Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
View all my reviews
Sunday, 15 October 2017
(Mafia Queen, #1)
Publication date: September 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Three gloriously wicked mafia bosses.
They play with the dark strings of my heart, lure me into temptation.
As the daughter of crime kingpin, Carlo Costello, I have responsibilities.
First, ferret out the traitors.
Next, bring four legendary New York City families together.
I feel like a pawn on the board, a piece lost in a dirty game of violence, sex, and corruption.
But I’m done with being the pawn; I want to be queen.
And I’ll have three kings to reign beside me.
That is, if the sex and the seduction doesn’t kill me first.
One of my lovers is a traitor.
My heart doesn’t care.
But the families will.
EXCERPT:“Miss Costello,” a voice greeted before I’d even gotten the chance to settle onto the leather bench seat. “It’s a pleasure.”
My skin rippled with sinful delight and I unknowingly wet my lower lip with my tongue.
The voice that was speaking from the shadows was warm, but dangerous, this easy tone that belied the true nature underneath. It was darkness made sound, like church bells in the night, a warning to lone travelers to stay away. To run.
I just wasn’t sure if I was supposed to run away … or run toward it.
“Mr. Moran,” I said, feeling my heartbeat pick up in a staccato rhythm that sloshed the blood between my ears and turned the volume up on my pulse to a point where I could barely hear my own thoughts.
I blinked several times, trying to adjust to the low light in the backseat.
Before I’d even gotten the chance to gather my thoughts, a hand was coming to rest on my right leg, the scorching path of a thumbprint chasing its away across the bare skin below the slit in my dress.
Shivers of heat rose up in my skin, obliterating the words in my mouth, freezing my hand in mid-movement as I tried to shove Marcell’s away.
“A pleasure,” he repeated, withdrawing his hand and leaving me an icy ruin.
“I …” I had no idea what to say, sitting there and blinking through the shadows at the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. I mean Bo was handsome, but … the man sitting next to me was pure unadulterated sin. He was lust given life, a demon risen from the depths of hell, as beautiful as he was dangerous.
The words died on my lips.
“Can I get you a drink?” he asked, his eyes as black as the darkness outside the SUV, his hair an indistinguishable shade from the shadows. His smile was liquid agony, melting my insides and calling up every single shred of my DNA that belonged to the Costello family.
Hot. Impulsive. Easy to anger and quick to lust.
It was literally in my blood.
And I’d been ignoring it for eight, almost nine, years.
That was going to come back to bite me in the ass, wasn’t it?
C.M. Stunich is a self-admitted bibliophile with a love for exotic teas and a whole host of characters who live full time inside the strange, swirling vortex of her thoughts. Some folks might call this crazy, but Caitlin Morgan doesn’t mind – especially considering she has to write biographies in the third person. Oh, and half the host of characters in her head are searing hot bad boys with dirty mouths and skillful hands (among other things). If being crazy means hanging out with them everyday, C.M. has decided to have herself committed.
She hates tapioca pudding, loves to binge on cheesy horror movies, and is a slave to many cats. When she’s not vacuuming fur off of her couch, C.M. can be found with her nose buried in a book or her eyes glued to a computer screen. She’s the author of over thirty novels – romance, new adult, fantasy, and young adult included. Please, come and join her inside her crazy. There’s a heck of a lot to do there.
Oh, and Caitlin loves to chat (incessantly), so feel free to e-mail her, send her a Facebook message, or put up smoke signals. She’s already looking forward to it.
Saturday, 14 October 2017
However Dark The Night
Publication date: October 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
When Alex meets Erin, he doesn’t realize he’s fallen for her until it’s too late. And he can never let Erin find out how he feels because he’s an Oxy and she’s a Blue. In a world where the air has changed, leaving the Blues unable to breathe properly, the power is in the hands of those who can – the Oxys. Alex has much more to lose than just his heart, but how do you stop yourself from falling in love?
However Dark The Night is a contemporary novel in the Elements series. Each novel is a stand-alone book, linked by its connection to one or more of the elements – earth, wind, fire and water. However Dark The Night is linked to the element of air.
Also read The Day We Are Born, which is also a stand-alone book in the Elements series, and is linked to the element of water, and Every Move I Have Made, linked to the element of earth.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join Philippa Cameron’s email list to enter competitions, read free books and more!
A little bit about me: I'm Philippa Cameron, the author of three Young Adult books. I love reading Young Adult novels. And books from other genres too. Any of them. All of them. Good thing, then, that I'm also a librarian..
Friday, 13 October 2017
The Cutting Room Floor
Publication date: October 13th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley
Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.
Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.
Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.
She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.
Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog.
Thursday, 12 October 2017
The Beautiful Dead
Publication date: September 22nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal
Yubin knows she’s different than the other girls in the pop group SIITY. Yes, they all got sucked into the same machine, giving up schooling and signing ridiculously long contracts before anyone knew if they’d be successful, but that’s how pop stars are made in Korea. Yubin is supposed to be thankful for that, but she isn’t. She doesn’t even like the girls she performs with.
