Monthly Archives: November 2017

Author Showcase – Candis Terry (Tangled Up in Tinsel: A Sunshine Creek Vineyard Novel)

Meet the Kincade brothers: they’ll go to any lengths to protect their legacy—

but what happens when love gets in the way…?

As if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, Parker Kincade has a restaurant to open. The fact that his Groomzilla brother wants the place for his perfect Christmas wedding doesn’t help. Then there’s the stunning woman who appoints herself his new chef before he’s ready to hire one. But one look at Gabriella Montani has Parker reassessing needs vs. wants. And that’s before he tastes what she has to offer…

Gabriella doesn’t need to get tangled up with a sexy man. What she needs is a job and a chance to prove herself. A place in Parker’s kitchen could give her the opportunity she’s been waiting for. The heat between them is sizzling, but a place in his bed could be downright dangerous. Neither Christmas nor men have ever lived up to her expectations, but Parker has soulmate written all over him. Should Gabi let herself be swept up in his holiday magic, or will it disappear before Christmas Day?

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Excerpt courtesy of Candis Terry’s website

 

“Checking for bats?”

Parker dropped his gaze from the rafters and turned toward the source of the question. In the opening where his brother had been just minutes before stood a lusciously curvy female.

“Hello.” Her red high heels tapped across the plywood floor as she came into the barn, where Parker got a better look.

Jeans, faded and painted on, hugged a shapely pair of hips and thighs. One sleeve of her thin beige sweater had slipped to reveal a bare shoulder, and long, silky brown hair draped in big loopy curls down her back. When his gaze eventually made it to her pretty face, her cherry red mouth and dark chocolate eyes were smiling.

Yeah.

She’d caught him checking her out.

As she came forward and stretched out her hand, he realized she was much shorter up close. Hell, he towered over her even with her wearing those high heels.

His hand engulfed hers as they shook.

“I’m pulling a blank.” Puzzled, he tilted his head. “Have we met before?”

“Not formally. Gabriella Francesca Montani,” she said in a voice that sounded like a shot of smooth whiskey. “I’m your new chef.”

“My what?” He glanced around the interior of the barn looking for the camera his brothers must have planted when they’d set up this prank.

She gripped his hand tight before letting go. “Surprised?”

“Being that I’m not currently in the market to hire anyone? Yes.”

“But you will be soon.” Her brown eyes sparkled. “Correct?”

“Eventually. For now the walls are barely up and the restaurant won’t be opening until after the holidays.”

“Good.” she flashed a smile that exuded confidence. “I like being the first in line.”

Suspicion rattled his bones. “How did you know I was building a restaurant here? I haven’t made a formal announcement yet.”

“But you’ve talked about it to your food truck customers.”

“You’re a customer?”

“Yes.”

“And I’ve discussed it with you?”

“Not directly.”

“Ah. So you eavesdropped.”

“Probably.”

“Does that mean you’re stalking me?” Not that he minded. She was beautiful and sexy as hell.

“I wouldn’t say stalking.” She chuckled and the sound rippled through his blood with images he had no business envisioning. “I just like to know everything I can about an employer before I work for them.”

Though she sounded more hopeful than pushy, there was no way he could lead her on about a job. Even if, on a personal level, he wouldn’t mind getting to know her a little better. It wouldn’t be fair. “Well, I appreciate your interest, but I’m sorry you wasted your time, Ms. . . .”

“Montani. But please, call me Gabriella.”

Everything male inside of him said he’d call her anything she wanted as long as her legs were wrapped around his waist and he was getting to know her in the most personal way possible.

“Ms. Montani.” No sense doing the whole how-ya-doin’ thing since she’d only be here a few minutes. Unless he could talk her into staying for a far more intimate reason. “As you can see I’m hardly in the position to hire anyone right now. I’m sorry you’ve come all this way for no reason but . . . well, there it is. You’ve come all this way for no reason.”

“Believe me, Mr. Kincade, anything I do is well thought out. You’re offering an amazing opportunity here and I want to be your chef. I can promise you that coming here was not a mistake.”

The woman was tenacious, he’d give her that. Unfortunately he had nothing to offer.

“You do realize that I’ll be the executive chef, right? I mean, this is my restaurant. Why would I hand over control to a perfect stranger?”

“So you have a problem handing over control?”

In work? Yes.

In bed? Never.

But he didn’t tell her that.

“Depends.”

