy Tea Princess Chronicles is available online for free. After graduating from Vassar College, her own adventures have included teaching English in rural Japan, attending the Viable Paradise residential science fiction and fantasy writing workshop, and working as an indie bookseller. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest and can be found dancing spontaneously, exploring forests around the world, or trapped under a cat. For more information visit her website caseyblair.com or follow her on Twitter @CaseyLBlair.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

New Release

The Oracle’s Flame

Title: The Oracle’s Flame

Series: Oracle, Book One

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 08/02/2022

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage

Length: 19100

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, romance, menage, dragons, sailors/pirates, royalty, psychic, action/adventure

Add to Goodreads

Description

The Kingdom of Altnoia is on the cusp of civil war. The king and heir have been murdered, the throne taken by their uncle, and the kingdom’s only hope lies with Prince Edan who has been missing for the past year. The Oracle appoints Kindle, her new Dragon of Fire, one task: find Prince Edan and keep him alive. It should have been a simple task, but Kindle did not anticipate Prince Edan would hide away on a pirate ship, forcing the dragon not only to endure pirates, but seasickness and his fear of water. And nothing, not even the Oracle, could have prepared him for the two pirates he meets and the complicated feelings they spark.

Excerpt

The Oracle’s Flame Mell Eight © 2022 All Rights Reserved The castle wasn’t burning, although her mind’s eye saw it outlined in flames. There would be fire, but not this night. No, this night was death. This night was treason. These events had already occurred. They were sent from the past, meant to ensure her understanding of the present, and to help her decipher the future. They were important, so the Oracle watched them again. Ferim was scowling over his brother’s body. His older half brother, the king, was dead. The specter of his mother, the long-dead second wife of the previous king, hung over Ferim’s head as he declared himself King of Altnoia. The spite in his mother’s heart had successfully lived on, given new birth at the end of Ferim’s bloody sword. The king was dead. The king’s wife was dead. The king’s oldest son was dead. Ferim’s mother placed a heavy crown on Ferim’s head and then began to let out a crazed laugh. The second son of the dead king escaped the castle, a circle of loyal servants and guards ensuring that Prince Edan, the rightful heir to the throne, boarded a ship in the harbor. Cannons fired as the White Crest forced an opening through the country’s armada. The news of the coup in the castle was just arriving at the port; too late to halt Prince Edan’s escape. Those captains loyal to their jobs futilely returned fire while those loyal to land and crown abandoned ship and took to the hills to begin building a rebellion against the false king. The rebellion continued at sea as well, led by Prince Edan and his loyal crew, and the years passed. King Ferim grew in power, but dissent also grew as the people thought of their lost prince. The Oracle watched as a sickly green shadow began to grow in Altnoia. First the shadow was contained, as a shadow should be, by the forces of light and dark. It clung to Ferim’s robes, his shoes, and his very breath. But sickness spreads quickly. As Ferim breathed on his councilors, their shadows also began to grow ill. Ferim walked through the city, and everywhere he stepped, a pool of deadly miasma formed. Soon the shadow was hanging over all of Altnoia. These were the images the Oracle’s mind provided to symbolize corruption and greed as they fermented. As filling one’s own pockets with gold and gems went above the good of the country. As regular citizens fought to produce enough grain to feed their families and pay the tithe the king demanded. As they sickened and died when blight came to the crops and deadly illness into the wells. The people remembered the prosperity they had enjoyed under the murdered king, and they remembered their prince had escaped that day of blood. The people hoped for a better life, and the rebellion grew in strength every day. King Ferim sat on his throne and heard those whispers, and he knew Prince Edan had to die for his reign to continue. And thus, the present was ended. Now it was time for the future, for the unknown, and the possible paths diverged in dozens of directions. Should King Ferim go riding on one sunny day in late spring, his horse would step in a hole, and both horse and false-king would be dead. But such an event was unlikely. King Ferim was afraid of riding, as that was allegedly what had killed his beloved mother. The Oracle discarded that path and moved on to another. The Oracle was not alone in her mind, which helped her sort through the possibilities of each future path. She was myriad, the consciousness of each Oracle that had come before her current body held safely within her. Each consciousness sorted quickly, soon finding the most likely paths of future possibilities. The Oracle watched each one occur in her mind’s eye.

