Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Home to Wind River by Lindsay McKenna (Wind River #7)

Home to Wind River

My Rating:

Written by: Lindsay McKenna
Series: Wind River
Sequence in Series: Book 7
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
ISBN-10: 1420147501
ISBN-13: 978-1420147506
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Home-Wind-Rive...
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/home...
The new novel from the bestselling author of Lone Rider.

For some, love is the only medicine . . .

After a harrowing tour of duty in Afghanistan, Army nurse Lily Thompson escapes to Wind River Ranch to find herself once more. Working as a caregiver to foreman Jake Murdoch's elderly mother, Lily almost feels at peace--except for the unsettling presence of Jake, a tight-lipped, intimidating man everyone calls Bear. But one look in the powerful ex-Marine's eyes and Lily glimpses a vulnerability that shakes her soul: a hurt she understands all too well--and longs to heal . . .

Jake is ready to rail at the fates when Lily moves into his home. Everything about this captivating woman calls to him, demanding that he abandon his solitary stance and start to live again. But Jake is a man who knows that no one can save him from the past that stalks his heart and mind. Not even sweet, achingly beautiful Lily. Still, that doesn't stop his longing to pull her into his arms--and keep her there forever. Will time, and patience, bring them the courage to make their connection real?
Home to Wind RiverHome to Wind River by Lindsay McKenna

Playful puppies and healing horses come into play when not just one but two Vets facing PTSD are sharing close quarters.

Home to Wind River supports a friendly, warm hearted cast of characters that you wouldn't mind being pulled into their close knit crew. Especially when facing a world you left behind only to find it strange and unsuspecting the person you became while you were gone. Taking on the difficulties of returning home after serving your country, McKenna brings the hardships facing our Vets front and center in this heartfelt romance.

Hope, McKenna writes at tale of hope, heart and healing.

I received this ARC copy of Home to Wind River from Kensington Books - Zebra. This is my honest and voluntary review. Home to Wind River is set for publication Dec. 18, 2018.



The Boyfriend Collector by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff #Release Blitz

Today we have the release day blitz for Mimi Jean Pamfiloff’s THE BOYFRIEND COLLECTOR! Check out this fun new contemporary romance and grab your copy today!

Title: THE BOYFRIEND COLLECTOR

Author: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About The Boyfriend Collector:

FIND MR. RIGHT IN 30 DAYS? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Treated like a servant in her own home, twenty-year-old Rose Marie Hale can’t stop dreaming of her next birthday. It’s the day she’ll inherit a fortune, break free from her cruel family, and finally start living her life—finish school, travel, find love. After a lifetime of hardship, it’s all she’s ever wanted. But when Rose discovers she must marry before her twenty-first birthday to claim the money, she has no choice but to push herself out into the world in search of a man she can love and trust. Unfortunately, those are the very things that have been used as weapons against her. With only a month to go, can she find true love? Or will her past hold her back, leaving her penniless and alone? (Part One of Two)