“No one can do everything all alone.” She smiled again and he realized she used that smile like a weapon to weaken mortal fools. “I’ve eaten your food. I’ve watched you work.”

“So you are stalking me.”

“Observing. And only enough to figure you out.”

“I never knew I was so easy to read.” Which was bullshit. He’d been told more than once that he was an open book. Maybe it was time he became a little more mysterious.

“Only in the way you work,” she said. “Your dedication is admirable, and your attention to detail is flawless.

Good thing she didn’t know how he thought or she might slap him right now. Because nothing, and he meant nothing, turned him on more than an assertive woman who knew what she wanted and went after it.

“Thank you.”

“The way you see food is important to me,” she said with enough emphasis in her tone to assure him she meant business. “I won’t work for someone who just slaps something on a plate and calls it a specialty. I’m looking for someone who sees food in its truest nature. Someone who, instead of trying to change the taste by smothering or crisping it to death, knows how to enhance a flavor to awaken the senses and make it a mouthwatering experience. Like the way a perfectly ripened tomato bursts sun-warmed sweetness in your mouth.”

Jesus.

If the woman waxed poetic like that about food, he couldn’t imagine the way she’d sound in bed.

 

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Growing up in Southern California, I was too busy reading books, hanging out at the beach, or finding ways to have a good time that wouldn’t land me on restriction to even consider writing a book. Oddly enough, a college drama teacher (who politely discouraged my inept acting abilities) encouraged me to develop the A+ character bio I’d created into a complete story. Right. Years later, in the midst of a bleary-eyed all-nighter (rocking my newborn, that is), I picked up a romance novel and fell in love with more than just the infant in my arms.

The diversities in my life have enhanced (or twisted) my worldview. From working in a Hollywood recording studio to a graphic designer in marketing; from schmoozing with the likes of Charleton Heston and Motley Crüe to giving up my beach bum ways and making the move to an Idaho farm. I’ve designed costumes for 80’s heavy metal videos and scooped up road apples left on the parade route by my daughter’s rodeo queening horse.

Only one thing has remained constant: my passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after. Though my stories are set in small towns, my wish is to give each of my characters a great big memorable love story rich with quirky characters, tons of fun, and a happy ending.

I’m married to a wonderful man who takes out the trash without being asked and who puts up with all my crazy ideas. To find inspiration, my family and I often grab our trailer and ATV and venture out to discover the off-road splendor of the Idaho wilderness. And when I need a fun dose of reality, I call upon my daughter and her little Mini-Me or one of our 3 furry troublemakers.

Life is good down on the farm!

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🦃 Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

 

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is here. Holy frick, this year has zoomed by! For those who have shared, visited, commented, supported me, I say to you all…….

 

 

Now onto a few photos that made me smile and I hope they bring you joy as well. 

 

 

 

 

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (Seattle Bloodbath)

Volume 3 in the Demon Slayers series

The demon Tiona has escaped Kiya and her team in Oklahoma. She has gone to Seattle, Washington where the band Kiya manages is scheduled to perform. Tiona is determined to destroy Kiya, first because she hates witches, and second, for killing her demon son. The demon terror plots Kiya’s demise along with those associated with her and this time the band itself will not escape unscathed. Disappointed at not encountering Tiona in Oklahoma, Kiya and her team go to Seattle unaware that Tiona is already there and preparing to strike. The coming confrontation will be deadly and costly for both sides.

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For the 18+ reader: Strong language and descriptive sex scenes.

Ona has been converted and now serves her demon Mistress, Tiona, without question. Max will be the first of the musical family to suffer Tiona’s wrath, he won’t be the last.

 

Tiona peered down from a high point in the upper tier of seating at the concert going on down on the stage. Ona was circulating through the crowds below. Neither of them had occupied the assigned seats stated on their passes. Those had just been used as a way to gain entrance to the packed auditorium. Without much hope, she scanned the mass searching for Kiya.

She wanted information desperately but getting it might be a tricky problem. They couldn’t just walk up and ask someone. She had little hope that Ona would be able to hook up with one of the band members even though they were notorious for partying after their shows: not here with these masses of beautiful women to choose from. Even though Ona was devastatingly gorgeous herself the odds were unfavorable.

Tiona scanned the throng again and smiled, but she had an alternate plan. Ona’s scorpion parasite allowed her to communicate with the woman mentally. “Where are you?” Tiona asked.

“Forcing my way through the masses,” Ona answered, “But I’m nearing the north end of the stage. As you ordered earlier, I’m searching for one of the band’s roadies to try and hook up with.”

