Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Digging a Hole by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff #Release Day #Giveaway

 

Digging A Hole

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Synopsis:
From New York Times Bestseller, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, comes a new Romantic Comedy. He’s the meanest boss ever. She’s the sweet shy intern. They’re about to wreck each other crazy. My name is Sydney Lucas. I am smart, deathly shy, and one hundred percent determined to make my own way in the world. Which is why I jumped at the chance to intern for Mr. Nick Brooks despite his reputation. After ten failed interviews at other companies, he was the only one offering. Plus, everyone says he knows his stuff, and surely a man as stunningly handsome as him can’t be “the devil incarnate,” right? Wrong. Oh…that man. That freakin’ man has got to go! I’ve been on the job one week, and he’s insulted my mother, wardrobe shamed me, and managed to make me cry. Twice. Underneath that stone-cold, beautiful face is the evilest human being ever. But I’m not going to quit. Oh no. For once in my life, I’ve got to make a stand. Only, every time I open my mouth, I can’t quite seem to muster the courage. Perhaps my revenge needs to come in another form: destroying him quietly. Because I’ve got a secret. I’m not really just an intern, and Sydney Lucas isn’t my real name.

BUY LINKS

 

About the Author

MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author with over a million books sold worldwide. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dream. Mimi lives with her Latin Lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and the rat terrier duo, Snowflake and Mini Me, in Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.
Sign up for Mimi’s mailing list for giveaways and new release news!


3 winners: 1 grand prize: one full set of the OHellNo Series, books 1-3 + SWAG. 
2 second prize winners: 1 signed copy of DIGGING A HOLE

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Congratulations to the Winners of Russ Melrose's Finding AJ #Giveaway!




Signed Print Copy:

Daniel M

eCopies:

Nikki

Desiree K

Jolanda L


Survive the infected and find the serial killer ... or die trying.
Finding AJ
by Russ Melrose

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Apocalypse Journeys - Book 2 - STAND ALONE READ
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Russ Melrose
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Thriller
Print Length: 336 pages
Available from: Amazon
Survive the infected and find the serial killer ... or die trying.

(Authors note. Both novels in the "Apocalypse Journeys" series -- Jacob's Odyssey and Finding AJ -- are standalone novels and do not need to be read in any specific order.)

The world has fallen apart, the FBI gone, but former Agent Jules Vandevelde won’t stop. She can’t. She’s driven to find the psychopathic serial killer known as the Calligrapher.

Her search leads her to the small town of Gideon in Southern Utah. There, amongst the 116 survivors, a serial killer hides in plain sight. There’s only one clue to his identity. Using a scalpel, he inscribes the letters AJ into the abdominal area of his victims--postmortem--in an ancient Chinese text called Tsao, the lettering precise and artistic.

Jules knows the key to finding the Calligrapher lies in discovering the identity of AJ. If she can find AJ, she can find the Calligrapher. But the Calligrapher knows who Jules is. Jules must survive the infected and find the Calligrapher before she becomes his latest victim. 
Finding AJ by Russ Melrose (Apocalypse Journeys, #2)

Finding AJ (Apocalypse Journeys #2)In what could only be called dedication to justice, bull-headed determination and probably an obsession, one agent from the now decimated FBI will continue her quest to find the twisted monster known as the Calligrapher.

Agent Jules Vanedvelde needs a sense of sanity and control in a world now filled with flesh eating zombies, road warriors and danger at every turn. She has the one clue that she hopes will lead her to finding the Calligrapher and the remains of his first victim, the letters “AJ.” Follow her quest for justice and survival in a post-apocalyptic world where law and order falls victim to survival of the fittest for many. Jules knows the Calligrapher is still alive, and she will get her man, because if she doesn’t he will surely get her.

FINDING AJ by Russ Melrose is as much a suspenseful thriller as it is a brittle tale of survival. Share Jules’s memories when the hunt began. Feel the losses she has faced and understand the passion with which she hunts, even as the world around her has collapsed. Is she ready to face her greatest nightmare or will her own blind fury lead her straight into his lair to become his next canvas in blood?

Suspense? I’m in! Post-apocalyptic flesh eaters? Yes, please. The fight for the survival of humanity against all odds? Bring it. To feel as if I were there, interacting with the varied personalities simultaneously gelling and being repulsed on the apocalyptic steroids of stress? Creative genius.

Russ Melrose has added his personal touch to the apocalypse, by going beyond survival, by giving us one heroine who still feels the need to protect and serve by taking down a twisted serial killer determined to continue toying with what is left of humanity.

Action, a little gore, and razor-wire tension throughout! Jules is tough, but not super-human, still, I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side! A great read that bends genres!

Character Interview – Jules

Why does Jules have such difficulty developing relationships of any depth?

It goes back to when Jules was fourteen and her step-father died. Her step-father was everything to her. Jules' relationship with her mother was all but nonexistent (she even refers to her mother as a "ghost" at one point). So, when Jules' step-father died, Jules felt as if she'd been abandoned. She felt alone and would do anything not to have to repeat that experience again. Out of her fear of abandonment, she developed a defense mechanism that led her to shy away from developing close, personal relationships. If you're not close to anyone, you can't suffer the pain of being abandoned.