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Bex   Well, this is not a promising start. Seated in my black leather armchair, I rub the stubble on my jaw and glance down at the questionnaire in my other hand. The agitated young woman lying on the couch in front of me has left the entire form blank except for her name at the top. Rose Marie Hale. Rose. The name fits her. At first glance she looks like a delicate, fragrant flower—long, lean stems for legs, trim body, and blonde silky hair—but a sharpness in her dark brown eyes tells me she’s not all soft petals. I make a quick note of my observation in the margin of the page before interrupting her fast talking—something about dating…or men…or I’m unsure, actually. “Miss Hale, excuse my insensitivity, but I’m here to help people, not waste their time. Or mine. So what, exactly, do you mean when you say you have to find a husband? Sounds like you need a friend or a dating app, not therapy.” I rest my gold pen across the clipboard on my lap, waiting for her to answer. Like the pen, this office—situated in a renovated brick warehouse in Atlanta’s trendy Buckhead district—once belonged to my father, who was also a psychologist. I stepped in, merging my practice with his when he became ill last spring. By the time he died a month ago, I learned many things about the man, bad things I loathe him for. The first disappointment came when I discovered he never practiced what he preached in terms of treating his patients, who were receiving little more than touchy-feely pep talks: You can do it. I believe in you. Complete bullshit. The only thing he accomplished was creating a steady stream of customers who became dependent on him instead of themselves. I don’t blow smoke up patients’ asses just so they’ll come back next week for another fix of self-esteem injections. I say it like it is, and if they truly want to get their lives together, they listen. As for this woman on my couch, I don’t know what to make of her other than the obvious that she’s in her early twenties, her attractiveness is distracting, and I’m unsure why the hell she’s here. If she’s looking for boyfriend advice, she’s come to the wrong place. “Dr. Hughes? Are you listening?” she says, her slender body stretched across my white couch. Not really. Her lips are moving so fast, I feel like I’m at an auction. “Rose Marie—” “I prefer Rose. Just Rose,” she corrects. “Okay. Rose, I’m sorry, but I’m a psychologist, not a romance coach.” She sits up and plants her feet on the floor. Her red heels look expensive, as does the matching red sweater. Her jeans are the type most men like on women—tight, a bit short to show off some toned calf, and cut to accentuate the feminine curve of her hips. “I’m not here for love coaching,” she says with a frantic tone. “I have to get married. Quickly. My entire life depends on it.” Trying to hide my impatience, I lift my brows. She strikes me as the quintessential entitled princess who thinks her social life is the most important thing on the planet. Oh no, someone didn’t like my selfie on Instagram. Whatever shall I do? If she can’t give me a legitimate reason to see her or convince me that she’s here to work, I’ll turn her away. “This isn’t the Dark Ages,” I say. “Many women lead long happy lives and never marry.” “I know. And that’s not what this is about. Not even close.” “All right.” I inhale slowly, taking a moment to rally my patience. “Why don’t you try explaining it once more.” She lies back down, crossing her long legs at the ankles, her large eyes focused on the exposed wooden beam running across the ceiling. I wait while she mulls. She’s hopefully realizing how silly it is to pay a licensed therapist, with a doctorate in social neuroscience, just to talk about boys. I never would have agreed to see her if I knew this was her “problem,” but Rose left a frantic message with my service last night. A short conversation followed, where she disclosed nothing and pleaded to see me first thing this morning. Fast-forward to fifteen minutes ago. I get to my office before my assistant has arrived and find Rose walking around the hallway. My office is one of many on the second floor, so it’s easy to miss. Downstairs are several boutiques and a small coffee shop, where I practically live between patients. Which reminds me that I skipped the latte this morning, and I’m wishing I hadn’t because I’ll need a heavy dose of caffeine to keep up with all the whining I’m hearing. Yes, if I were a lesser man, I might be content to sit here all day, staring at a gorgeous woman while she rambles on about her love life. But I am not that man. I’m here to help people. And I think this woman came to the wrong place.   ~~~ Rose   I knew it would be a waste of time coming here, but this exceeds my worst expectations. Everything about this guy says he doesn’t care. The drab gray tie, plain white dress shirt, and black slacks tell me he doesn’t have a warm bone in his body. All business. The polished concrete floor and a bland gray rug to accent his work space confirm he lacks imagination. And not one item in his office indicates he has any hobbies or passions. I don’t even see a family photo despite the fact he’s fidgeting with his wedding ring. Married. But he obviously doesn’t want to think about her at work. What does that say about him? “Rose,” he says in a deep, authoritative voice that sounds rehearsed, “this session is only an hour, and I get paid either way.” In other words, I should start talking if I want my money’s worth. But Dr. Bexley Hughes doesn’t seem interested in hearing anything I have to say. I doubt I’d be sitting here at all if I hadn’t begged him last night over the phone. But I need help, and now that his father is dead, I have no one else to turn to. I squirm on his lumpy couch. The fabric is soft—some sort of white velveteen—but the springs are pushing into my ass. Another bad sign. He doesn’t care about his patients enough to buy comfortable furniture. I get up and walk over to the wall of books behind the black leather armchair where he’s seated. I know he’s waiting for me to explain why I need to get married, but