“Let me know when you find one,” Tiona said and went back to searching.

“I will my Mistress,” Ona answered.

As she observed, Tiona thought of the plan. The chances of Ona getting in with one of the band members was remote, but seducing one of the roadies would probably be successful. Getting information from him would be easy if things went according to plan. Tiona strolled to a new location and continued her search.

“I think I spotted one,” Ona’s thought filtered into her mind. “He’s the beefy blonde at the north end near the back of the stage.”

Tiona focused her enhanced vision in the area Ona indicated. The man wearing tight blue jeans and a t-shirt with the band’s logo stenciled on it was standing near the stage with a prop in hand. “I see him. Go to work sweetie. Lure him in.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

***

Ona forced her way closer to the man garnering a looks of displeasure and a few rude comments as she did. She ignored them and focused on her target instead. Her scorpion companion allowed past knowledge to dribble out of the recesses of her mind. The name Franz flashed into her thoughts although she couldn’t remember what her relationship with him had been. What she could remember was Franz had once been a roadie and had shared his memories of the occupation with her.

She used this knowledge to strike up a conversation with the man whose name she soon learned was Max. At first their conversation centered on the band but Ona steered it to what Max did. Ona used her knowledge to ask intelligent questions of him and of course showered flattery on him. When he was looking away at the stage, Ona smiled, during their conversation Max couldn’t keep his gaze from drinking in her body largely revealed by her scanty outfit. The deep V of her dress dipped low enough to reveal her navel piercing and barely cover her red areolas. The red dress with splotches of white ended a third of the way down her thighs when she was standing. Black high heels completed her outfit. Her G-string panties were black as well but she hadn’t show those to him…not yet.

While Max was occupied with handing a prop up to the man on stage she unclipped the silver chain that held the halves of her dress over her breasts. He turned back to face her and she twisted quickly to glance at a noise in the audience. Her action caused her left breast to spill from under its scanty covering affording him a brief view of her nipple piercing. Ona turned back to face him and pretended embarrassment at having exposed her breast. She quickly covered it and continued their conversation. By the end of the concert she had provided him views of both breasts and bending over to retrieve her purse she had purposely dropped, afforded him a glimpse of her bare ass.  

The band left the stage and the crowd started to file out of the auditorium. “Well the show is over. I’ll be riding back to the hotel with the rest of the roadies soon. It’s been nice talking to you Ona. Most of my conversations here are about the band members and how to get access to them.”

Ona placed her hand on his bicep. “I really enjoy taking with you Max. I hate to end the evening.” She paused as if considering. “I don’t suppose you’d be interested in continuing our visit over cocktails and a bar I know of?”

Max scratched his chin. “I love to but I’d miss my ride.”

“I have a car. I can take you back to the hotel after. Damn,” She dropped her purse and stooped to pick it up. In the process, her breasts spilled free. It was all the incentive Max needed. Ona could read his mind through the look in his eyes. “He wants to fuck me badly. Guess what Max? you’re going to get the chance to do just that.” Her thought reached out to Tiona.

“Good girl,” Tiona thought back.

“Let me tell one of the guys I won’t be riding back in the van,” Max said. “Wait right here.”

“He’s hooked,” Ona told Tiona while she waited. “We’re leaving in the car.”

“I’ll go out and get in the trunk,” Tiona answered.

Max returned and slipped his hand in hers. When they left the auditorium, he let her guide him to the car and slid into the passenger seat. Ona slipped into the seat pretending to drive to the bar she’d mentioned. As she drove her dress bunched higher and provided Max clear views of her black G-string each time they were stopped at a light and under the bright illumination there.

Ona flashed a smile at Max when his gaze drifted to her center once more at a traffic light. “Do you like what you see?” she asked him.

He quickly shifted his gaze and looked out the windshield.

“Don’t pretend to be shy and try to make me think you don’t screw girls all the time Max. You’re working for a band and going from town to town.”

“No comment,” he said.

“None needed, I’m sure I know. I like talking to you…Maybe I’ll like doing something else with you even more.”

Max swallowed hard but didn’t answer.

Ona turned into a gas station. “I need to make a quick pit stop and can’t wait until we get to the bar. Wait right here.” She got the restroom key from the attendant and dashed into the restroom. When she returned to the car she slid behind the steering wheel again and pulled back out on the street. His eyes bugged and his jaw fell open at the next stop light when he saw she’d removed her panties.