She’s more connected to her former schoolmate Jieun, even though all they ever do is text. Over the last two months, Jieun has become her confidant and best friend, connecting Yubin to the real world in a way she desperately needs. Now that SIITY is going to appear on the reality show The Incredible Race: Asia, Yubin will need that connection more than ever, which is why she’s devastated to discover Jieun has been dead five years and is actually haunting her.
If that weren’t enough, Yubin’s not the only SIITY member with issues. Rena’s father is emotionally abusive. Somi has a learning disability, and after a near death experience, Tae-eun becomes a nine-tailed fox woman. The only way they’ll survive the show, each other, and the supernatural currents buffeting them is to work together and win the hearts of their fans. Because if they don’t, they have nothing to go back to even if they survive what’s trying to kill them.
EXCERPT:She was still unaccustomed to spirit combat, but a small tempest swirled in the underworld around her. Humans too felt the wind she created, their muscles tightened, and more than a few quickened their pace to evade the chill. Scraps of litter spiraled over real world concrete, and whips of black hair whirled in an angry nimbus around Jieun’s face.
The shadowman looked up. She’d expected empty pits of darkness where eyes should have been, but when the creature ceased feeding, a set of all too human brown eyes that now lacked eyelids appeared in the monster’s head. They contrasted with the rest of its body in that while the majority of the creature lurked in shadow that was darker than everything else in the Dead World, these two spheres burned as if absorbing all the spirit light that should have detailed the shadowman’s body. The flow of spirit energy that connected its ugly mouth to the girl stopped, and the ghost realized that she held the creature’s attention.
The shade of an eerily human face like black paint on even blacker canvas contorted in what could have just as easily been taken for triumph or rage. It unleashed an otherworldly snarl that was anything but human and charged Jieun. Though it had a man’s body, it rushed in an inhuman lope on all fours that seemed more like an animal. Jieun darted out of the way—it wasn’t a conscious thing, and the instinct may well have saved her dead life. If she hadn’t known before, alarm she felt made her certain; ghosts could die a second death.
She whirled after the attack expecting the shadowman behind her but it had vanished. She sighed in relief. Then, without warning she saw the black shape leap from the roof of a magazine stand just outside the subway station. She cried out in alarm, and before its feet had touched the ground its giant mouth fastened on her shoulder. The weight of the attack forced her to the ground, and in a moment of dawning horror she realized it was impossible to escape.
She shrieked. The pain was beyond anything she imagined possible for a spirit to experience. It wasn’t like trailing her fingers through the wall, or even passing completely through a physical object. Those pains were an affirmation of life, cold shocks that, while not comfortable, served as a reminder that she was still in some sense alive. The feeling of her spirit body being torn apart by the shadowman’s teeth seemed as if the devil had run away with God’s scalpel and used it to peel thick ribbons of her soul away from creation.
Though the shadowman looked like and had similar features to a man, it made low growls that were far distant from human speech. It wasn’t a language at all – if it had been she’d have instinctually understood it. It shook its head like a starved wolf and further tore into the fabric of firelines that composed her spirit body. Its breath smelled of rotten flesh, and she could hear the pulse of bestial rhythmic snorting in her ears. She needed a weapon. She didn’t have one. This was it. Jieun would die… this time for real.
Jun has lived in Asia for the better part of the last decade. During his years in Korea, he made a point of learning about and getting as close to the Korean entertainment industry as possible while writing his first novel "The Beautiful Dead." He enjoys telling stories about monstrous humans and humanized monsters.
He has a MFA from the University of California: Riverside, graduated with a BA in English Cum Laude from the University of Washington Seattle, and attended Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea as an exchange student.
Visit Jun on Facebook at:
Saturday, 7 October 2017
Caught Beast Mate
(Beast Mates #4)
Publication date: October 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Her protector, her nemesis. His once-in-a-lifetime second chance.
Kidnapped and taken from her home, Sienna is stuck in a beast community without the resources to find her way back. But she’s a survivor. Just like the wounded, bone-thin beast she finds in the desert.
Torrent was warned never to steal a human woman—especially if she’s his pair. He didn’t listen. Captured, beaten, starved by Men of Earth, he’s as near death as he can get without tipping into the void.
When her familiar scent brings him back to consciousness, recognition slams his gut. But there’s no answering light in her blue eyes. It’s just as well. If she remembered him, she’d know to run from the beast who once took her.
Although the spark of attraction burns bright between them, there’s danger in the heat. Because even if his crippled body had something to offer her, the forces arrayed against them are determined to snuff out their love before it catches flame.
Book 0 – Virgin Beast Mate – is free on Amazon!
EXCERPT:“Ah. But werewolves don’t exist.”
“Neither did aliens until you came here.”
“It’s the teeth,” she said. “And your jaw. It’s large and hard, and when you open your mouth, all your teeth show. I don’t want to feed you, you know, put my hand inside the jaws.”
“Well, I’m not gonna bite your hand.”