That's why Jules felt most at home in the FBI. It was a perfect fit for her. Her relationships in the bureau were professional rather than personal. Rather than having friends, Jules had colleagues. Having colleagues fit right into Jules' comfort zone, and she could immerse herself in whatever cases she was working on. Outside the FBI, the few relationships she had were of a casual, convenient nature, nothing more. 

What is Jules' character arc?

Jules' character arc is subtle, but it is there. Since Jules' main focus is on finding the Calligrapher, and the novel only spans about a two-week period, there's not a lot of time for significant changes to occur. On top of that, Jules isn't consciously looking to make changes in her life. But through her experiences, they begin to take shape anyway. During the investigation, she makes a personal connection (not at all sexual) with Beckerman – the special agent in charge of the task force. Beckerman reminds Jules of her step-father. Still, out of a deeply ingrained habit, she keeps her distance and keeps the relationship strictly professional. Something she comes to regret later on.

In Gideon, as time goes by, she gradually begins to connect with the people there on a personal level – at least those that she doesn't see as suspects.

And later in the novel, Jules opens up to Addy (a teenage travel companion from Arizona) about Jules' personal life – though Jules has to be prompted by Addy to do so. But Jules chooses to open up because she feels it might help Addy. This isn't something Jules would have likely done at the beginning of the novel. The final scene of the novel shows just how far Jules has come where her willingness and ability to connect with others is concerned.

With the world having fallen apart and the infected everywhere, why does Jules choose to go after the Calligrapher?

Where her motivation to find the Calligrapher is concerned, justice, a sense of purpose, guilt, and revenge all play a part, though not equally.


Jules' motives are fairly complex. It's about more than seeking justice, though the notion of seeking justice plays a part. When the world falls apart, Jules realizes she still needs a sense of purpose in her life beyond merely surviving. In the past, the FBI had always provided her with a sense of purpose. Now, other than struggling to survive, she has no real purpose. Finding the Calligrapher helps fill that void in her life. But Jules' motives for going after the Calligrapher run deeper. For Jules, finding the Calligrapher has become personal. Sure, she wants to balance the scales for his victims, but more than anything Jules is driven by feelings of guilt and a touch of revenge.



More books by Russ Melrose
    
Click on Covers for more information!


Russ Melrose's path to becoming a writer has been anything but conventional. Over the years, he's done a bit of everything--a jack of all trades you might say. He spent time in the military, the ASA (Army Security Agency, and yes, it's related to the NSA), worked in business (accounting, assistant buyer, management), taught at a secretarial college, spent time as a letter carrier for the post office, and he even mesmerized a few clients here and there as a hypnotherapist. He also spent time in the blue collar sector (building floors for mobile homes, a job retrofitting military vehicles for the army, etc.). Along the way, he also found time to get degrees (B.A. and M.A.) in English from the University of Utah and Utah State University respectively. And eventually he became a writer.

Writers who've influenced him the most are Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Connect with Russ Melrose
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Amazon

Congratulations to the Winners of Isabelle Hardesty's Jade's Paradox #Giveaway





Congratulations to:

Calvin F



Desiree K






Jade is forced to confront her past ... 
just as she is ready to move toward her future.

Jade's Paradox
by Isabelle Hardesty

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Delacourt Saga - Book 3
Publication Date: June 8, 2018
Publisher: Isabelle Hardesty
Genre: YA Fantasy | Paranormal
Available from: Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Jade Delacourt is a half shapeshifter and a half fairy. She is now closer to stopping Bex, who is an evil fairy. That means Jade is also much closer to danger. To truly stop Bex, Jade must do something that she’s not prepared to do, become a fairy queen.

Seven, Jade’s true love, is called away to film a scene overseas. Now that her hot shapeshifter / actor boyfriend is gone, Jade finds that dealing with a younger sister is not as easy as she had always imagined. Nyx and Alejandro grow closer even while she develops part of her powers she never knew she had.

Jade must balance her new role as big sister while learning how to be a Fairy Enthrall, that is, if she ever plans on stopping Bex's evil reign.

Jade is forced to confront her past just as she is ready to move toward her future. Her concept of family is shattered and she meets a handsome friend who tries to help her pick up the pieces. Seven returns to find things aren’t the same in NYC.

Find out what happens to Jade in this third and final book of the Delacourt Saga series.
Jade's Paradox by Isabelle Hardesty (Delacourt Saga, #3)

Jade's Paradox (Delacourt Saga, #3)Jade has a blood family, but she is finding that having a sister can be both rewarding and very, very trying, especially when her sister has a mind of her own, some pretty strong powers and a major chip on her shoulders. Even more crushing, Jade finally learns who her birth parents are and what truly happened that caused her to be raised in the human world, never quite fitting in.

With Bex lurking in the shadows, plotting Jade’s demise, one small break at a time, it becomes apparent that in order to save the paranormal and human worlds alike, she must master her magic, and become the Fairy Enthrall. Besting Bex and overthrowing her evil reign will not be easy, but neither will convincing the fairy realm she is worthy of the title.

And again, with JADE'S PARADOX, Isabelle Hardesty has created a strong character who represents all that can be good in people, even as a teen in over her head in a world that has never quite accepted her. New family dynamics, unsettling truths, and the wicked machinations of a powerful adversary will test Jade to dig deep and believe in herself, as she fully comes of age in an onslaught of turmoil!