“Damn.” He gulped again.

Ona reached down and played with her piercing. “I don’t normally do this but I feel a chemistry between us. Kitty is thirsty for some milk. Do you have any milk to give her?” Ona asked then tossed her panties into his lap. “Maybe you should take a whiff of those before you answer.”

Max lifted the panties from his lap and inhaled deeply. “Christ Ona you have no idea how much I want to fuck you.”

“Well then, we’ve established what both of us want, the only thing left to decide is should we do it in your room or drive out to my house about thirty minutes away.” Ona held her breath hoping for the answer she desired.

“My room. It’s closer.”

Ona exhaled in relief. “Okay, where’s your room?”

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A Witch and Her Dragons: Volume 1 

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The Spreading Evil: Volume 2

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🎈🎈 Happy Birthday To ME! 🎈🎈

I love comics so I couldn’t help treating myself to a few birthday goodies. 

 

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (2016-) #16 

“MANSLAUGHTER” part two! As an illness that affects half of Gotham City’s population grows, Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress pick up some unexpected help from Catwoman, Ivy and Harley, as well as some welcome backup from Batwoman, Spoiler, Gotham Girl and Wonder Woman. But as the Birds of Prey grow closer to discovering the source of the outbreak, what they find won’t end the plague and might only make it grow faster.

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Scooby Apocalypse (2016-) #19 

Tensions begin to rise when the Scooby gang takes refuge in a seemingly safe town. As the gang tries to hold together, a looming new threat completely unlike the monsters they’ve faced before reveals itself. The gang now faces being torn apart by two enemies: the monsters…and themselves. Meanwhile, Secret Squirrel must face the consequences of his disastrous actions.

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DEADPOOL VS OLD MAN LOGAN #1 (OF 5) 

What do you get when you cross a regenerative, cranky, old X-Man with a regenerative, wacky Wade Wilson? DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN! Writer DECLAN SHALVEY (DEADPOOL, MOON KNIGHT) and Mike Henderson (SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD, Nailbiter) are teaming up to team up Marvel’s deadliest heroes together in their own series! James “Logan” Howlett is after a newly discovered Omega-Level mutant, and he just won’t let Deadpool help. So, naturally, Deadpool vows to outmatch his newly marked enemy for the entirety of his mission!

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DEADPOOL VS OLD MAN LOGAN #2 (OF 5)

 

If there’s one thing angsty teenage girls hate, it’s two older men fighting over her.

In this case…it’s DEADPOOL vs. OLD MAN LOGAN!

On a mission to save this new Omega-level mutant from pure evil…

…which regenerating hero will save Maddie first?

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Review of “Addict (The Cassie Tam Files Book 1)” – Matt Doyle

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.

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I always did like Venetian blinds. There’s something quaint about them in a retro-tacky kinda way. Plus, they’re pretty useful for sneaking a peek out the front of the building if I feel the need. That’s something that you just can’t do with the solid, immovable metal slats that come as a standard in buildings these days. That said, a thick sheet of steel is gonna offer you a damn sight more security than thin, bendable vinyl, so I keep mine installed. Just in case.

Another round of knocking rattles the front door, louder this time than the one that woke me.

The clock says 23:47, and the unfamiliar low-end car out front screams “Don’t notice me, I’m not worth your time,” which makes for the perfect combo to stir up the paranoia that the evening’s beer and horror-film session left behind. This is my own fault. My adverts are pretty descriptive in terms of telling what I do: lost pets, cheating partners, theft, protection, retrieval of people and items, other odds and sods that the city’s finest won’t touch…I’ve got ways to deal with it all. That’s right, I’m a real odd-job gal. The one thing that I don’t put in there are business hours. The way I see it, even the missing pet cases usually leave me wandering the streets at half-past reasonable, so what’s the point in asking people to call between certain hours?

More knocking, followed this time by the squeak of my letter box and a voice. “Hello? Cassandra Tam?”

It’s funny, really. For all the tech advances that the world has made, no one has been able to improve upon the simple open-and-shut letter box. I stumble my way through the dark and wave dismissively at the frosted glass. The light switch and the keypad for the door lock are conveniently placed right next to each other on the wall to the right of the door, sowelcoming my apparent guest is a nice, easy affair. The lock clicks a moment after the lights flood the room, and I pull the door open.

“Cassie,” I say, turning and skulking my way back into the room. “Or Caz. Drop the Tam.”