“I don’t know that. The one I remember bit my dad.”
Here goes. “You want to tell me about it?”
“Sure. A beast went after me and Dad. Dad fought him. Before the beast snatched me, Daddy got him in the chest.” She pointed at my scar.
I lifted her hand with mine, picked up the fork, and put it in my mouth. “Go on. Tell me what happened.”
Sienna fed me another few bites. I put my hand over her knee. She paused but didn’t reject my touch.
“We rode to Beast City. He was losing a lot of blood, couldn’t ride his bike. So he parked in the middle of the desert. Then he fell off the bike. I called his people on their emergency channel and told them our location.”
That did not happen. She made it up. “How did you know to call them?”
“Oh, you know, I pressed buttons on his bike until a beast answered my Mayday call.”
“And then what happened?” I squeezed her knee when she put more food in my mouth. I dreaded finishing my meal and searched the tray for dessert or something else she could feed me.
“I told them where we were so they knew to come get their guy.”
“He snatched you and killed your Dad, but you found it in your heart to save his life.”
“I’m not a monster. I couldn’t leave him there.”
She’d robbed me and left me to die. “How did you know where you landed?”
“A compass on the bike’s dashboard.”
“The beast died shortly after. Before the help arrived.”
“Penance,” I said. “For taking you.”
“I’m surprised you agree.”
Sienna put the tray away, then stood there for a second. “You’re not as bad as him,” she said.
“Not at all.” I am worse.
“In a few hours, I’ll return with lunch and breakfast. Three meals a day.” It was already after eight at night. I chuckled.
She winked at me and opened the door.
“Thank you,” Zarik said from the hallway. He and the guard walked inside carrying water buckets. They dropped the buckets and pulled the tub to the middle of the room, then poured the water inside the tub. The guard left immediately while Zarik stayed. “For his bath,” he told Sienna.
“He needs one. Can you help him inside? Then we can be off.”
Wait, what? We? There was no “we” with Zarik and Sienna, and there never would be. And I was certain I’d have to kill this male when he brushed his knuckles over her shoulder. The only thing that saved his hand was Sienna. She recoiled from his touch. Damn straight! I sat up and scooted to the edge of the bed. “Thank you, Zarik. That will be all.”
“Got something to say?” I cracked my neck.
His gaze drifted to my stump. I was the weaker of the two of us, but I outranked him and Sienna was mine. Mine! I growled a warning.
“Okay, then,” Sienna said and pushed Zarik out the door. She slammed it shut, folded her arms on her chest, and glared at me.
“What?” I barked.
“What’s your problem?”
“Oh, I can’t even count them all.”
I narrowed my eyes. “You care for me and me only.”
“I care for whomever Hasel asks me to care for, and when you leave, this beast will stay. Such is my shit life until I can leave too.”
“Where are you going?”
“Nowhere. Remember my dad?”
“He’s alive, and he’s gonna find me. When he finds me, I’m going home.” She flung open the door. “Bye!”
“Wait,” I said. “Do you remember his name?”
“The beast from the lake?” Shit! Too late. She’d never mentioned a lake.
“Priest. They call him Priest.”
Milana grew up with tales of water fairies that seduced men, vampires that seduced women, and Babaroga who’d come to take her away if she didn’t eat her bean soup. She writes devious dystopian adult romance often about extraterrestrials and fantasy creatures roaming the Earth where she resides with her mate and their three little monsters.
Friday, 6 October 2017
Randi Cooley Wilson
Publication date: November 15th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
When you lose the one person who gave your life meaning and purpose, how do you continue to exist without her? Your love. Your soul. Your only reason for breathing.
Dark, sexy, and dangerous Gage Gallagher exists in the shadows. A gargoyle cursed to live each moment of the rest of his existence with the death of his beloved mate, Camilla, eclipsing him. The wounds of his loss run deep and haunt him and to cope, he seeks answers. But this protector doesn’t play the rules. Gage could care less who he must hurt, or what he must do avenge his beloved. He’s reckless. A traitor amongst his kind. And he’s so far lost in the evil and darkness that rules his world, he doesn’t even see the bright light of innocence until she collides with him, heart first.
Nassa isn’t looking to be saved. The powerful sorceress of the Black Circles knows all about living with shadows that haunt your soul. She’s had a hard life and had to make tough choices, hardening her heart. And while her father is a demon king, she refuses to allow darkness to pull her down—until she meets Gage. Now, she drowns in it. Thrives in it. Craves it. And may even be falling in love with it.
When Nassa becomes captivated by Gage, she soon realizes the only thing they have in common is their undeniable mutual attraction. Yet, Gage clings to her because without his even realizing it, she’s become the reason he continues to breathe, and exist. When secrets are revealed and loyalties are tested, the two find themselves need each other in more ways than one. And Nassa soon finds out, Gage isn’t just hiding in the dark, he is the darkness. He’s her dark paradise.
Dark Paradise is the story of Gage Gallagher. It can be read as a stand-alone, or after the bestselling Revelation series and/or Royal Protector Academy novels. Intended for mature readers 18+ due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.
Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and "Covetousness" a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.
Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Kelley R. Martin
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
First comes marriage. Then comes love.
His band’s record went platinum ten times.
I’ve known him for nine hours.
Our wedding ceremony lasted eight minutes.
Last night I must’ve had seven shots.
When our nuptials are accidentally live-streamed, I wake up to six voicemails.
He gave me five toe-curling orgasms.
His tour lasts for another four weeks.
He says he can’t wait to turn us into a family of three.
He’s only in Vegas for two more days.
His name is Tennessee King, and I’m absolutely terrified he might be the one.
This is a standalone novella with an HEA and no cheating. If you’re looking for a quick read with scorching heat and lots of heart, dive right in!
Kelley lives in Texas, but she swears it's not all country music and cowboy boots... Okay, some of it is, but not all of it. She's got an amazing husband, who continues to inspire her every day, even after twelve years and two ridiculously cute little girls.
There Be Demons
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Suspense, Young Adult
After her father remarries, Britt Kelly’s life becomes a cesspit. She lives in her sister’s two-bedroom tenement apartment with her mother, two brothers, and two young nephews. She starts a new high school where she knows no one. And, even when Britt thinks she’s making friends, the church where she studies in is torn down.
Then, the field commanders of The Demon Wars draft her and her friends to aid the four Gargoyle Guardians who fight the demons invading the city of Trebridge. The fate of the city hangs on Britt’s ability to lead and learn enough self-control to manipulate the natural magic of Grace. Meanwhile, she also needs to decide what to do about Cahal, her chemistry lab partner who is as strong as her and may have interests more than just protecting Trebridge.
“There Be Demons” is a continuation of M. K. Theodoratus’ urban fantasy, “Night for the Gargoyles”. It tells the tale of Gillen and his team of Gargoyle Guardians as they defend Trebridge while teaching Britt and her friends – the untrained “reinforcements. Along the way, Gillen and Britt learn things about each other to make them stronger both together and alone.
Are you a book reviewer?
Request an ARC here!
Request an ARC here!
EXCERPT:Britt Kelly leaned against the jamb between the cramped kitchen and living room of her new home in the projects. I feel like a sardine stuffed in a can.
Her anger churned. If her father hadn’t abandoned his family for his bimbo boss, she’d be back home in her own bedroom, chatting with friends about the new school year. Instead, she was stuck in her older half-sister’s apartment.
Many prized the apartments in St. Edmund’s Towers for their size, but Britt refused to see it. She looked at the walls they had painted as a trap. Her mother and sister were sleeping in each family’s respective bedroom. Her two small nephews smeared jam on their faces in the living room as they waited for the cartoons to start. Her two younger brothers, Carlos and Darin, whispered in the bathroom, forgetting their argument over who got the sink first might wake their sleeping mother.
Welcome to another merry day in the projects.
The teen huffed as she waited for her brothers to get ready to sneak away to go see their father uptown. Her thoughts switched to getting revenge on her absentee father. He’d missed his last two court-ordered visits, but she’d get him today, even if her mother forbade them to annoy him. The court said he could see his kids every third Sunday of the month. See them he would. Her brothers had a right to visit him even if his new wife hated them like cooties. Britt was going to make sure they did.
Wish I could make him suffer for the visits he’s missed.
A vision of Britt sticking him with a knitting needle in each hand like his Granny Nan made her smile.
No. That’s not vicious enough.
A vision of a steamroller with thousands of pins on its roller popped into Britt’s mind. In seconds, the machine squashed her father into the ground. When he emerged from underneath, he was a bleeding mess.
A low volume fanfare announced the TV news. Just as she was about to yank her brothers out of the bathroom, her favorite reporter came on. Jessica Hawthorne of the The Trebridge Channel wore a stunning form-fitting green outfit that Britt coveted. The color would go as well with her dark hair as the reporter’s blond, blue-eyed looks. Hawthorne took a deep breath, ready to deliver her morning spiel.
Britt swallowed hard. Before the Divorce, Britt had worn expensive clothes like Hawthorne’s, not thrift shop junk like she wore now. When they lost their uptown apartment after her mom got sick, the county sheriff had dumped all their belongings on the sidewalk. Most of their stuff got stolen.
Dad could’ve helped us. At least buy us some new clothes for school. He’s still got plenty of money. Mom couldn’t help getting sick.
The small living room swallowed Jessica Hawthorne’s breathy voice. Britt strained to hear her over the bratbies’ sporadic giggles as they shoved pieces of toast in each other’s faces.
“Enough about the underage Crown Prince of Andor getting caught in a strip joint when he should have been at school. Closer to home and our thought for the day. The Guarda assures the citizens of Trebridge the new curfew will end the vandalism and muggings. Stronger measures are needed, I tell you. Scores of people appear at hospitals with the most dreadful wounds and can’t remember how they got them.”
The reporter blathered on, an earnest expression knitting her brows. “We need more guarda on the streets, especially in the river districts. These hoodlums need to be stopped.”