It is so wonderful to read a young adult tale that relies on great storytelling with strong main characters who FEEL like teens and then to find a teen romance that is sweet and sometimes a little “gushy” without the over-the-top angst! This is a series I would buy for my young adult grandchildren!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Isabelle Hardesty!


The Delacourt Saga Series
    
Click on Covers for more information




Isabelle Hardesty is a writer and was born and raised in Miami on a street that had coconut trees and the scent of a nearby Cuban bakery’s latest creations wafting in the warm air.

Isabelle lives in Atlanta with her husband and son. She loves being with her family, eating chocolate and connecting with readers. When she is not writing, you can find her either researching for her next book or painting.



Connect with Isabelle Hardesty
Goodreads | Facebook | Website | Twitter | Amazon

Dethroned (An Inimical Prequel Novella) by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge Blitz and #Giveaway


Dethroned
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(An Inimical Prequel Novella)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
For eighteen-year-old Rouen Rivoche, being a fairy princess isn’t about fancy parties and happily ever afters.
Rouen’s people are the dark Fae whose powers of lightning, thundersnow, and all things Winter make them cold, severe, and 100% intolerant of rebellion.
Too bad being a rebel is in Rouen’s blood.
Against tradition, she’s teamed up with Syl Skye, the sleeper-princess of the fair Fae—a mortal enemy who Rouen should want to kill but only wants to kiss. Plus, to be with Syl, Rouen’s masquerading as a glam goth-rock star and human high school student. Honestly, Rouen doesn’t think things could get any more complicated.
Then, she discovers she must become Queen of the Winter Court or all her people will die. No pressure.
Now, dark forces are amassing in the Winter Court, turning Rouen’s people against her and blocking her path to the throne. Even Syl with all her powers of white flame and Summer can’t stop this new kind of evil.
Because betrayal cuts close when it’s someone you love… and now it looks like Rouen’s going to be dethroned before she ever becomes queen.
EXCERPT:
Chapter One
Rouen

There’s nowhere I belong
No home, no hearth
No sing, no song
A princess with no kingdom to rule
– “Nowhere I Belong” – Euphoria
It’s December 24, Christmas Eve in the mortal realm, and you know what that means.
Only fifty-four days to go. Fifty-four days until the Lunar New Year.
Until I take my rightful place as Queen of the dark Fae.
No more being Rouen, princess-assassin and rebel. Once Father steps down—and he said he would—I’ll take his place.
Half of me, my dark self, says he’s lying through his fangs again. But the other half of me remembers the father-before, the man he was before our realm was crippled by our mortal enemies, the fair Fae. That man taught me to fight, to tap into the Winter in my royal blood and hear the wintry nightsong running through our Dark Faerie realm like a secret language.
The Adamant King. He was a good father and a great king—powerful but even-tempered, severe but just.
That’s the man I could trust. That man would keep his word to make me queen.
Even though there’s never been a dark Fae queen. Ever.
I’ll be the first. I can’t wait to rule, to do whatever I want, to be with whoever I want.
In fifty-four days.
But who’s counting?
“Not you,” Syl murmurs sleepily as we lie on the beat-up couch in the dressing room of our local club/hangout, the Nanci Raygun. It’s a snug room wallpapered with faded band flyers and covered in peeling spray paint art. The best thing is the comfy couch that’s ideal for snuggling with your girlfriend.
“Nope. Not me.” I kiss the top of Syl’s red curls. She knows me too well.
Just like I’m the princess of the dark Fae, Syl’s the princess of the fair Fae.
We’re complete opposites. I’m everything Winter—storms and squalls and brutal cold, unyielding ice and thundersnow. My Syl is the epitome of Summer and sun and brightness, with the power to purify dark magic with her white flame.
We met when I tried to kill her.
Technically, we’re mortal enemies. Winter. Summer. You get the picture.
Long story short, I tried to assassinate her. Not my finest moment, but I was controlled by Circuit Fae black-magic—a Moribund infection that stole my will and forced me to hunt her down when she was a mere mortal. Sleeper-princess that she is, though, she Awakened to the fair Fae power inside her.
Hoo-boy, did she give me a hard time. I loved it. Still do.
Syl snuggles in closer. Her nearness sends a spike of warmth shooting through me. She leans her head on my shoulder. “Is it time for your gig yet?”
Ancestors, I hope not. I’d rather lie on this couch with her forever. Lazily, I look past the Euphoria fliers plastered all over the dressing room and check the faded Blue Bee Cider clock on the wall. Almost 11 p.m. “Ten minutes.”
Ten minutes till I step onstage and take on the Euphoria half of my mortal guise. The other half is a seventeen-year-old high school junior, but this is more my style—local legend and goth rockstar violinist. Thanks to my powerful Glamoury, only Syl, her mom, and a few kids at Richmond Elite High have put the Rouen-Euphoria connection together. Otherwise, the human paparazzi would have a heyday with us.
As it is, they mostly leave us alone. Good thing, too, since tonight, I want some peace.
Tonight’s special.
In a little bit, Syl will be headed off on her own. Her task is less glamorous, but far more important. She has to leave to grab our Christmas Eve dinner.
I’ve never had a proper Christmas Eve dinner. It’s a mortal thing and very different from my people’s Dark Yule celebrations (which involve a lot of mayhem and destruction), and I’m looking forward to it.
Syl turns her face into my shoulder and says something like, mumble, mumble, don’t wanna, mumble, mumble, cold outside, mumble.
So. Adorable. I kiss the top of her head, inhaling the heady scent of sunshine and vanilla. My sweet fair Fae princess.
I’d do anything to protect her.