I hear a sniff behind me, and the lady from the letter box asks, “Are you drunk?”

“If I pass out in the next five minutes, then yes,” I reply, turning the kettle on. I’d left it full, ready for the morning, but I guess this is close enough. “Take a seat at the table. Would you prefer tea or coffee? I’d offer beer, but since I reek of it, I guess I must’ve finished it.”

Footsteps creep unapologetically across the room, and a chair squeaks on the floor. Good. If you can’t deal with a snarky response to something, don’t say it all, and if you can deal with it, then as far as I’m concerned you don’t need to apologise.

“Coffee,” the lady says. “So, do you always see potential clients in your underwear, or is it just my lucky day?” Her voice has a slightly playful edge to it, but with a sarcastic kick to round it off.

The business portion of my apartment comprises entirely of a small open-plan room separating my kitchen from my living room. And by open plan, I mean an allotted space that encroaches on both territories but is conveniently large enough to house what I need. Or, in other words, a table, four chairs, and nothing else. Since filing went near entirely digital, filing cabinets have pretty much become obsolete, so the two that I found dumped outside the building when I bought the place currently live in my bedroom, and contain a mix of quick access work stuff and personal files I’d rather not have floating on the net. Most things, though, I store electronically, the same as everything else.

I rarely use the business table to eat, read, or any of that junk, so until this evening it’s been entirely empty for a good few weeks. The lady sitting there now is studying me, I can see, and probably wondering if this was a mistake. Whatever she may have expected, a Chinese-Canadian gal of average height in a cami top and a loose pair of sleep shorts most likely wasn’t it. For what it’s worth, though, I’m studying her just the same. She’s a lithe-looking thing, dressed in a casual pair of jeans and a plain black fitted top under a leather jacket. If the metal plugs running down her shaven head like a shiny, rubber-tipped Mohawk weren’t a giveaway for what she is, the light scarring punctuating the outer edges of her pale blue eyes certainly would be. She’s a Tech Shifter, and like most of her ilk, she looks like a punk rocker gone cyborg.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

The world is constantly evolving. Everyday a new gadget is being introduced to the market. At the same time, news sources can’t go a day without mentioning a story dealing with drugs. Matt Doyle took both topics and ran with it. VR (Virtual Reality) is NOT a thing of the past. You can buy the gadgets at your local department store. In Addict, Matt incorporated Flash7, a VR stimulant, which made today’s virtual reality experience the equivalent of using an Atari when you can use a Nintendo Switch.

This story, centering on a murdered VR user, had so much potential for greatness. I wanted Cassie (Caz) to embark in the VR world. I wanted more time spent there instead of the real world. Addict did have a decent plot and a nice twist towards the end of the story; however, the moments leading up to it where nothing extraordinary. I think Caz’s past with Charlie didn’t add much to the storyline. Also, Matt has this book labeled LGBT but really it didn’t have much in the way of same sex interactions. Glances. Quick peck. Honestly, those could’ve been left out and the story wouldn’t have suffered one iota. 

One character whom I thought needed more time on the scene was Bert. He was her AI Familiar that resembles a gargoyle and behaves like a good protective pet. Now I love my new kitty, but a pet gargoyle….. That would be a wonderfully crazy addition to my already crazy house. 

For utilizing today’s tech in an interesting manner and for my love of Bert, I will rate Addict a solid three.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

 

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Matt Doyle
Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.
These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, blogging about anime, comics, and games, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.
 
 

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Author Showcase – Laura Kaye (Ride Wild: A Raven Riders Novel)

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders… 

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her… 

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feeltoo much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

It was just the two of them. Standing nearly chest to chest in a downpour. Not speaking. Not moving. And Cora felt torn between the desire to hug him for coming after her and hit him for provoking the anxiety she managed to keep battened down tight ninety-nine percent of the time.

“I was a dick,” he said.

“Yep,” she agreed.

He stared at her for another long moment. “I’m kinda fucked up over here, Cora.”

Her lips almost twitched in humor, but she bit back the impulse, because those seven words were quite possibly the most honest, personal thing he’d said to her in three months of working for him. And it felt . . . important, like some wall had come down between them. Or, at least, started to. “I know, but on some level, aren’t we all?”

He didn’t answer, but what he did say still hit her square in the chest. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to my boys in years. I don’t want to mess that up for them. I’m sorry if I have.”

“You haven’t,” she said, shaking her head, rain catching on her eyelashes as she peered up at him. “But don’t do it again.”