Britt concentrated harder, not daring to turn up the volume while her mother slept. She worked the swing shift now and didn’t get home until four in the morning. Someday I’ll look that polished again, I swear. Granny Nan would bawl Dad out for how we live now if she were still alive.
Britt shut her complaints down, feeling embarrassed at how proud she had once been to be called her daddy’s ‘little princess’.
“While the guarda say their investigations are ongoing, I don’t see any results. Why have so many people disappeared? The police haven’t a clue.” Her lip curled. “You’d almost think we’re being invaded by demons and our fine protectors are too scared to investigate.” Her contempt poured from the screen.
Britt tapped her foot, wishing her brothers would stop giggling. She wished she lived uptown where she still had a room of her own. Granted, they didn’t live on the streets, but four people stuffed in one bedroom in her half-sister’s apartment was torture. Her father deserved to be kicked in the ass. Britt wanted revenge. Her father needed to pay for abandoning his family and her.
The noise in the bathroom grew louder.
Those buttheads better not wake Mom up.
Britt twitched the draped folds of her new V-neck blouse wishing she had the boobs to fill it out. It did have a designer label, just the thing she needed to sneak into the posh condos where her father now lived.
Just like the boys can’t wear their grubs today.
“I want to wear a T-shirt to Dad’s, Britt.”
Quarrelsome Darin whined behind her, making her jump. He had become a total pain since their parents’ divorce. Britt hoped seeing their dad would stop his constant bitching. Britt didn’t feel any guilt for disobeying their mother’s orders. The boys deserved to see their cockroach of a father. His ice-blooded new wife could just tough out their visit.
Britt’s muscles tightened in the cold, funny way they did when something bad was going to happen. She shook her head, forcing herself to ignore the bothersome feeling that was happening too often for comfort.
Glancing at the closed bedroom doors, she put a finger to her lips. Mom’s going to blister our ears if we wake her.
Darin opened his mouth. Lifting her hand to smack him, she brushed back the thick fall of hair across her eyes instead. If she hit him, Darin’s screams would wake their mom and Pietra, their half-sister.
Keeping her voice low, she said, “Get your butt in gear. You’re wearing what you’re wearing. End of questions, comments, and complaining.”
Darin did not give up. “My tees are clean. Dad don’t like fancy either. He sat in front of the TV with his shirt and shoes off all the time. In summer, he only wore his boxers. Remember? Mom always got mad at him for leaving beer cans on the coffee table. Always.”
“Shh. Don’t wake Mom or Pietra.” Britt held a finger to her lips. “Get your shoes on, and we can talk in the hall.”
“I don’t like dress shirts either.” Carlos, her older, calmer brother, carefully left the bathroom door partly ajar. “It’s not fair to make us wear them. You’re just a kid like us even if you’re taller. Being a high school freshmen ain’t no bigger deal than being in fifth grade.”
“Stop being buttheads, both of you.” Britt jerked the apartment door open. “You begged to visit Dad. I’m doing the best I can to see you do, so shut up and move your ass before Mom wakes up.”
Her mother did her best to push their father out of their lives. Britt refused to let her have her wish. Since the messy divorce and his marriage to the Ice-Bitch, Timothy Kelly had seldom spent more than an hour with them. Their dad mostly offered excuses when his visitation weekend came.When he did see them, they barely ate a fast lunch before he sent them off to a movie on their own. The last time was three months ago. Britt missed him and his compliments terribly.
He’s not going to escape today.
Britt remembered their one visit to the posh high-rise, so different from both their suburban and project homes. The pristine rooms, sprinkled with figurines and trinkets, made her nervous enough to get the cold crawls down her back every time she moved. The Ice-Bitch’s rat-dog had barked and snapped at them the whole time.
Carlos didn’t mean to break the stupid shepherd figurine when he jumped. The damn dog would’ve bit him if I hadn’t kicked the yapping rat in the head. I don’t care if the cabrona told us never to come back again. It’s our right to see him.
Outside the apartment, the hallway reeked from years of cooking in the eight apartments of the fifth floor, B-wing. In spite of the blinking light of the security camera in its wire cage, someone had tagged both sides of the hall. Thankfully, they left the picture Britt called the “Tree of Life” undamaged. Someone had painted a huge tree with birds flittering through the leaves. No one told the artist that real trees didn’t grow alone, especially the big ones. Britt missed the trees lining the streets of their lost home, and the painting’s survival gave Britt hope she might survive living in the slums, too.
Be glad you don’t down near the docks.
The thought of trees made Britt smile as memories of her summers at Granny Nan’s flitted through her mind, the pines sighing in the breeze while the oaks rustled with a brisker note. Her huge white dogs slipping out of the house to silently disappear into the tree-covered hillsides. Granny Nan standing lost in thought, rubbing her hidden necklace with the tips of her fingers until the gems glowed, when she thought she was alone. The three guard dogs, Nan called her guardians, licking Britt’s face.