his intense stare makes it difficult. I don’t like it or him one little bit. Ironically, if I saw him walking down the street, the two of us complete strangers, he’d have me looking twice. Dark hair, light blue eyes, and a hard jawline. Classically handsome. Just my type. Though he’s a little older, maybe twenty-nine or thirty. Of course, all that’s irrelevant. Doesn’t matter if he’s good looking. Doesn’t matter if I like his personality. The question is, will Dr. Bexley Hughes help me? He seems more uncaring and heartless than my family, if that’s even possible. With our backs to each other, I pluck a book off the shelf and thumb through the crisp white pages. It’s inscribed to Dr. Murdoc Hughes, his late father. Funny, they look nothing alike. Murdoc had warm brown eyes and an even warmer smile. “I met your dad before he died.” I turn and speak to the back of Bexley Hughes’s head. “He was a good man. Maybe the only decent person I’ve ever met. I hoped you’d be like him. Are you?” “You knew my father?” he says with a tinge of skepticism, pivoting in his seat to face me. I nod. “But you were never a patient.” “No,” I confirm. “He told me to see you if I changed my mind.” “Changed it about what?” I shut the book with a clap, place it back on the shelf, and walk over to the white couch, where I sit with hands clasped. I don’t know why this Dr. Hughes makes me so uneasy, but he does. It’s odd given how I’m no stranger to unpleasant people. “I met your father last spring,” I say, “when he gave a lecture at my university about the psychology of storytelling. I am—I mean, I was an English major. I dropped out.” I had promised myself that no matter what my grandmother did or said, I wouldn’t leave school this time. But she has a way of slithering inside my head and undermining every positive thought, every productive intention—“You should be home, Rose, fulfilling the promise to your dead mother. There will be time for college later.” After weeks of being guilted, I finally gave in. Idiot. Or maybe it was fate? Had I not stopped taking classes, I never would’ve been home on that fateful day when I overheard a strange conversation my grandmother had with her lawyer. Then I wouldn’t have had that quiet nagging feeling in the back of my mind, telling me that maybe, just maybe there was more to my mother’s will. And I certainly wouldn’t have been prompted to go through my grandmother’s safe a week ago when she left it open by accident. But now I know the horrible truth: The copy of the will shown to me all those years ago was a fake, and everything I’ve been promised is about to be taken away. I continue, “I liked your father’s perspective about how every epic story has a villain, a victim, and a knight.” The older Dr. Hughes said that in the world of psychology, a therapist’s job is to make every patient their own knight, the hero of their story. “When I decided I needed to talk to someone, I looked him up. He called me back right away, and it was the first time I remembered anyone just listening and wanting to help. Nothing in return.” I was really sorry when I found out he was ill, but he urged me to come in and see his son instead. Trusting strangers isn’t easy for me, so I told him I’d think about it. Of course, the situation I’m facing now is entirely different. It’s no longer about the guilt or the shame my family has poisoned me with. This is about justice. This is about wrong versus right. I look away from the younger Dr. Hughes’s judgmental gaze and add, “Your dad told me if I ever needed someone to trust, someone who’d help me, it would be you.” I suddenly notice Dr. Hughes’s face is a hostile shade of red, and while I didn’t think it possible for anyone to look more anal retentive and intimidating, he’s just proven me wrong. He sets his clipboard on top of a little wooden table to his side and leans forward. “I think it’s time for you to go.” I blink. “Sorry?” “I can’t help you.” “Did I miss something?” He’s clearly pissed, but what did I do? “I am not the right therapist for you, Miss Hale, but I can suggest a colleague who specializes in relationships and commitment issues.” I frown. “Why would I need help with that?” All right, yes, I have issues in those areas, but not how he thinks. “Didn’t you say you’re here because you’re trying to find a husband?” “Yes, but—” “But then I’m not the doctor for you,” he cuts me off. The anger percolates in my stomach. I’m done with being dismissed, and I won’t tolerate being treated like I’m worthless. Not anymore. “You said you’re here to help people,” I argue. “Well, here I am, needing help.” He stands, walks to the door, and opens it. The expression on his face turns from anger to simple disgust. What kind of therapist just shuts a person down like this? It’s humiliating, and with all I’ve been through, I’m not game for his special breed of head trip. He has no clue what’s at stake and the mental torture I’ve survived. Doesn’t matter. He’s right. He can’t help me. I stand and walk to the door, stopping in front of him. I’m five seven, but he’s much taller, so I tilt my head back to look him in the eye. There is no compassion to be found in their soft blue hues. Just ice. “I don’t know what I said to piss you off, but you’ve got the wrong impression about why I came here. I’m just trying to survive.” “Aren’t we all.” He jerks his head toward the doorway as if to say get the fuck out. This man doesn’t just have a stick up his ass, it’s an entire forest. “You’re nothing like your father. You’re not even half the man he was.” “Thank God for small favors,” he replies. I sail out, wondering what he means, and the door slams behind me. Heartless bastard. He couldn’t just hear me out? Suddenly, I realize how alone I truly am. I stop in the hallway and cover my face with my hands, fighting off an imminent meltdown. I hate to cry. It makes me feel weak, and I don’t want to be weak anymore. But I don’t know what I’m going to do. The clock is ticking, and right now, the whole world is against me. Not hyperbole. Not a joke. Everyone I’ve ever known is against me, and I need at least one—just one goddamned person to trust.  