Slider gave a single nod, then leaned forward, his face coming close and then pausing a hairsbreadth away. For a moment, Cora was sure he was going to kiss her, but then he grasped the handle and yanked opened the squeaking door. “Now get in.”

Shaking a little—from the chilly rain, she told herself—she climbed onto the old bench seat. The rain had plastered Slider’s T-shirt to his chest, giving her a pretty clear view of the lean, muscular frame beneath. And she found herself wondering what kissing him might’ve been like. How hard his body would be against hers. How far she’d have to tilt back her head to meet his mouth. How ticklish his whiskers would be against her lips.

The wondering made her shiver.

He slammed his door and frowned at her. “You okay?”

“I’m wet, cold, and irritated, but sure. I’m great,” she said defensively. Because she was still a little miffed at him for making her freak out—and for making her feel curious about kissing him.

Just a little curious. Hardly at all, really.

Damnit.

The corner of his mouth lifted. Not much, but the movement was there. And it made Cora stare. Because the change in his face, small and fleeting though it had been, made the corner of his eye crinkle a little, too. “Well, I think I can help with two of those,” he said, putting the truck in gear and swinging a hard U-turn.

“Wait, where are we going? The clubhouse is the other way.”

“Uh-huh,” he said, slanting her another glance. All the amusement was gone this time, though, and in its place was something intense she couldn’t name. “I’m taking you home.”

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New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over thirty books in romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Among her many awards, she won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 for Hard As You Can. A former college history professor, Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura also writes historical fiction under the name Laura Kamoie, also a Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestseller.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers.

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Review of “Portence (Fae Warriors, Book 3)” – Gini Rifkin

In the final battle to save the Earth, Fae Warrior, Portence Goodeve stands ready to serve Mother Nature. But as she fights for the future of the planet, she’s haunted by her past. One near-death experience and a betrayal that goes deep become weapons that could get her killed.

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The three sisters and Malachi stood nearby, waiting for the dust to settle. Down in the valley, the soldiers regrouped, the healthy helped the wounded to the transports waiting to take the injured to Lance. When Port spotted Captain Jackson looking their way, she nudged Solace and pointed. Her sister breathed a sigh of relief and waved down at her partner.

 
“Look,” Bliss said, gazing skyward.
 
 Nate was here now too. He and his balloon, hung in the air, drifting closer.
 
“With the Reps holed-up in the canyon, we should give them a chance to surrender,” Bliss suggested.
 
Fair-play ranked high on her sister’s personal code of ethic. Port leaned more toward ya pay’s your money, and you takes your chances. Or war is hell, and now you’re in it. “I suppose it can’t hurt to ask if they want to white-flag-it, but the answer seems rather obvious.”
 
“Not the point,” Bliss persisted. “It’s a matter of conscience and cosmic justice, and we’ll have given them a chance to make things right.”
 
“I agree,” Solace put in. “You’re accustomed to special ops, last ditch efforts with no viable alternatives. This is the real Multiverse, where we’re supposed to try and get along. Or as these Humes would say, uphold truth, justice, and the American way.”
 
Sarcasm flavored Solace’s words as if she knew getting along with a Rep meant ending up dead. Still, Port admired the integrity shown by both her sisters. And if by some long shot they did surrender, it could save many Hume lives. “Far be it from me,” she relented, “to tarnish the reputation of the Sisters of Anu.”
 
Noodge howled in agreement.
 
“So whom do we send on this deadly mission of goodwill?” she asked.
 
When Malachi stepped forward, her heart faltered. She knew it was the most logical choice, but the idea made her wingports twitch, and not in a good way. Why did he have to be so noble?
 
“Got some loose ends to tie up anyway,” he said.
 
What did he mean? Xandora, Thurax, Gorlock? This made her worry all the more.
“Loose ends my asteroid. You can get your payback-fix when we all go in. Just get the message to them as safely as possible, and when they refuse, come back to me in one piece.”
 
“You do care,” he said, with a half-smile, making light of her words. But the flash of light in tawny yellow eyes indicated deeper emotion.
 
Port liberated a five-foot atlatl dart from the back-quiver she wore. The wooden shaft, used for war would now be used for improbable peace. “Anybody got some white fabric?”
 
Bliss rummaged in the mini-tote attached to her woven canvas belt. When she came up with an
embroidered white linen handkerchief, hoots of much needed laughter broke out. Only Bliss would carry such a frilly item into battle, and only Malachi would be masculine enough to pull off waiving it at a Rep. Quickly attaching it, Port handed the shaft to him.
 