Purchase at NineStar Press

Meet the Author

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js Blog Button 2
New Release

Blood & Dirt

Title: Blood & Dirt

Author: Corey Niles

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 08/02/2022

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 110200

Genre: Paranormal Horror, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, paranormal, horror, urban fantasy, golem, students, homophobic attack, murder, revenge

Add to Goodreads

Description

Vincent depended on his boyfriend, James, to stand up for him—until a violent hate crime results in James’s murder. Weeks after his funeral, James reappears, perfectly healthy but changed in ways that neither of them can quite understand. Now, Vincent must uncover what truly happened on the night they were attacked. In the face of an apathetic police force and a growing number of missing gay men, Vincent and James work to identify the criminals who attacked them. With James scarred from what happened to him in the weeks between his death and rediscovery, Vincent must learn to stand up for himself and face his real monsters or lose James—and himself.

Excerpt

Blood & Dirt Corey Niles © 2022 All Rights Reserved Panther Hollow Dead man walking. Vincent waited for the elevator in Posvar Hall. Four years was coming down to a single meeting. If the trajectory of his day so far had been any indication of how it would go, he was fucked. The elevator door opened with a ding. Empty. His chest pounded and hands shook, but he forced himself to step inside and press the button for the third floor. The stainless-steel door closed him in, and he stared at his blurred reflection in the metal. Another ding rang out as he was dragged past the second floor and again when the door opened on the third. They sounded like the beating drums of a funeral march, and he did his best to ignore them. Just outside the elevator, a woman spoke with an older man about some foreign conflict. They were both dressed in business casual attire. History professors, which didn’t come as much of a surprise in the history department. “Excuse us,” the woman said, and only then did Vincent realize he was standing in the elevator doorway. “Sorry.” He slipped past them, his cheeks blazing. The hallway was empty and silent beyond a little chatter leaking from the office doors that lined the walls. Professor Cowart’s office was down the hall on the right. Vincent had figured that out the last time he’d attempted to visit him, but he wasn’t going to turn back again. He was going to face him and explain the situation. Each step made his heart beat faster and hands shake with more fervor. Sweat crawled down his back, and he knew it had little to do with the winter coat he wore or the backpack slung over his shoulders. So much was riding on this meeting. If today was going so badly, then maybe that was a warning sign from some higher power to turn around and come back another day. Shit. He stopped, and before he chickened out, he called James. “I don’t think I can do this.” “What’s going on? What did he say?” Concern dripped from James’s words like butter on movie theater popcorn. “Didn’t get there yet.” “I thought you got off work at four?” “We got slammed right before my shift ended. Didn’t get out of there until a quarter after. Then, someone stopped me to ask about Damien Wright. He’s the guy I had that thing with freshman year, and apparently, no one has heard from him for like a week. He’s in Myths with me. So, I—” “Okay, that’s a lot, and we can talk about it later, but just breathe for a hot second because you sound like an old man in an anti-smoking ad.” He might’ve laughed at that, under better circumstances. He sucked air into his starved lungs, filling his nostrils with the stench of his own sweat. He hadn’t smoked since he started dating James, but a cigarette sounded pretty good right about now. “Babe, something is always going to happen. You can’t keep putting it off.” Vincent exhaled. “I know. I’m just…I don’t know.” “Today isn’t going as planned, but he has office hours until five, right? So technically, you aren’t late.” “Right.” Someone called out to James, and he said something Vincent couldn’t quite make out in response before he got back on the phone. “Sorry. Look, I gotta get back to the lab to help clean up for the day. Just don’t leave until you come to an understanding. Most of undergrad is proving that you care enough to work for it.” With that, he was gone. Vincent took another breath and let his boyfriend’s words wash over him. James was right. He couldn’t keep putting off the meeting, but James’s ideal outcome was a little harder to swallow. James spoke from the perspective of a student who’d graduated with honors and breezed through his first year of med school at the University of Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Vincent had barely survived his first three years of undergrad. To make matters worse, he’d only started caring about Professor Cowart’s Myths, Legends, and Folktales class after he got back the rough draft of his final and realized he risked failing out during his last semester. While he seriously doubted the meeting would end as favorably as James assured him, that didn’t mean it would be as disastrous as he presumed. He repeated James’s words to himself, screamed them in his mind over every second thought that sprung to life until he reached his destination. By that point, he almost believed them. The office door was shut. A small wooden plaque was fixed to the opaque glass with “Dr. Charles Cowart” printed on it, and a poster was taped to the door below it: I’ve always preferred mythology to history. History is truth that becomes an illusion. Mythology is an illusion that becomes reality. —Jean Cocteau White text on a galaxy background. Laminated. Vincent wasn’t surprised to see the poster. He’d heard Professor Cowart babble on about the quote at least a hundred times in class. Beyond the plaque and poster, he could make out the faint silhouette of someone at a desk through the opaque glass. He brought his ear to the door. Silence broken up by the occasional clacking of a keyboard. Just don’t leave until you come to an understanding. Vincent knocked on the door. The silhouette rose and walked over to him. The door swung open. Professor Cowart stood in the doorway. He was dressed in a beige suit with a crimson tie. His salt-and-pepper hair was shaped into a tight Afro that seemed at odds with the unkempt soul patch jutting from his chin. “Hello.” He said it as a statement, but his furrowed eyebrows made it a question. “Hi, Professor Cowart. I was wondering—” “Dr. Cowart.” He motioned his head toward the plaque. Vincent wiped the sweat from his forehead and pushed back his hair to keep it from sticking to his damp flesh. “Sorry. Dr. Cowart. I was wondering if I could speak with you.” “And you are?” “Oh, I’m, ah, Vincent Vicar. I’m in your Myths class.” He offered his hand, but Dr. Cowart walked back into his office. “Take a seat. I’ll be with you momentarily.” The office was colored yellow in the afternoon light pouring through the three floor-to-ceiling windows opposite the door. Dr. Cowart took a seat at his desk and resumed typing something on his laptop. Vincent set his backpack on the ground. He sat down in one of the two wooden chairs in front of the desk. The musky smell of tobacco and old books filled the room. The warm light and the smell had a dizzying effect. He felt like he was in a preheating oven. He took off his jacket and laid it on his lap. Thankfully, he hadn’t sweated through his T-shirt. His phone buzzed in his pocket. James knew he was busy, so it was probably some telemarketer. He ignored it. He didn’t want to give Dr. Cowart any more reason to dislike him. Trying to sit quietly, Vincent waited for his professor to finish whatever he was doing. Dr. Cowart typed in no apparent rush. Vincent focused his attention on the bookshelf behind Dr. Cowart to keep his mind from spiraling down a rabbit hole of what-ifs. Worrying about having to retake the class in the fall as opposed to graduating in a little under two months would only make him a bigger ball of stress. On the stuffed bookshelves were small copper figurines of various characters and creatures from stories they’d studied in class. Vincent could make out a wolf stalking a young, hooded girl just behind Dr. Cowart’s head. There was also a Grecian warrior wielding a taut bow, whose name he should know at this point in the semester. The hero’s cape was molded to look as if it were blowing in the wind. Like the warrior could come alive at any second and land an arrow between his eyes. Dr. Cowart shut his laptop. “Without telling me something I shouldn’t know, you wouldn’t happen to be aware of any reason why Damien Wright has missed my last two classes?” “No, I’m not.” “Hmmm. It’s difficult to keep track of all of you in such a large class, but some students, like Damien, make themselves known.” “Oh?” was all Vincent could think to say. He wasn’t sure if the comment was directed at him or Damien. While missing a week’s worth of classes didn’t seem like something overachieving Damien would do, Vincent hadn’t known him all that well, and he had bigger problems to deal with at that moment. “You’re a senior, correct?” “Yeah. I mean, yes, I am.” “Not a history major, though, are you?” He rubbed his soul patch thoughtfully like some wise old sage. “No. I’m general studies.” He waited for a lecture concerning the pitfalls of such a degree when just another semester or two could enable him to obtain a more specific and substantial degree. “Hmmm,” Dr. Cowart