Author Bio:
Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance--where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.
She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she's clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.
She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.
GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.
The Circuit Fae series
Derailed – A Moribund Prequel Novella
Moribund eSampler (FREE)
Moribund
Ouroboros
Dethroned
Inimical

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Dark Water by J.A. Armitage Blitz and #Giveaway


Dark Water
J.A. Armitage
(Reverse Fairytales, #4)
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Young Adult
You think you know the story of The Little Mermaid…
A tragic accident on the eve of her eighteenth birthday leads Princess Erica to a chance encounter with a mysterious man on the beach. When he turns up at her birthday party and whisks her off her feet, she knows she has to find out everything about him, but why won’t he speak and where does he keep disappearing to?
Ari knows he’s crossed a line by mingling with the land humans, but how can he resist the beautiful princess whose life he saved? He must decide whether to stay on land and become like her, or continue to live without her in the depths of the ocean.
Trapped in a centuries long battle between his kind and hers, his decision will rock both their kingdoms.
With a sea witch that needs repaying and the small matter of Erica’s engagement to someone else, Ari knows the odds are stacked against him.
Dark Water is the fourth in the Reverse Fairytale series and the first Little Mermaid retelling by USA Today bestselling author J.A.Armitage. Take everything you think you know about fairytales and turn it on its head.
EXCERPT:
CHAPTER ONE
“May God bless her and all who sail on her.”
I cleared my throat, hoping I’d said it correctly, and gripped the bottle of champagne, terrified of letting it go too early or, worse still, missing the ship entirely.
Beyond the ship, the ocean shimmered in the midday sun. Diamond-like sparkles of light bounced off the calm cerulean water—water that looked so inviting, I wanted nothing more than to jump in, to surrender to the balmy ripples. Of course, wanting it and doing it were two different things. First of all, I couldn’t swim, and secondly, my mother would pitch a fit if I took another step closer to the dock edge. She was already a bag of nerves from today’s event.
I looked behind me, needing reassurance from my parents. This was my first official royal engagement, and I was terrified of messing it up. My father beamed at me with pride while my mother gave me a thin smile. I could see the fear in her eyes although she was doing her best to hide it. I was amazed she’d come at all. The ocean positively terrified her. My father’s hand was almost white with how hard my mother was squeezing it. Next to them, my little brother, Anthony, was picking his nose and examining the treasure he found up there. Not for the first time I was reminded how fortunate it was that I was the first in line to the throne.
Beside me, my life-long best friend nudged me to let go of the bottle. Officially, his title was Sir Hayden Harrington-Blythe, but to me, he was just Hayden. He’d been my first crush since our first day in kindergarten when he’d pulled on my pigtails, and I’d stamped on his foot. Despite our unpromising start, over the years we’d turned into friends. My crush on him was long since over, and his pigtail pulling days were long gone, but somehow, our friendship had survived.
“You do know you are supposed to let go of the bottle right?” whispered Hayden in my ear. I gave him a look I only ever reserved for him and lifted the bottle. Letting go, I watched it swing on a length of string, arcing towards the majestic ship’s wooden hull. It made a tinkling sound as it smashed against the side of the ship, scattering glass all over the paved dock. I couldn’t help thinking it was a waste of good champagne and that it would be better served at the ball being held in honor of my birthday in a couple of days’ time. Still, I felt invigorated by the salty smell of the ocean, the atmosphere of a thousand happy people coming out to see the launch, and the fact that I now had a boat that bore my name. I was feeling as excited as I could hope to feel, second only to being allowed to actually go out on the damn thing.
The Erica Rose’s white sails flapped in the breeze below the official flag of Trifork as if she were eager to be off, out onto the ocean. I couldn’t blame her. To sail on the ocean was a lifelong dream of mine. Ever since I could remember, I’d looked out of my bedroom window toward the ocean and dreamed of the day that I’d be able to disappear beyond the rolling waves toward the horizon.
It was a dream that had never, and would never, be realized as long as my parents were in charge. For a kingdom so well-known for its naval and merchant vessels, my parents were ridiculously strict about letting me go near the ocean. This was the closest I’d gotten in the whole eighteen years of my life, and I had a full team of palace guards surrounding me, stopping me from taking one step closer to the water’s edge than I had to. It was all because of my mother, of course. My father might have been the one that ruled Trifork, but in the palace, my mother was the one that wore the pants, so to speak. If my mother said I couldn’t go near the ocean, then my father wasn’t going to argue with her. However, today was a special day, and not even my mother could come up with a good enough reason for us not to be here. She might have been absolutely petrified, but she was the queen, a duty she held above everything, even crippling panic.
Everybody clapped as the wooden ship began pulling up its anchor, its crew readying themselves to set sail.
I took a deep breath and inhaled the salty air. Above the excited chatter of the crowd, seagulls cawed to each other as they flew overhead looking for an easy snack. Oh, how I envied them and their freedom.
My father managed to extricate himself from my mother’s vice-like grip and joined me on the dock’s edge. My poor mother’s face turned even more ashen, and she had to grip a nearby railing instead to save herself from fainting. It was almost cruel, living so close to the ocean and being so frightened of it. I saw her eyes darting past my father and me to the ocean behind us as though it could somehow climb above the dock and swallow us whole. I don’t doubt it could on a stormy day, but today the skies were blue, and the sea was calm.