About Mimi Jean Pamfiloff:

 
 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.  

Connect with Mimi:

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Prodigy by Kristy Centeno #Cover Reveal & #Giveaway


Prodigy
Giver of Life Trilogy Book 3
by Kristy Centeno
Genre: YA Paranormal 

Leah Parker’s fate had always been controlled by others—who she loved and who she lost. Five years after the tragic murder of her daughter’s father, she’s done everything in her power to protect her little girl from the outside world. But she’s rebelled against fate in the past and no act of defiance goes unpunished in the Enchanter community.
The ultimate power wants to correct the damage done by Jae and the only way they can do that is by getting rid of her special child—a child destined to replace all branches of Enchanter magic one day.
But, Leah isn’t willing to go down without a fight. She will do anything to save what Jae died to protect, even if she must turn against the Circle of Elders. But when her first love, Brandon Morris walks back into her life, Leah knows nothing will ever be the same again.
Leah must confront her past, before she and her daughter are erased from her family line. She must get over her guilt and rely on Brandon to ensure her daughter’s survival. But will the pain from their past destroy their friendship forever? Or will their old bond hold them together and carry them through what’s ahead?







Kristy Centeno loves to spin tales of creatures that go bump in the night, with a sprinkle of romance to top them off. Her passion for writing stems from a lifelong enjoyment of reading and the pleasure derived from the magical worlds created by authors like her. She prefers her female leads strong, independent, and stubborn who will stop at nothing to save their loved ones and protect those they care for.
Kristy currently resides in Pennsylvania with her five kids and a trio of noisy parakeets. When she’s not working or writing, she juggles her free time between raising a handful of minions and pursuing other career goals.





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Fool’s Folly by Ophelia Bell Blitz and #Giveaway


Fool’s Folly
Ophelia Bell
(Fate’s Fools #2)
Publication date: December 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Don’t f*ck with Fate.
Deva Rainsong has found her dragon soul, but she still feels incomplete. As a chimera, bred in a lab from the blood of all four higher races and human blood combined, it will take no less than a fragment of a soul from all five races to complete hers.
Yet even as she starts to believe that she can finally be complete and all her powers awakened, her hopes are dashed when the second soul gift she receives comes with unexpected side effects. And to top it off Fate itself has redoubled efforts to seek out and destroy all the members of the bloodline.
Fate doesn’t like loose ends, and Deva’s very existence is upsetting the balance. Will she be able to strike a compromise or be forced to run to escape Fate’s wrath?
EXCERPT:
He propped himself up on his elbow and grazed his fingertips over the upraised golden glow of the matching mark he’d given me the night before. “Mated,” he said, his lips curling into a smile. “Marked. Soul bound. Or if you like human terms, wedded.” His teasing fingers strayed lower and I arched up, eager for his touch as he traced light circles around my nipple. “You are mine, Deva,” he said, dipping his head and replacing his fingers with his tongue. He continued to speak, his lips grazing over my hard nipple. “But more importantly, I am yours. I will always be yours no matter how many dreams you have of the others or how many join us in the flesh. I’m not that easy to get rid of.”


Author Bio:
Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren't apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don't mind being with a woman who's in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.
Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.
If you'd like to receive regular updates on Ophelia's publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list: http://opheliabell.com/subscribe/

GIVEAWAY!

Signed copy of Fool’s Folly 
+ a $15 Amazon gift card 
Ends Jan. 10, 2019
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Derrick by Russell Blitz and #Giveaway