Britt’s heart clutched when she recalled their goodbye last summer. Granny Nan had bustled about the kitchen, packing a lunch with extra snickerdoodles for the drive back to Trebridge. Just before she shoved the paper bag into her hands, she rose to her tiptoes to kiss Britt on the forehead.
“Cheer up, my girl. Next summer will be loads of fun. You’re going to learn all sorts of new stuff. Our secret now. Remember.”
The last word had held force as she tapped Britt’s forehead. She’d loved Granny Nan. Staying with her was always fun, except when she trained Britt in self-control. Britt had looked forward to her coming summer, not ever imagining the old woman would die.
Britt shoved the memory away because it hurt too much to remember. Won’t learn anything now since she’s dead.
A shuffling noise on the stairs put Britt on alert, living in the projects wasn’t as safe as Uptown. The head of the girl from across the hall appeared, followed by some older guy with broad shoulders carrying a sack. The girl took one look at Britt and dropped her gaze before scurrying toward her door.
On her way, the girl said, “Hi, tree.”
“Why do you always talk to that silly tree, Sara?” asked the guy following her. His gaze rested on where Britt’s boobs should be and sank to her crouch area.
When he smirked, Britt was glad her skirt was loose, happy she did not share Pietra and her mom’s busty figures.
The dark-haired Tejano girl pushed the door open after unlocking it. “Gerome, Hurry up. Mama wants that milk yesterday.”
He scooted into the door, throwing a backward glance at Britt. “Okay, Sara. Okay.”
Carlos slipped into the hallway, pulling their door shut without closing it. “Okay, Britt. Now tell me why I gotta do the dress-shirt shit before school starts.” He stopped and folded his arms across his chest. His expression mirrored his father’s when the old man was ready to start a tantrum and throw things when something didn’t go his way. “I’m not going to move an inch until you let me go back and get a t-shirt.”
“Yeah,” said Darin, joining them.
“We gotta sneak by the co-op’s security, buttheads. If you don’t blend in, they’ll check their list of undesirables and bounce you out the door faster than you can spit. So, you’re wear prissy clothes. Comprendes? Or are you guys totally too stupid to understand?”
“Dad don’t like you speaking Spanish,” said Carlos.
Darin parroted in the high-pitched voice that grated her patience raw. “Yeah, we’re Andorians. Have been forever. You can even join the Daughters of the Kingscourt.”
“Shut up, or go watch TV with the bratbies.” Britt gave him a cold stare. Her fifth-grade brothers hated being lumped with Pietra’s pre-school sons. “Carlos and I’ll visit Dad by ourselves and get bigger ice creams afterward.”
Carlos gasped. “You won’t really leave Darin behind?”
Britt’s glare heated. “Damn sure I would, if he don’t stop whining like a baby.”
“Okay, but I still don’t like dress shirts,” said Darin. “All the guys around here wear tees.”
“Duh. Wear a tee to school tomorrow. Now move your ass. We gotta catch the tram.”
Once on the street, the boys forgot the argument in a game of shoving and giggling. Was I ever so young? Maybe before Pietra fell down the stairs and everyone blamed me for pushing her.
Memories of her father’s great-grandmother who lived back in the hills flooded through her mind. Longing pulsed through Britt as she thought of the summers when she lived with her.
Britt should’ve hated the old woman, but she loved her. When she was nine, Britt had been sent away because everyone thought she shoved Pietra down the stairs, breaking her leg. Pietra had been teasing her by lifting her Mr. Pongo over her head, and she had been jumping trying to grab him away. But she slipped. Pietra had fallen down the stairs when Britt had grabbed her for balance. No one believed her when Britt said it was an accident.
The summer after, Granny Nan had invited her back. She did teach her to “control” her temper. She taught her imagination games. Made her use her use all her senses to examine the world around her. Taught her to sing in descant during the long evenings with the mages who came to visit her. Granny Nan was a Dissenter who disliked the Kingscourt and all it stood for. Still, Britt had loved Granny Nan’s mountain valley. The summers had been the most wonderful of Britt’s life.
A Northern California gal, M. K. Theodoratus has been intrigued by fantasy since she started reading comic books. She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then. When she's not disappearing into other writer's worlds, she's creating her own alternative worlds--that of Andor where demons prey on humans and the Far Isle Half-Elven where she explores the social and political implications of genetic drift on a hybrid elf/human people.
A sixth grade English assignment introduced Theodoratus to story writing. The teacher asked for a short story and gave a "C" for an incomplete, 25-page Nancy Drew pastiche which turned into a novel the next summer. Theodoratus has been addicted to writing stories happily ever after.
Currently, Theodoratus lives with her old man and two lap-cats in Colorado.
Monday, 2 October 2017
Publication date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Everyone knows that losing friends is a natural part of the high school experience. It’s all a game of musical chairs, really. Yet, what happens when a friend doesn’t intentionally “go ghost” but is abruptly taken away?