“We here in Trifork have a rich sailing heritage, one of which I am immensely proud,” began my father into the microphone that had been set up for the occasion. “Today is a big day for me, both as a king and a father. As you all know, my daughter, the princess Erica Rose, will turn eighteen in just two days’ time. Her first official engagement was supposed to be at the ball, but she begged me to be allowed to launch this ship. Being the dutiful father I am, I agreed.” He paused at this point waiting for a laugh. When he got it, he carried on. “This is my birthday gift to you, dear Erica. I know you’ve always had a fondness for the sea and so this ship not only bears your name but also belongs to you.”
I blinked a couple of times, unsure if what I was hearing was true. The ship was mine? I wasn’t allowed to dip my toes in the shallow waves at the beach, but I was allowed to own a ship?
I gazed up at the huge galleon. “She’s mine?” Hope rose in my chest that I might, for the first time in my life, be able to go out on the ocean. My parents had never so much as let me sail in a dinghy before now, let alone go on a ship.
“She’s all yours, sweetheart. As part of our fleet and a working ship, she will be taken out by her captain, Captain Jackson. But when she’s back in Trifork, you will be able to see her whenever you want.”
“See her?”
“Yes,” beamed my father, oblivious to the disappointment I was feeling. Only see her? I didn’t want a ship to look at. I’d spent my entire life watching the ships of Trifork sail in and out of the harbor. I wanted to sail to foreign lands, to feel the sea breeze upon my cheek. I wanted to know what it felt like to roll over the gentle waves with the vastness of the ocean the only thing in view.
My mother caught my disappointment though. She could read me like a book. An elegant woman with a sharp tongue and an even sharper sense of style, she swallowed her terror and took a few steps toward me, toward the ocean. She walked tall and calmly, but a slight tremor in her step gave her away.
“Aren’t you happy with your new ship?”
“Yes ma’am,” I lied. What was the point of having a ship if I wasn’t allowed on it?
She flicked her eyes past me, once again, toward the ocean. What was it she was looking for? Her eyes snapped back to me. “You know my feelings on you going near the sea, Erica. It’s a dangerous place. I nearly drowned when I was about your age.” She took my hand and pulled me a couple of steps toward her—away from the dock’s edge.
I’d heard the story a million times. Every time I even hinted at wanting to go near the sea, she’d dredge up the same story about how she nearly drowned when she was younger. I wasn’t in the mood to hear it again.
The ship was cast off, the gangplank raised. My ship was about to go on an adventure I could only dream of. The wind caught the sails and the majestic vessel began to move, her crew waving at us as she inched away from the dockside.
My father clapped me on the back, a beaming smile on his face. Even my mother, who usually had a face like a prune when it came to anything to do with water, had found her smile again. I glanced over at Hayden. He knew I was disappointed. I talked about nothing but the ocean with him. He loved the water as I did, but unlike me, he could go out onto it whenever he wanted. He even had his own boat. It was nowhere near as grand as the Erica Rose, but at least, he was allowed to sail in it.
He flicked his eyes almost imperceptibly towards the ship. I arched a brow.
“Do it,” he mouthed silently and cast his eyes towards the ship once again.
He wanted me to jump on the ship! He was actually daring me to do it. Thoughts of all the silly childhood pranks and adventures he’d led me into filled my mind. Hayden was the epitome of an irresistible bad idea. I followed his eye line to where the gangplank had been pulled up. The gate was still open, but it wouldn’t be for long. The ship was already a foot away from the dock and moving swiftly towards the open sea. I had seconds to make a decision.
My heart hammered, and adrenaline took over. Without thinking too hard, I ran from my parents, barged past the palace guards, and jumped as far as I could right off the dock. The ship had moved much faster than I’d anticipated, and I missed the gate by a long shot, and instead of landing on the ship, I plunged head first into the sea.
All I could hear were my mother’s screams as the water crowded in around me.
The water that had looked so warm and inviting when I’d been standing on the dock was actually a lot colder than I’d imagined, and as I scrambled for air, its icy grip took my breath away
Mouthfuls of briny water flowed into my mouth, causing me to choke as I tried desperately to keep above the water’s surface. In one terrifying instant, I realized what it was that my mother had been keeping me from for all these years. As I’d never been allowed in water deeper than a bath, I’d never learned how to swim. It occurred to me now that this wasn’t exactly my finest moment.
The dress I’d had picked out for me, a knee length cotton blue dress was perfect for looking smart and launching a ship. It was utterly useless as a floatation device. The heavy, waterlogged fabric weighed me down, making it even harder to try to keep my head above water.
Beside me, I heard a splash. I looked over to see a red and white life ring bobbing close by with a rope attached to it. On the other end of the rope, the Erica Rose’s crew shouted at me to grab hold. After I’d managed to pull myself through it, they heaved me up and pulled me over the side of the boat.
A group of worried faces peered down at me. One of the men reached a hand down to help me up. As I righted myself, my dress dripped ocean water all over the deck and tightened around me. I felt so uncomfortable in the soggy outfit, but when I saw how far from the dock we’d already moved, excitement flooded through me. The fear I’d felt just moments before dissolved, leaving me feeling exhilarated. I was on a ship for the first time in my life, and we were sailing away from the dock.
With giddy excitement, I gripped a railing. On the edge of the dock, my parents shouted and waved for us to come back. My heart fell as I caught the expression on my mother’s face. Her usual stern expression had contorted to one of absolute fear, and she wasn’t trying to hide it anymore. Her screams pierced the air, her usual stoic facade dropped completely as she tore at my father who was desperately trying to pull her back from the edge of the dock.
Her fear of falling into the ocean was obviously smaller than losing one of her children to it.