“This should get you close enough to negotiate. If they balk at talking or show any signs of aggression promise you’ll get the heck out of there. Play it safe.”
 
His smile grew, filled with warmth. “It’s not my style, but for you, I’ll try.”
 
Striding toward the rock wall, as if he hadn’t a care in the world, Malachi set out. By walking rather than flying or flash-moving, it allowed the enemy time to consider his non-threatening approach.
 
The Reps peered down from the stony ledges now holding them prisoners. They brandished their weapons, but made no threatening moves. When Malachi came within shouting distance, he halted and raised the white flag. An exchange of words appeared to follow. Again, when no form of retaliation ensued, she breathed a little easier. Then one Rep threw a rope ladder over the rocky ridge.
 
Malachi advanced, took hold of the hemp, and began to climb. What was he doing? Just deliver the message and leave.The words screamed through her mind with such force she knew he could hear her, but he didn’t alter course. He was going inside.
 
Frick.
 
She should never have let him go, at least not alone.
                                ****
Portence’s ire pommeled him like a physical sensation. But there was no turning back—even if he wanted to—which he didn’t. Unobtrusively using his power of levitation, he swiftly ascended the ladder. At the top, he forced himself to stand calmly as a Rep snatched the flag from his hand, and a second scaly ruffian patted him down for weapons which seemed quite silly since his most powerful armament was his mind.
 
“I’ve a message for Xandora,” he stated.
 
“I’m guessing she has a few words for you as well, traitor.” The Rep with the atlatl dart grinned, and then nodded for him to proceed down the far side of the escarpment. He hadn’t taken three steps toward the heart of the activity before he felt the pointy end of the dart poking him, none too gently, in the back.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

In the third and final installment in the Fae Warriors trilogy, I expected loads of action and Gini delivered…. starting in chapter one. There was green blood and Reps’ brain matter flying here, there…. every-freaking-where. It was a disgusting, fantastic scene — much like a few others. I will shall a few places in the book that stood out for me the most. 

 

1.) Hoover Rats. Ok, I don’t like regular rats but Gini has rats flying around and their packing weapons… aka egg bombs. Just no. Please no. I hope rats never fly, let alone come ready for battle with ANYTHING! 

2.) Portence and Malachi’s love scene: It has fun, sex, creative….. magical. Most importantly, it was memorable and that says a lot because, as an avid reader, I have read A LOT of love scenes. 

3.) I have no desire to ever step one toe onto Dermis III. To survive there, you have to literally shed your skin once every 24 hours due to superficial bugs and viruses. Nope. If I have to live on another planet I want to stay on one resembling Hawaii. Bikinis 24-7, 365 days a year! 

 

As with the above sections of Portence, I enjoyed the final battle scene. After a fiery start, Gini had both sides using whatever tools were at their disposal. You’ll see magic utilized, the elements, man-made weaponry, and even hand-to-hand combat. In the end, you know who wins but maybe you won’t guess so easily what happens to the Fae sisters and their counterparts aka their one true loves. I was happy with the ending and I think you’ll be satisfied as well. 

With humor, romance, action, and reptilian aliens running amuck, this book is a must buy. 

 

Heart Rating System

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤

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CHECK THESE OUT TOO! 

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Fae Warrior, Bliss Goodeve, fires up her empath skills to battle the Reptiles invading Earth. But when it comes to her new human partner, Nathaniel Calhoun, Bliss would rather make love than wage war. A man of mystery, she wonders what he’s hiding behind the horn-rimmed glasses and white lab coat.

Nate admits to being a brainiac, at least that’s the persona he shows the outside world. If his boss discovers his troubled past, life could get complicated. The bad boy in Nate wants the beguiling Bliss in the worst way. Yet, the scientist inside him calculates high odds of being left broken-hearted.

After one Reptile goes rogue, it’s up to Bliss, Nate, and an alien critter named Noodge to bring him down. But time is running out, and things are heating up—especially romantically. Bliss is all for living in the moment. But will that be enough for Nate?

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Solace Goodeve, one of Mother Nature’s favorite Fae Warriors, is assigned to Earth to help save the planet. Reptile invaders, disguising themselves as humans, are waging a takeover—and Mother is mad enough to eat asteroids. Solace is ready to prove herself as a warrior, but having a human for a partner is not in her battle plan—even if the man is rugged, ripped, and ready for action.