Kameron, Grayson, Mikey, Yasmin, and Jenna have been thick as thieves from childhood. Rightfully so—they make up the American minority in the German twin city of Arabella Park. When one of the five suddenly turns up missing, the remaining friends must find a way to bring her back while keeping up the facade of leading ordinary small-town lives.
As they search for their missing friend, they discover things about themselves and one another that will catapult them into an explosive climax and the ultimate revelation of who done it.
A multi-faceted mystery told from the alternating points of view of five friends, Arabella Park brings to life what it means to endure the most frightful, profound time of one’s life—the teenage years—while being stretched to the limits of what it means to be an adult, even a hero.
Father’s rehearsed response to this question usually included scripture passages from James 5 (Confess your sins one to another) and John 20 (If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven.) Afterward, he’d explain the church’s longstanding tradition of designating holy men to council confessors and thus help them back on the road to holiness.
For those who held the sacrament in such great contempt that this explanation would not suffice, Father would add this to his reply: “Yes, priests are sinful. We, like all other men, must go to confession as well.”
This was the truth of the matter and usually an answer that settled the argument, at least for a time.
Father himself made it a point to go to confession three times a week, though in years past he’d gone nearly every day just to make sure that he had the grace to overcome even venial sins.
Yet, there came a time, some days after he’d heard that certain confession of murder, he was sure that he was in a state of mortal sin.
Thus, he went to visit Father Kaiser at Dom zu Eichstätt, the largest Catholic church in Arabella Park.
Father went smoothly through the beginning ritual of confession with Father Kaiser. It had been a week since his last confession. He stated his smaller sins—watching too much television, failing to say his morning prayers on Wednesday, entertaining an impure thought.
At last, Father reached the Great Sin, the one that had brought him there to begin with. He hesitated, breathed, closed his eyes.
“Are you okay?” asked Father Kaiser after some time.
“Yes,” Father answered. “I have one more sin to confess.”
Father Kaiser was silent, save his easy breathing.
“I’ve done something terrible. I don’t know if I can say it.”
“Don’t worry. Jesus will forgive whatever it is, so long as you confess. You’re in the right place.”
Right. That was right. Jesus could forgive anything, even….
“Murder,” Father said finally. “I am an active accomplice to murder.”
I've lived the most ordinary life ever. Thus, I write for my own entertainment and hopefully, one day, the entertainment of millions of others. I'm a guitarist/singer/songwriter and above all, a hard worker. (At least, I'd like to think so.) Not sure what other clever thing I could say, so [insert clever line right here.] :-)
Sunday, 1 October 2017
Publication date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Your #HookUp for all things #Hashtag.
Missing your favorite #family?
This is your exclusive invitation back into their world.
#HookUp is an explosion of the award-winning #Hashtag series by Cambria Hebert and makes the perfect collector’s item
and addition to the series.
It’s a coloring book, but not just any coloring book.
#HookUp includes coloring pages that will rock your world, a #Hashtag-themed word search, recipes from your favorite characters, and…
Are you ready?
Four bonus scenes total—two of which are brand new!
Find out what your favorite gang is up to these days.
So what are you waiting for?
Get the #HookUp!
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.
Thursday, 28 September 2017
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Mr. Right Now is planning on forever…
Gigi Duval doesn’t do relationships, especially with her heart and career on the line. She values two things–her image and a good time in the bedroom. Watching men lie and cheat her whole life hardened her against “happily ever after”. When she interviews with Roman Bishop, the sexy co-owner of Ink Spinners Tattoo, she begins to wonder if he might be more than a casual fling. Only one thing is certain: Roman is off limits. Gigi can’t possibly add her best friend’s brother to her little pink book. Or can she?
Are you a book reviewer?
Request a review copy here!
Request a review copy here!
EXCERPT:The Red Barron wasn’t the kind of place Roman Bishop ever would have expected to see an angel. This place was a dive in the truest sense of the word, with hard music, cheap beer, and dark corners. Damn—he wanted to see her light up one of those corners.
Swathed in a soft pink dress and white fuck-me heels, she had him entranced. She moved the curtain of her dark hair, exposing the graceful curve of her shoulder, a creamy canvas that made his hand tingle with the phantom buzz of his tattoo gun. It would be a fucking honor to mark her. The glow of that lovely skin had drawn him away from his friends like a moth to her flame. Hell—he had never seen a woman like her and he was no virgin schoolboy fumbling in the dark.
“You’re too classy for a dive like this, beautiful.” He slid into the vacant seat beside her even as he cringed inwardly at his own cheesy pickup line. “Are you lost?”
She turned clear absinthe green eyes his direction and his breath caught.
Her full lips teased a soft smile. “Just waiting for my date. He’s late.”
Roman’s heart sank. Of course, a girl that gorgeous wouldn’t be alone. “Can I at least keep you company? I’ll buy you a drink and keep the riffraff in this joint at bay.”
Great, now he sounded like a desperate ass. If she minded, she didn’t show it. If anything, her smile grew and she turned more fully his direction.
“I’ve got a drink.” She held up her wine glass as evidence—yet another sign she was too much for this shithole. “But I would welcome the company.”