My stomach churned as I realized the severity of my actions. I’d only wanted to go out to sea. I didn’t want to hurt my mother in the process. I was going to be in the worst kind of trouble for this little stunt, and as we floated further and further out to sea, the more I realized that the adventure was not worth it.
Captain Jackson, a tall man with a perfectly groomed black mustache and oiled down hair greeted me with a salute. I’d never been saluted before. Bowed to and curtseyed aplenty, but a salute was new to me. I raised my hand and saluted back, unsure of the etiquette.
“I’m going to try to turn the ship back, your highness, but it may take a little time to adjust the sails. The wind is not optimal right now. There’s a squall coming, and I’d hoped to get far enough away to miss it.”
I glanced out to the horizon. The seamless blue sky was darkening, and the sea below it matched its threatening color. Where had that come from? Only seconds before, the weather had been as perfect as anyone could wish for.
“Yes, please turn around.” My heart dropped as I realized that my adventure was over before it had even started, and I’d gotten nothing out of it except to embarrass myself in front of thousands of onlookers and terrify my poor mother.
I looked back over to the shoreline. My parents and all the onlookers were barely dots on the horizon now. To my right, I could see the public beach to which people flocked in the summer months. Beyond that were magnificent white cliffs that I’d heard plenty about but never actually seen before as they were only visible from the sea. To my left, the coast was much rockier, and here was where the royal castle stood. Only a wide promenade separated the rocks from the castle. It looked so dark and imposing with its granite grey towers; I barely recognized it from this angle.
“Why don’t you go to my cabin and get changed out of those wet clothes. I’ll have one of my crew show you where it is.”
Captain Jackson swiveled on his toe and left me alone, feeling terrible. I’d not paused to consider the crew or the captain, and now they were going to have to abort their mission. I could chalk up a few more people to the list of those I’d disappointed. With a sigh, I walked to the other side of the deck to look out at the vast ocean. In the distance, the sea turned black and churned ominously almost as though that part of the ocean was alive and out to get us. It was a stark contrast to the crystal clear and calm water beneath the ship. Above me, the crew of the Erica Rose battled to maneuver the sails to turn us around.
“Your Royal Highness.”
I heard someone shouting at me above the wind that was now blustering fiercely. Lightning forked, splitting the sky in two, and the wind tugged my hair from the clip that had been keeping it in place. Strands of long red hair whipped around my face. I turned to see a young man heading toward me.
“I’m Joe, Your Highness, the second in command of the Erica Rose,” he said, giving me a quick bow. “The captain has asked me to escort you to his cabin.”
Joe was barely older than me, with short, dirty blond hair and a winning smile. I was surprised to see someone so young be the second in command of such a ship.
“It’s getting a little choppy,” Joe cautioned, his cheeks red as he took my hand. “They are going to struggle to get the ship back to shore. The forecast mentioned a little bit of turbulent water, but it looks to be shaping up to be a proper storm out there.”
I followed Joe to a big wooden doorway, which he opened for me and beckoned me inside. As I thanked him, a boom filled the darkening sky.
“Thunder,” Joe remarked, taking my hand and leading me down a corridor. I held on tightly to him as the ship listed violently to one side from the sharp turn of the wheel. He showed me to a large room with a writing desk on one side and a bed on the other.
“There will be some clothes in the wardrobe there,” he said, pointing to a small door. “I don’t expect the captain has any dresses, but I’m sure you’ll find something dry to wear.”
I watched the storm unfold through a small porthole as Joe left me to help the captain. It seemed no one was expecting the weather to be this bad and how could they? Only ten minutes earlier, there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky, and now there was barely any blue left, only the darkness of the sea and the sky. It was strange how quickly the storm had taken hold. I certainly had never seen anything like it before. Outside, the rain began to lash down, pitter-pattering on the round window. Thunder crashed as the waves became more intense with the roaring wind that whipped all around us. The storm had sneaked up on us quickly, and as far as I could see, we were getting further and further away from the coastline. Whatever Captain Jackson’s men were doing to turn the ship around, it wasn’t helping.
I hated admitting it to myself after dreaming of the day I could finally sail on the sea for so long, but I was beginning to get scared. My mother’s screams echoed in my head, although we had drifted too far to really hear her. The boat creaked with the strain, and from out of the window, I could see we were being pulled closer and closer toward the storm. A crash from behind me made me jump. I turned to find that some previously neatly stacked dishes had been flung from the cupboard and were now in hundreds of pieces on the floor. Holding on was almost impossible, the ship was lurching so much. I tried walking over to the wardrobe that Joe had pointed out, but the floor beneath me was rocking so much under the motion of the waves that I could barely stand at all. With a shock, I saw a stream of water pushing the remnants of the dishes across the floor. It was coming from the doorway. We were taking on water. I held on to the writing desk to keep myself upright, but the motion of the ship knocked me to the floor. Something sharp pierced my side, and when I looked down, I saw a sliver of broken plate had cut through my dress and into my flesh creating a bloom of fresh blood on the wet fabric.
I looked up to grab hold of the desk to pull myself back up and was shocked to see that the window was now partly submerged. We were sinking, and we were sinking fast. Pulling myself up, I ran to the door quickly. I had to get out, or I would drown. I yanked the door as hard as I could, and as it opened, a deluge of water rushed in knocking me over once again. The lights flickered out leaving me in complete darkness as the water engulfed me, sending me flying into something hard. Water filled my lungs as the blackness folded in around me, my mother’s warnings of the fierceness of the ocean echoing in my head.