Derrick
Russell
Publication date: November 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Thriller
In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.
It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities—but one of the victims is most peculiar…
Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.
Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.
Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection.
However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.
In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a killer. But will he make it in time?
WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.
EXCERPT:
Alarmed, the woman’s eyes opened. Her nerves twitched slightly, as if an electric shock rattled her body.
Instantly, an eerie darkness consumed her, and an unusual stillness blanketed her surroundings.
Where am I? the woman wondered.
With her instinctual medical training, she began immediately diagnosing her own condition: blurry vision, raspy breath, citrus acidic taste at the back of her throat, and weak muscles. The signs were a tell-all. She had been drugged. Most likely either clonazepam or estazolam.
As her thick braids fell in front of her eyes, she realized that her body was hanging in midair. Above her, a rope bound her hands. The burning strain in her deltoids ached deep into her lower back.
The air was unusually frigid. Her entire body was trembling. She looked down and realized she was completely naked.
Who took off my clothes? she thought, her mind racing with a fresh wave of panic.
All she could remember was getting home from a run in the cold rain of a late November day that had chilled her to the core. Since the presentation of her dissertation was only days away, she relieved the building stress with those exhilarating runs. They were especially liberating knowing that she had to head back to the university lab. Entering the darkened house, she had sworn she’d left the light on. She recalled a quick shadow slipping just behind her in her peripheral vision. She’d felt a sudden blow to head, had fallen against the wooden banister—
What day is it? The presentation was on Saturday. Did she miss it? A sense of dread engulfed her, then fear. All the seemingly endless months and years of planning her project, all the meetings with that arrogant, dimwitted professor, all those countless hours in the lab…it would all be for nothing. Most importantly, all the sacrifices she’d made with her family, spending so much time away from her daughter—and well, her husband too— would be just a waste.
In the inky darkness, a slight shift of movement awakened her senses.
She was not alone. Attempting to say something, nothing came out except a low groan from her lips. The large figure—a man, no doubt—stopped for a moment. Did he hear her? See her?
Tilting her head slightly, more of her thick dark braids fell to the right side of her face. As her eyes were adjusting to the murkiness, she detected a figure near a square object. A red light blinked incessantly, and with her cloudy vision, it seemed like a floating, pulsating blob. Turning away, a sudden surge of vertigo overwhelmed her and she forced her eyes shut.
As she opened her eyes again, the woman saw a faint light seeping from under the cracks of a doorway on the other side of the space. It looked like long skeletal fingers creeping closer to her.
Footsteps approached her. Suddenly, a smooth gloved hand aggressively grabbed her ankle.
“Hey,” she attempted weakly. Instead it sounded more like “Haammph.”
Below her, the figure worked quickly, tying a rope tightly around first her left ankle, then the right. She wanted nothing more than to kick him as hard as she could, but the drug inhibited her, and her noodle-like legs hung uselessly. As the man worked rapidly, his broad shoulders made him look bulky next to her thin legs. His jerking movements triggered the scent of sour urine that rose from her own skin and stung her nose, and a tear dripped from her eye. Once he finished, he scooted back and moved his head to and fro. Was he on his knees? She couldn’t tell from her angle.
The sound of stone scraped along the floor.
The woman concluded that escape was improbable, and her heart began to race despite the coma-inducing toxin pumping through her bloodstream. A mumbled whimper came to her lips.
Standing up, the man straightened to his full height. His dark clothing constricted tighter against his fit frame, and she could feel his gaze upon her. Was he admiring her? Shaking a braid out of her left eye, she saw that his face seemed unusually dark, but his white skin was visible around the perimeter of his oval face. His chin was rough, scruffy with hair. Was that a beard? Either way, his face was covered in…makeup? She wasn’t sure. Suddenly, he turned away from her and disappeared farther into the shadows.


Author Bio:
Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.

GIVEAWAY!

10x ebook copies of Derrick
Ends Jan 6, 2019
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Library of Absolution by Jennifer Derrick Blitz and #Giveaway