They chatted for ten minutes. Every word confirmed her as both witty and intelligent, proving she was more than just perfumed eye candy. He almost wished that’s all she would have been. If her mind had been inferior to the package on the outside, he could have enjoyed the view and forgotten her, but now… He cut the thought off as the shadow of her date loomed over them—literally.
“Am I interrupting something?” Her date looked like a yuppie, complete with chinos and a striped polo. Why the hell would a guy like that have her wait here?
She glanced at the dainty gold watch on her wrist. “Waiting for you. You’re thirty minutes late.”
Yuppie-boy held out his hand for her with a cocky smirk that Roman’s fingers itched to bitch-slap off his face. “Don’t worry, doll. I’ll make it up to you.”
“We’ll see about that.” Her smile turned sugar sweet as she slid out of the barstool. She did not take his hand, instead brushing past him towards the exit. “Are you coming?”
Leaning towards Roman, while eyeing her admittedly fine ass, her date whispered as if they’d been frat brothers or some shit. “She’s sassy and demanding but totally worth the ride.”
The sleazebag—he’d been downgraded—hurried to catch up to her and hold the door. She looked back at Roman and her smile warmed. It hadn’t met her eyes when she smiled at her date. She’d given that gift to Roman, and he didn’t even know her name.
Roman’s pencil tip dug into the front desk. His mind forced back from the memory he’d been drifting in as Declan Stone, his best friend and fellow artist, yanked the sketchpad away. Roman made an ineffectual grab for the spiral bound paper.
“What the hell, man?”
Declan leaned back in his chair, holding the artwork just out of reach. “Just checking out what you’re doin’.” He tossed the book down in front of Roman and pointed at the pinup girl meticulously drawn from memory on the page. “You’ve been spaced out since that chick last night.”
“Yeah, so what?”
“So forget about it. She left with somebody else.”
His friend was right. She did leave, but something about that look on her face as she had—as if she resigned herself to it but really wasn’t interested. A woman like her could have anyone, which left him wondering why she’d gone, instead of telling the douche canoe to fuck off. Ultimately, it wasn’t his place to get involved. In the rare down time he had between clients, he had better things to do than moon over the one who got away—like keeping the doors to their shop open.
Ink Spinners Tattoo & Gallery had been a dream and a labor of love for both Roman and Declan—one whose timetable moved up thanks to Roman’s ex. The old brick building was one of the last the NewBo District had saved. They closed on the purchase just one week before the wrecking ball and saved it from becoming a new urban development made to look vintage. Thanks to the local historical society, they got it for a song and spent the better part of the year renovating it. Now the shop looked as if a steampunk barbershop and a Victorian apothecary had a baby. For a couple of black sheep local boys, they were doing all right.
Roman dragged his hand over the rough stubble of his jaw. “You’re right. Not like I could find her if I wanted to.”
“Funny you should say that.” A cocky grin split Declan’s face just as the bell over the door rang.
Roman turned, smile at the ready as the girl in question sauntered through the door. “Damn.”
Her steps faltered at his whispered oath, but he couldn’t help himself. Ten seconds ago, he had no hope of ever seeing her again, let alone in his shop. Good girls like her don’t have ink. Everything about her whispered that he was right, especially the way she dressed today; a blush pink blazer, layered over a white t-shirt that she tucked into a pink and black rose patterned pencil skirt. She had tamed the dark curls he remembered from last night into a bun, and oversized pearl earrings hung from earlobes that he already visualized sucking on.
“You’re Ann’s step-brother?” Her voice held the same breathless wonder that he uttered his own curse in seconds before. When she continued, her tone was brighter, with crisp efficiency. “I’m here about the job. Ann Kennedy referred me.”
The attitude switch about gave him whiplash.
She held out her hand and as he stood to take it, her soft, slender fingers seemed swallowed up by his darker, tattooed mitt. “Roman Bishop and this is my business partner, Declan Stone, you are…”
“Oh yeah, I’m Gigi Duval.” She stared up into his eyes, leaving her hand in his for longer than necessary before she seemed to notice and pull back.
He forced down a groan at the simple loss of her warmth in his hand. She wet her pouty pink lips. When his gaze zeroed in on the subtle movement, the corners turned up, ever so slightly. This couldn’t be good. Mere moments into formally meeting her and he was already smitten. Would it be strange to propose marriage now? Oh wait—she had a boyfriend—at least she did last night.
CASSIE LEIGH writes contemporary and paranormal romance that’s more than skin deep. Before she could write, she began dreaming up stories. Starting with recorded conversations for her dolls on a Fisher-Price cassette player, she moved on to an antique typewriter found at a garage sale, then an electric typewriter, and finally computers. It wasn’t until she picked up romance novels in her late twenties that she found where she belonged. With the help of her husband, she carves out time to write while raising five children, working full time and obsessing over her laundry list of eccentric passions including MMA fighting and Pinup style. Every new obsession seems to find its way into her romance world!