Author Bio:
J.A lives in a total fantasy world (because reality is boring right?) When she’s not writing all the crazy fun in her head, she can be found eating cake, designing pretty pictures and hanging upside down from the tallest climbing frame in the local playground while her children look on in embarrassment. She’s travelled the world working as everything from a banana picker in Australia to a Pantomime clown, has climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and the bottom of the Grand Canyon and once gave birth to a surrogate baby for a friend of hers.
She spends way too much time gossiping on facebook and if you want to be part of her Reading Army, where you’ll get lots of freebies, exclusive sneak peeks and super secret sales, join up here
https://www.subscribepage.com/v7o8k4
Somehow she finds time to write.
Reviews for J.A.Armitage's work.
Endless Winter is a unique story that takes place in a beautiful world. J.A. Armitage's writing is lyrical and almost poetic. Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
I devoured this book like a rich box of chocolates. Sara C Roethle

GIVEAWAY!

Mermaid Swag pack including prize candle (with ring worth between $15 and $5000) and a signed copy of Dark Water
$20 Amazon giftcard plus an ecopy of Dark Water
An e-copy of Dark Water

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A Merciful Silence by Kendra Elliot #Release & #Giveaway



Title: A MERCIFUL SILENCE
Author: Kendra Elliot
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

For FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick, returning to rural Oregon has meant coming to terms with her roots. Raised as a prepper, Mercy is now relying on her survivalist instincts to defend her town from the people the law can’t reach. But this time, an investigation calling up a dark past for her and police chief Truman Daly may be hitting too close to home.

A rainstorm has uncovered the remains of five people—a reprise of the distinctive slaughter of two families twenty years ago. Except the convicted killer is in prison. Is this the case of a sick copycat, or is the wrong man behind bars? One person might have the answer. The lone survivor of the decades-old crimes has returned to town still claiming that she can’t remember a thing about the night she was left for dead. As the search for the truth becomes more dangerous, Mercy fears that the traumatized woman may not have buried her memories at all. She might be keeping them a secret. And there’s a price to be paid for revealing them.

Author Biography


Kendra Elliot has landed on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list multiple times and is the award-winning author of the Bone Secrets and Callahan & McLane series, as well as the Mercy Kilpatrick novels: A Merciful Death, A Merciful Truth, and A Merciful Secret. Kendra is a three-time winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award, an International Thriller Writers finalist, and an RT Award finalist. She has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on classic female heroines such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Laura Ingalls. She was born, raised, and still lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters, but she looks forward to the day she can live in flip-flops. Visit her at www.kendraelliot.com. 

Social Media Links

Website - http://www.kendraelliot.com/  
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Aut horKendraElliot 
Twitter - https://twitter.com/KendraEl liot 
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/au thor/show/6150778.Kendra_Ellio t 

Message from Kendra Elliot: Mercy’s road to the FBI

Mercy Kilpatrick, the heroine from my newest release A Merciful Silence, was raised by anti-government preppers in Central Oregon. She grew up learning to live off the land, avoid law enforcement, and never trust the government. When she was eighteen, she and her father had a falling out that forced Mercy from the home.

She entered the regular world but could never leave her prepping roots behind. She eventually joined the FBI—thereby becoming the two things that her father hated most. Estranged from her family, Mercy keeps one foot in the regular world and another in her hidden past. She can’t help but prepare for the end of the world. No one at the FBI knows she escapes to her mountain hideaway every weekend where she stocks firewood, food, fuel, and medical supplies.

An FBI domestic terrorism case pulls her to back to her hometown where she must face her family for the first time in fifteen years. The case takes place in a survivalist world with which she is all too familiar, and suspects some of her family may be involved.


Excerpt: A Merciful Silence

Her GPS took her on a wet, winding trip thirty miles out of Bend. Mercy revered privacy, and it appeared Britta Vale did the same. The terrain was flat, with clumps of huge trees and fields of scattered volcanic rock. She took the final turn off the two-lane road and was pleasantly surprised to find a well-maintained gravel driveway. A wood fence lined one side of the drive, and Mercy idly wondered if Britta kept cows or sheep in the field. A wide creek rapidly flowed through the pasture, full of the recent rains. A few minutes later she stopped in front of an old white farmhouse. Fields flanked the house on two sides, and a small ancient grove of fruit trees was to the east. 

The paint flaked from the two-story building, and large pieces of railing were missing from the wraparound deck. Lace curtains appeared at most of the windows, and a newer Ford pickup was parked next to the home. As Mercy stepped out of her Tahoe, faint barking greeted her, and she spotted a black lab inside, watching through a tall window next to the front door, alerting the residents that company had arrived. Its wagging tail defied the belligerent barks. 