Library of Absolution
Jennifer Derrick
(Legacy of the Book Mesmer, #1)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: December 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Alarick Brandon is the powerful wizard who operates The Keep, a refuge for magical people fleeing the persecution of the Ministry. A bitter realist, Alarick knows it’s only a matter of time until the Ministry succeeds in eradicating magic from the world—and exterminating all magical beings—so he has been careful to avoid any personal involvement with the people who pass through his sanctuary.
But when Elissa Stone arrives at The Keep, her village a smoldering ruin, and only her magical talent and a forbidden library left to her name, Alarick’s ordered world descends into chaos. Elissa is a Book Mesmer, a magical talent long believed extinct. She can enchant books, making them indestructible, unreadable…even deadly to unauthorized readers. But while her magic can secure a legacy for future magical generations, it’s not a skill that’s good in a fight, and certainly not one that Alarick sees any real use for. But there’s something compelling about a woman who defies the Ministry’s edicts against female literacy, and she seems determined to prove that knowledge is a weapon in its own right…
The first installment in an enticing new fantasy series by author Jennifer Derrick, The Library of Absolution is a compelling story of perseverance and determination in the face of persecution, in a Dark Age where hope is lost—and knowledge is the only thing left to fight for.
EXCERPT:
“You told me you left to look for books,” Alarick said.
“I did, in part. That wasn’t a total fabrication. I figured if I was leaving I might as well make the effort. If I was going to get killed by the Ministry, it should be in the service of something larger than myself. Fool that I was,” she whispered.
Alarick ignored the last part. She was only stating a fact. There was no need for him to comment further on her foolishness.
“But you had no intention of returning?” he asked. “Because of something you found in my library?”
The thought of her leaving with no intention to return gutted him. It was bad enough she’d wanted to leave at all; to put her safety at risk for the sake of some books. It was bad enough that he had failed to keep her safe; to understand what she meant to do until it was too late.
But even at the worst of it, he’d believed she intended to return to him. To the Keep. That was why he’d gone after her, because he believed she still wanted to be here. That she’d intended to run away forever was unthinkable. That he’d risked his life for someone who had run from him, who wanted nothing to do with him, was galling.
He choked back his rage and sorrow, replacing them with cool disdain.
“Well, then, are you going to tell me just what was so terrible that it would make you flee and never come back? I’m aware that nothing in that library paints me in a flattering light, but you already knew of my unpleasantness. Surely the disjointed ramblings of a young man could not be quite so damning,” Alarick said.
Of course, he knew the truth. There were some secrets in there so damning he could imagine exactly why she wanted to run from him. It was why he kept that room protected. Damn her for finding it. Damn her for finding him.
She turned her head away from him. Not that it mattered. She couldn’t see him. But he wasn’t going to let her damn his soul and cast him out of her life without at least facing him while she did it. He reached over and with gentle pressure turned her chin toward him.
“If you expect me to forgive you for your trespass, you will at least face me while you tell me exactly what sort of monster you believe me to be,” he said.
“I’d rather you tell me the story as the man you are now, not the boy who did the things I read. Tell me there’s a better ending to your story. Tell me that you are not the monster.”
He laughed at that.
“Would that I could,” he said. “But since you read my books, I’m certain you know there is no redemption for me. That is why you left, isn’t it?”
“No. I didn’t leave because I feared you to be irredeemable. My time with you has taught me that there is more to you than the boy in those books. I left because I feared there was no place for me in your story. And that I could not bear.”
He was about to say something, but suddenly he couldn’t remember what it was. What had she said? She hadn’t left because of his past deeds, but because she was afraid he had no place for her? Was that possibly right? He struggled to make sense of it in his brain. He’d expected condemnation, not… Was it disappointment he heard in her voice?
Before he could sort out a proper response, she said, “I’ve read your grimoire. It’s terrifying. Start with why you took such an interest in dark magic and go from there.”
Alarick said nothing at first. Why had he taken an interest in dark magic? The question was better phrased as, “Why not?” He looked at Elissa. She might not be able to see him, but she had an uncanny ability to focus on his face as though she could. And something in her eyes compelled him to tell the story that he’d never told anyone in its entirety.


Author Bio:
Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.
Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website: JenniferDerrick.com.

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Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box
(Intl winner would get eBook prizes)
Ends Jan. 6, 2019
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Bait by Samantha Keith Tour & #Giveaway


Bait
Dangerous Distractions Book 2
by Samantha Keith
Genre: Romantic Suspense

There are good guys, and then there are highly trained good guys—the kind who make the world a safer, sexier place . . .


Former military and ex-FBI agent Ethan Worth is searching for a new way to serve and protect. On a break in Beaufort, North Carolina, he just may have found it. It starts with saving a tipsy damsel in distress from a shady troublemaker. But it ends with the surprisingly sober beauty outraged by his rescue. That’s all Ethan needs for his expert instincts to kick into high gear . . .

Riley Jones is back in Beaufort for one reason only: to find her missing best friend, Hanna. If that means using herself as bait for the kind of guy who’d prey on a vulnerable young woman, so be it. She doesn’t need a rugged knight in shining armor like Ethan distracting her, and she doesn’t want his help. But it turns out she needs it. And together, as the heat between them rises, so does the danger. Until both their lives are on the line . . .




Abducted
The Dangerous Distractions #1

In a high-stakes world of privilege, betrayal, and the sexy thrill of the unknown, you never know where a dangerous distraction will lead . . .
Cal Hart walks a blurred line of honor. The rock-hard former Marine has his lethal skills at the service of the highest bidder. Until a contract comes in to kill Lana Vanderpoel, the sultry, charismatic heiress and billionaire’s daughter. She’s way too sexy to end up at the wrong end of a silencer. So Cal takes the job—and starts planning how to get Lana to safety while he unearths who’s behind the threat . . .
Lana only knows she’s been kidnapped—and she’ll fight tooth and nail against whoever has snatched her from her life. Her stern-faced captor sends a tremor of ice through her veins, yet a thrill lies beneath her unease. He’s dark and dangerous, his body ripped, honed, and capable. But lust isn’t the same as trust—and whether or not she can believe what Cal’s telling her, there’s at least one person close to Lana who wants her dead . . .