said, as if that decided something. “Anyway, what was it you wanted?” “I was wondering if I could talk to you about the grade I received on the rough draft of my final.” He took his paper out of his backpack. Dr. Cowart made them print out their essays and submit them in person so that he could write out his feedback, which, in Vincent’s case, was little more than a red “D” written on the top of the page with the phrase “off topic” written below it. “I just wasn’t sure how my paper was off topic.” Dr. Cowart took the paper and leafed through it. “What was the assignment?” “To look at a story we discussed in class.” “And for what purpose?” “To research the historical context and analyze it to understand its legacy.” That was all the assignment guidelines had said. Dr. Cowart glanced up at him, his eyes narrowing. “And what did you do?” Vincent wasn’t sure what Dr. Cowart was getting at, but he had a sinking feeling he was walking into a trap. “I traced Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel to the 1635 story, Nennillo and Nennella, and then I examined how it was rooted in oral stories dating back to the Great Famine of 1315-1317.” “That’s right.” He set the paper down on his desk. “And why did you examine this context?” Vincent resisted the urge to point to his thesis statement on the first page. “I guess to indicate how this absurd story was inspired by real history, which resonated with readers.” “I wanted you to examine the historical context. However, as I discussed in class, realism is of little concern to me beyond understanding why these stories continue to affect those who read them centuries later. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt that modern readers are captivated by how the story captures accounts from the Great Famine of 1315-1317. I want to know why this tale has survived the test of time.” Vincent couldn’t remember whether he had attended the class where Dr. Cowart explained the assignment. If he had, he must not have been paying attention. He wished that archer on the shelf would put him out of his misery, but when Dr. Cowart continued to stare at him, he realized his question wasn’t rhetorical. “I don’t know.” “Which is why you earned such a low grade on this assignment.” Dr. Cowart slid the paper back to him. His lips tightened like he was fending off a smirk. Vincent swallowed in an attempt to push down the anger bubbling up inside him. “Because of this grade, I risk failing the class.” “I don’t believe this grade would have been so devastating if you had a higher grade going into the assignment. That being said, I assign the draft of your final at midterms to ensure there is plenty of time for revisions. I suggest you use the next two months wisely.” Vincent wanted to interject. Flip his desk. Do whatever he had to do for Dr. Cowart to understand that it was virtually impossible for him to pass the class unless he got a perfect grade on every assignment, including the final draft. Tell him he was already drowning in loans he couldn’t pay off and he couldn’t afford to be there another semester. Explain that it was tough working two jobs and keeping up with all his course work. Demand a new grade. But he didn’t. Unlike James, he didn’t have the drive and hard work to back up his words. As much as Dr. Cowart wasn’t softening the blow, Vincent had gotten himself into this situation, and he would have to try, and undoubtedly fail, to get himself out of it. He collected his things and stood up. “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me.” “Of course.” Dr. Cowart opened his laptop. Vincent was at the door when Dr. Cowart added, “History isn’t about observation. You have to dig into it and see what’s between the dirt and worms.” Vincent wondered what great historian had said that quote and whether Dr. Cowart had it printed, laminated, and hanging somewhere in his office. As soon as he got into the hall, his phone vibrated. Below a missed call from an unknown number that surely belonged to a telemarketer was a text from James, asking how it was going. Vincent called him. “So, what happened?” The eagerness in his voice made Vincent feel sick. “Can we go for a jog?” “What? It’s cold out, it’s supposed to like rain or slush tonight, and it’ll be dark in another hour or so. What happened?” “Sun’s still out. It’s not that cold. The rain isn’t supposed to hit us until later. We have time. Please?” Vincent needed to get away from campus and pump his arms and legs until he forgot about everything except filling his lungs with air. “Was it that bad?” Vincent didn’t think he could explain just how poorly it’d gone without crying in the hall. “I’ll explain everything later. Can you bring my sweats and meet me at Schenley Park? We can park on Overlook Drive.” “If you insist, cutie.” “Thanks.” “Just hurry. It’ll be dark soon.”