Overall, Mercy liked the home. It felt shy but friendly. Sequestered but welcoming. 

The door opened and a woman appeared. In one hand she gripped the lab’s collar. With the other she balanced a rifle against her shoulder. 

Not threatening, but making her stance clear. 

Mercy approved. And stopped moving forward. Mercy stood with her right shoulder and hip slightly farther back and casually held her hands out in front of her stomach, the palms up. A nonaggressive pose, but she was ready to move to the gun in her shoulder holster if needed. “Britta Vale?” 

“Who wants to know?” The woman’s tone was polite but direct. Her long hair was black. The flat-black, obviously dyed tone. Blunt-cut bangs just above Britta’s eyebrows gave her a no-nonsense look. 

“I’m Special Agent Mercy Kilpatrick from the Bend FBI office. You’re welcome to call them to verify me.” 

“Take three steps closer.” 

Mercy took three measured steps, her hands still exposed. She felt the weight of her weapon at her side and watched Britta for any warning movements. The woman stood perfectly still, the dog’s wagging tail a contrast. At this distance Mercy could meet Britta’s gaze. The woman had light-blue eyes and skin that looked as if it’d never seen the sun. She also had a huge tattoo that wrapped around the front of her neck. Mercy couldn’t read it but wondered how painful the process had been. She swallowed, imagining tiny sharp needles jabbing at the tender skin on her throat. 

The woman released the dog, who instantly sat, its dark eyes still locked on Mercy. 

“Are you here about Grady Baldwin?” 

“Yes,” Mercy answered. 

“Is he out? I’m supposed to be notified if he gets out. No one has said anything to me.” Britta’s voice shot up an octave as the words spilled out of her mouth, terror and anger flashing in her eyes. Her fingers tightened on the butt of the rifle, and Mercy tensed. 

“He’s not out and he’s not getting out.” 

The woman lowered her chin a notch, and her shoulders moved as she exhaled. “I have nightmares about police vehicles abruptly showing up at my home, trying to get me to safety. They’re always too late.” She nodded at Mercy’s Tahoe. “You’re clearly armed, and you have government plates, so you understand my reaction.” 

“I do. You are Britta, right?” The woman acted like a survivor, but Mercy wanted to be certain. 

“I am. Why are you here?” 

“Yesterday we uncovered five bodies. Possibly a family—we aren’t certain about that. But each one of them had been struck in the mouth. Their teeth and jaws shattered.” 

The pale woman went a shade whiter as she slapped a hand across her mouth, and the dog whined, leaning hard against her thigh.

GIVEAWAY
$25 Amazon Gift Card and Digital Copy of Kendra Elliot’s A MERCIFUL SILENCE

Monday, June 18, 2018

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault, #1) by Candace Robinson

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault
by Candace Robinson

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: May 16, 2017 * New Re-release: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Candace Robinson * New Publisher: The Parliament House
Genre: YA | Horror


Some see it... Some don't... 

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline's best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances? 

A book that intertwines horror with retellings mixed with humor and darkness


Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault, #1) 
by Candace Robinson

Review for updated, Shiny Gem version!

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault, #1)Do you ever re-read a book? I do. This time out, Candace Robinson’s QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT has had a makeover, and it shines like a diamond! There is still something dark going on in Perrie’s town and it can be downright terrifying, especially knowing that not everyone can see the new establishment in town.

Written for a young adult audience, this new, shiny gem screams READ ME, no matter how old you are! A fabulous dark mystery, true evil and Perrie, filled with her own brand of attitude and snark, is determined to discover what is going on and is just the girl to put a stop to it!

Candace Robinson listened to what people said, she went back to the drawing board and she has created a reading masterpiece of entertainment to get lost in, reality left far behind…Yes, this gem now has “meat” enough to sink your reader’s teeth in!

Old Review:

There is something strange going on in Deer Park and it all started with the unusual museum that seems to disappear at the most inconvenient times. Author Candace Robinson has conjured up a tale of magic, mystery and horror that even blends fact and fairy tale! QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT will peck at your imagination and challenge you to keep up as Perrie and August enter the museum to find their missing friends, only to discover there is more to each horrific display than meets the eye, as well as more to the mysterious owner than Perrie could ever imagine.

Looking for a very dark, very busy read with more twists than a Twizzler? Candace Robinson has it right here. The concept is fabulous, dark and at times truly evil. There will be moments of sadness and moments of relief as Perrie goes in search of her best friend only to find that sometimes, one can never escape their fate.

This definitely felt like a young adult read, sometimes I thought that it would be perfect for middlegrade/younger YA readers, except for the liberal use of profanity. Perrie came across as a one tough cookie on a mission, although she also felt very young to me. I could see this tale being expanded into more than one book and I wanted more meat, but for a younger reader, it was great, again without the profanity. (And I am not a prude, I can *#@ with the best of 'em)

I applaud Candace Robinson’s talent to take on more than one genre, to give me the creeps and to make me recognize the scenes she has created or re-created. It just didn’t feel like an upper YA read to me and I think there is a huge younger audience out there that would fall all over this one!

I received this copy from Candace Robinson in exchange for my honest and voluntary review!