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Kelley Kaye Bowles Death by Diploma is on Sale December 18 - 22!!


Kelley’s Konundrum  for Tome Tender  The mystery of Winning the Competition

Right now it's weekend laundry time, which means folding and movie viewing. Today's feature is Good Morning, Vietnam, which almost makes me cry right off the bat because I am so sad about the death of Robin Williams. No, the part that made me feel questioning or mystified, I guess, is the part where he talks to all of the soldiers when they're out on the street taking a bus to Na Trang.


These soldiers are a bunch of young kids, and how many of them came out alive from that bus ride? Well, Vietnam killed over 55,000 Americans, so I guess (if these weren't fictional movie soldiers), many of them did not. And all because of guns and bombs and missiles, all because of a competition.. Now I understand a reason we fought this war was to prevent the spread of communism, and I wouldn’t want communism or another lack-of-free-will ‘ism’ to spread to America, so I get it I guess, but I don't understand the need to kill lotsa people to be able to work things out. Or I guess that it's more to say war, to me, seems not about working things out, but about establishing power and control, victors and spoils and I'm just not into that.

It's kind of funny. I talk all the time about not being into competition, and that is true. I could not give one toss about winning or losing, and I am married into a family now who are all sports people, which means they compete in EVERYTHING. The war argument is the same thing, because it seems to be all about who wins or who loses. Under the perceived possibility of a Communist coup, I can see how the stakes, and the emotions, are higher, though I still think we could have approached it a different way.

  
 When my first book, Death by Diploma, came out in 2016, I lost my mind in a cover competition, to get more exposure for the book. I was bossy and desperate and practiced qualities I’m not proud of. A new 99cent sale for this book is happening right now! December 18-22, and instead of looking for competitions, I’m just finding supportive bloggers who want to post something about me to gain exposure for the sale. When you get a chance, thank a blogger! Oh, yeah, and review a book.
 (Pie would be good too…)

 Nowadays I’m mostly competing with myself. It’s all about sportsmanship and love of the game. Win or lose, if you’re giving 100%, the outcome is just what it’s supposed to be. Would I still be saying this if I’d lost that original cover competition? Yes, I believe I would, because I’ve been working in all sorts of other ways to prepare the world for THIS book sale, and I know that as a writer, and in my life, I’m giving it my all. That’s a win!


I’d love to hear your views! Until next time: Stay Mystified!


Kelley


Death by Diploma
by Kelley Kaye

My rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC (February 23, 2016)
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
ISBN-13: 2940152765120
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 235 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 
Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

 
Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye (Chalkboard Outlines#1)

Death by Diploma (Chalkboard Outlines, #1)Grab your notebook and pen, we’re headed back to high school to meet the new teacher, Emma Lovett, as she digs deep to discover who killed the kindly school custodian and why. They say being a high school teacher can be a daunting job, but for Emma, dealing with her students proves to be nothing compared to going on the hunt for a murderer with her new friend and sidekick, fellow teacher Leslie Parker.

While trading Shakespearean quotes, Emma and Leslie uncover more suspects than you can shake a stick at and now they must use the clues they have to narrow the growing field. Was it the skateboard riding principal? The schizophrenic librarian? (For that matter which of the librarian’s personalities could have done it?) The list just keeps on growing…

Does laughing at murder and its ensuing investigation make me a sick puppy? I dare you NOT to have a couple of chuckles reading Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye. It is a clever who dunnit that is filled with delightful characters full of quirky sass and uncanny gifts of deduction. Ms. Kaye has her own quirky slant on murder that will take you on a twisted path to the murderer as you scratch your head knowing you didn’t see that one coming.

I received this copy from Kelley Kaye in exchange for my honest review.



Monday, December 17, 2018

Crush by Chrissy Peebles (Crush Saga, #1)

Crush
by Chrissy Peebles

My rating: 4 stars

Series: Crush Saga - Book 1
Publisher: Dark Shadows Publishing (January 24, 2014)
Publication Date: January 24, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal
Print Length: 276 pages
Available from: Amazon
His precious touch could prove deadly… 

When Taylor Sparks moves from New York City to Big Bear Lake, California, her life is forever changed when she meets a hot guy with winter-blue eyes named Jesse. Their attraction is instant, the chemistry undeniable. But sadly, things aren't adding up. Taylor wonders what her 'crush' is hiding. When her new friend, Fred tells her his suspicions about Jesse being a paranormal creature, Taylor laughs. But when Fred turns up dead, she believes every warning he ever told her. 