Army Ranger, Tanner Jackson, has seen his share of black op missions. The last one took a toll on both body and soul. Tanner isn’t looking for love, even though his new partner is six-foot-tall and drop dead gorgeous. However, after Solace shows him a new meaning to working undercover, he may have to reconsider that possibility.

As the Reps plan to sabotage NOAA, Tanner and Solace must learn to trust one another. But as they’re trying to save the world, Solace and Tanner might just lose their hearts—and that takes the most courage of all.

 
 
 
 
 

Gini Rifkin writes adventurous romance, past present, and into the future. Her settings include the American West, Medieval England, Victorian England, and contemporary fantasy. When not reading or writing, she has the privilege of caring for a menagerie of abandoned animals including ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, donkeys, and cats. She was born and raised in Illinois where she went to school to become a registered nurse. When struck by wanderlust, she moved to Colorado and met her husband Gary. They shared the journey for 30 years, spending vacations canoeing, doing Mountain Man reenacting, and traveling around this great country. Although Gary has passed on, he left her with the skills to soldier on alone, and a little bit of him lives on in every hero she creates. Her writing keeps her hungry to keep learning new things, and she considers family and friends her most treasured of gifts.

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Review of “Beyond the Mist (Lake Lanier Mysteries)” – Casi McLean

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes. 

The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams. 

Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?

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Excerpt

A soft mist hovered over the moonlit lake, beckoning, luring him forward with the seductive enticement of a mermaid’s song. Rhythmic clatter of a distant train moaned in harmony with a symphony of cricket chirps and croaking frogs. Spellbound, Nick Cramer took a long breath and waded deeper into the murky cove. Dank air, laden with a scent of soggy earth and pine, crawled across his bare arms. The hairs on the back of his neck bristled, shooting a prickle down his spine that slithered into an icy pool coiled in the pit of his stomach. He clenched his fingers into a tight fist, determined to fight through the emotion consuming him. Fear sliced through his belly like icy shards until he finally heaved, forcing rancid bile to choke into his throat.

I have to do this––he inched forward––only a few more steps and––

A sudden surge swirled around him, yanking him into a whirling vortex, where a violent blue streak dragged him deeper, deeper beneath the lake into the shadowy depths. Heart pounding, he battled against the force, twisting, thrusting toward the surface with all of his strength but, despite his muscular build, he spun like a feather in wind into oblivion. When the mist dissolved, Nick Cramer had vanished.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Casi McLean touched on many emotions in Beyond the Mist: guilt, love, regret, anger, remorse, and fear. She had us step into the past, relive the horrific moments of 9/11, and feel the desperation to alter a moment in time. If given the opportunity, I can’t imagine many who would not want to tweak those course of events.. despite the unknown changes that might occur in the future. To save a love one. To save everyone. It is so tempting. Nick faced such a temptation and we discovered, with him, how one small change ripples.. tears….. causes more harm than good. 

After the horrific carnage unfolded around them, Nick and Piper had no option but to head back to their time. The past had to stay the past. Instead of an easy journey back to their timeline, these two destined loves got thrust (painfully) into the future.  Again, Casi tapped into two prominent emotions felt throughout this suspenseful tale: fear and love. Nick and Piper feared never going home. Never being together again. But, as you had guessed, love finds a way. They found each other. They found home. But the surprises and twists don’t end then and there. They are not the only two who found a HEA. Plus, she ended the story with one heckuva setup for the next Lake Lanier Mysteries.

 

Heart Rating System 

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Don’t miss out on this great mystery! 
 

A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy, black water, she awakens in the arms of a handsome stranger, in a place she’s never heard of — 34 years before she was born.
 
When the 2012 lawyer tangles with the 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. BobbyReynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes. Learning the truth about her origins does nothing to stop the passion from taking root in his heart, and leaves him torn between finding a way to help Lacey return to 2012 or convincing her stay with him.
 
The desperation to find her way home dissolves as Lacey falls in love with a town destined to be erased from the face of the Earth, and the man who vows to protect it. Will the couple discover the key to the mysterious portal before time rips them apart? Or will their star-crossed spirits wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake?

 

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Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

Award Winning Author

2016 Best Romantic Suspense

Winner Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 

Winner 2016 Best Heroine Still Moments Magazine

2016 Aspen Gold Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense

2015 Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews

2015 Chicago Fire and Ice Finalist

2014 Winner 2014 AWC Short Story Award

 
 

 

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