Purchase at NineStar Press

Meet the Author

Corey Niles was born and raised in the Rust Belt, where he garnered his love of horror. When he isn’t advising college students, he enjoys binge-watching horror movies and traveling to hoard American history in his cheeks like a chipmunk. He hasn’t met a creepy, isolated hiking trail he hasn’t liked. After studying creative writing and gender and women’s studies as an undergraduate student, he went on to graduate from Seton Hill University with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. In his spare time, he nurses his caffeine addiction and tends to his graveyard of houseplants. He is also a single father of a very fluffy cat named Alexander, who quickly forgot about his humble beginnings.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js Blog Button 2
New Release

Guarded by a Hero

Guarded by a Hero by Aurora Russell

Book 3 in the Anywhere and Always series

Word Count: 61,105 Book Length: NOVEL Pages: 232

GENRES:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE BILLIONAIRE CONTEMPORARY CRIME CRIME AND MYSTERY EROTIC ROMANCE MEN IN UNIFORM THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

  Sometimes, a hero is the worst and best man for a girl to fall in love with… Besides being the lovely only sister among the wealthy, powerful and famous Gaspard siblings, Clothilde Gaspard has had a life that’s been anything but charmed. She has recently gone through a break-up from hell, survived a serious car accident and multiple other attacks. The only constant has been her heroic former-military bodyguard, Marc, until he leaves abruptly the morning after giving her the greatest pleasure of her life, and she vows never to let him get too close again. Marc Constantin’s entire life has been about duty, honor and service—and it’s this service that leads him to be stationed undercover, posing as a security guard with the Gaspard family as he tracks a criminal mastermind. He tries not to let his relationship with Clothilde become personal, but he can’t help but admire the strong, smart and gorgeous woman who hides her fiery nature behind an Ice Queen persona. When he’s ordered to stay away from her, it tears him up to leave, but he has no choice. When a new, unknown threat to Clothilde emerges, the pair must set aside their past to work together. As they retreat from glittering society parties to a remote island lighthouse in Maine, passions and tempers flare, and old family secrets might just hold the key to catching the deadly criminal, the Chimère. In order to protect Clothilde, Marc must put his career, his honor and his life on the line, but can he prove that he’s not just the hero who guards her, but also the hero who loves her? Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of attempted murder, drugging, references to past domestic abuse and past sexual aggression.