Taylor is shocked to learn that Big Bear Lake isn't just glittering lakes, towering pines, and breathtaking mountains...there's more...way more than meets the eye. 

Will Taylor dive into a paranormal world she knows nothing about? To be with the one her heart can’t live without? 


Crush by Chrissy Peebles (Crush Saga, #1)

It was more than culture shock that Taylor experienced when her family moved from the Big Apple to the wild beauty of Big Bear Lake, California. She was about to discover that there are more than bears in the woods surrounding her home and not everyone is completely human, not even the handsome Jesse, who has been her personal knight-in-shining armor.

Chrissy Peebles’ CRUSH is an ideal read for young teens and it’s all in how this young romance is told through the eyes of a girl just getting over a devastating break-up, a huge move and finding her heart doing a miraculous recovery when she meets that special guy.

Yes, there is a scene with teen drinking, but I have to say, Chrissy Peebles sure didn’t shine a positive light on it, actually she did a good job of making it pretty realistic and foolish looking. Yes, there is also kissing, but when seen and felt through Taylor’s eyes, I have to say, it came across as something a young girl would dream about, simple and teen day-dream- swoon-worthy.

Of course there are bad guys, paranormal bad guys, and yes, Jesse is special, himself, but through it all, the drama is handled well, without being gruesome. As an adult, I may want more detail, but this is a YA read and at that, I would feel safe giving it to my younger teen granddaughters!



Heart's Inferno by Georgia Lyn Hunter (Fallen Guardians, # 4)

Heart's Inferno
by Georgia Lyn Hunter

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Fallen Guardians - Book 4
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
Publisher: Georgia Lyn Hunter
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy | Romance
Print Length: 414 pages
Available from: Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PTCLcX
He's a killer…
Through the ages, deadly Guardian Týr watches over the mortal realm with a sword that is as blood-drenched as his soul in his quest for vengeance—his sarcasm a shield for the deepening hell inside him. Until one glimpse of a breathtaking, carefree female stops him dead in his tracks…but she’s the one person he can never have.
Still, she has to be the most exasperating female on the planet, with a tendency to land herself in sticky situations.

She’s happiness incarnate…
Bumping shoulders with intractable immortals is not Kira Smith’s idea of fun. An unfortunate encounter with a certain annoying, über hot warrior undoes all her hard work, and the homeless boy she rescued escapes back into the demon-infested alleys. Kira’s determined to find the child—even if it means tolerating the arrogant, know-it-all as a bodyguard.

For her, he’ll break every rule…
Thrown together in this treacherous hunt, long suppressed emotions unravel. Týr will do anything to claim the woman who stirs his deepest desire and Kira longs to succumb to the happiness she finds in him. But Fate isn’t always kind, revealing a dark destiny that could very well tear them apart…
Heart's Inferno by Georgia Lyn Hunter (Fallen Guardians, # 4)

Heart's Inferno (Fallen Guardians, #4)He’s sarcastic, annoying, deadly, plus he’s a Guardian and he is soooo not what Kira needs. No way does his handsome face and chiseled body attract her, because then he opens his mouth and pure arrogance comes pouring out. Plus, he has single-handedly endangered a young, homeless boy, who has now gone missing. But could his attitude be a cover up for the pain he endures?

Tyr is a goner, not that he’ll admit it, so why not needle the beautiful Kira? It’s that or claim her as his own and he knows he could never deserve anyone like her, there are too many nightmares in his past, too many mistakes…but who is to argue with Fate when she teams up with two lonely hearts?

HEART'S INFERNO by Georgia Lyn Hunter may be a sassy and sexy paranormal read, and the heat may singe your curling toes, but the key elements that make this a MUST READ are chemistry and characters. Kira is feisty, a little too headstrong and manages to get herself into some pretty dangerous situations, but she has a heart of gold. For me, even as much as I liked her, it was Tyr who puts this read over the top. Sure, he’s got that “attitude,” going, and underneath, his past is heart-wrenching and you just know he needs someone. These two are priceless together and the action is right up there with some of the best scenes ever, because we are sharing their thoughts, seeing their interaction and witnessing something trying to survive against the odds.

Absolutely loved how Georgia Lyn Hunter put it all out there, pulled it all together and came up with another winner!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Georgia Lyn Hunter!