Excerpt

The fête was truly lovely, a great mix of elegance and charm, and Clothilde might have been enjoying herself if her hip, leg and back hadn’t ached so damn much. She knew she shouldn’t have stayed so long—and she particularly should have found a way to avoid dancing—but she’d wanted to ensure that Rémy’s friend, Annelise, had a good time. She used the term ‘friend’ liberally, since her brother’s relationship with the young American event planner was obviously much more romantic and complex than mere friendship. To help Rémy, she’d needed to draw Charles Pinkston, Annelise’s boss, away. Without conceit, she knew that she was a woman who men considered to be very beautiful, and it seemed that even the pain she’d suffered since the accident hadn’t lessened her appeal too much. And so, to give Rémy and Annelise more time together without the older man’s kindly interference, she had danced with Charles twice, as well as completing several circuits of the ballroom with him. Later, she’d made an additional full tour of the party with Annelise alone, introducing the American to some of Montreal’s young elite. Luckily, a number of her close friends had been in attendance, including Pauline Cartouchel and Élodie Carillon. Both women would be excellent for Annelise to claim as acquaintances in Montreal society. Now Clothilde’s feet weren’t thanking her but were aching in their stylish, strappy heels, shoes which she would have worn without a second thought only a year ago. Worse, though, putting her body under the strain of wearing heels and staying active for so long had made her newly healed muscles and bones positively throb with pain, like a hot flame was crawling up from the balls of her feet into her left leg, hip and now along her spine. She tried to hide a grimace under a flirtatious smile, and she must have succeeded, because Charles Pinkston finally, blessedly, said a charming good evening to her, kissing her hand. He was such a sweet man, who obviously missed his late wife terribly. She held herself still for a moment as she watched him walk toward the door before allowing her shoulders to droop just a little bit to ease some of the stiffness that she knew she was going to pay hell for over the next several days. She froze as she swore she could almost feel the heat of disapproval from behind her. Marc Constantin. She felt his approach more than heard him, like a big predator, stalking on silent feet. “You’d better sit down before you fall down, Duchess.” His tone was hard and angry, but there was an underlying tenderness. Or maybe I just wish there was—which she knew was ridiculous, since as her bodyguard, it was his job to watch out for her. Literally, taking care of her physical well-being was in the job description. Yet she felt goosebumps rise on the wealth of bare skin on her chest, arms and back, exposed by the daring cut of the dress. When she turned her head to look at him, his dark blue eyes blazed with some strong emotion. “I’m fine,” she answered, her tone clipped. He raised one pale eyebrow, his skepticism obvious. “Right. Is that why, when you think no one’s watching, you look like one strong puff of air would make you topple over?” She turned fully toward him, drawing her annoyance around her like a cape. “I’m having a wonderful time,” she insisted, even as her joints burned with protest. “Didn’t anyone tell you? I’m a total social butterfly, the darling of Montreal society. That’s what all the gossip sites say.” She didn’t know what about Marc Constantin made her so desperate to goad him, but she couldn’t help herself. Regardless of her bright tone, though, her left leg and hip, the side that had taken the brunt of her car accident six months earlier, began to tremble, in spite of her best efforts. She hoped that the tremors were so subtle that Marc wouldn’t notice, but she should have known better. “Screw this. I’m calling for the car and we’re sitting down now,” he pronounced and took her elbow with a growl, leading her toward one of the quiet alcoves in the tastefully decorated hallway just outside the ballroom. Anyone looking at them would have seen a well-dressed security guard very properly escorting a beautiful young woman in an evening gown, albeit perhaps a little closely. But while Marc’s grip wasn’t painful, it was firm and unrelenting, with no give at all. Much like the man himself, she mused. She was too damn tired to fight his hold, anyway, considering she’d been dreaming of sitting down on one of the cushioned benches herself for at least the past hour. The relief from the pressure on her joints was instant and profound as he settled her on the thickly padded bench, and she had to stifle a groan of pleasure. Surprising her, he slid in next to her, so close she could feel the heat that he continually seemed to give off. Surreptitiously, she inhaled his rich, fresh masculine scent. He always smelled like he had just come in from outdoors, even when she knew he’d been inside for hours. He turned the focus of his angry gaze on her again. “Why do you let them tell you how to act?” he asked, but it sounded more like a demand. Clothilde narrowed her eyes. “That question is totally inappropriate,” she huffed. He looked unrepentant. “I notice you didn’t deny it.”

Buy Links

Choose Your Store First For Romance

About the Author

Aurora Russell

Aurora is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, two wonderfully silly sons, and one of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January. She doesn’t remember a time that she didn’t love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways. You can find out more about Aurora at her website here.

Giveaway

Enter for the chance to win a $50.00 First for Romance Gift Card! Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group. a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js