Saturday Spotlight – Un-Swipe by Heather Lauren

Title: Un-Swipe
Series: Socially Awkward #1
Author: Heather Lauren
Genre: Enemies to Lovers/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 7, 2021
Cover Design: Cover Bunnies


Moving to Silicon Valley is a dream come true for techy nerd girl, Cassidy Parker. She’s grabbed the chance to make millions on the line but the cost was having to agree to the unthinkable, working with Xander James, a man who embodies everything she despises. Dangerous, covered in tattoos under a sleek suit and a mouth to make anyone blush, he’s everything she’s promised to never fall for, again. So, why is it that she can’t stop thinking about that kiss that still rattles her three months later…





“This was a fun and quick story. It’s very light reading. Its very flirty and I loved the hijinks and pranks. If you want a fun and light read well then you enjoy this one.” – Goodreads Review
“I love the world Heather has made, and it’s backed with laughs which I love. I hope there’s more to come from this world.” – Goodreads Review

Alone in a dark closet I continue to pant while my body tingles with the biggest orgasm of my existence. I can’t help the perma-grin plastered on my face. I’m sure I look like a lunatic but I don’t care. Wow. Holy mother of wow. I press my fingertips to my swollen lips remembered how moments earlier Xander was devouring them like they were the best things he had ever tasted. And holy f-ing shit, he totally just fingerbanged me in an office supplies closet. My smile falls. All remainders of my euphoric orgasm have vanished and is now replaced with panic. Someone opened the door and saw us. Well saw him, he completely eclipsed me with his broad sexy shoulders and strong arms. His very large dick pressed into my belly and he was like an unmoving wall of protection. For a moment I felt both orgasmic and completely safe. Like I was his and no one else could see me. Stupid feelings. He took off without a word, it was probably just another game to him. Instead of a vicious prank he changed the tone and in these new sex games I get orgasms. Which are awesome. Seriously so good.

Ok, Xander you want to play games I’ll play, but I don’t lose. I play to win and I’m coming for your orgasms. Payback will be so satisfying.






Heather is a mom of three who enjoys writing steamy contemporary romance from the comfort of her couch in sunny Arizona. She lives off coffee and toddler crumbs and is madly in love with the father of her children. She always guarantees sexy men who fall hard from strong women and happily ever afters.




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Cover Reveal – Necessary Evil by Ann Bakshis

 

Title: Necessary Evil
Author: Ann Bakshis
Genre: SciFi/Fantasy
Cover Designer: Lori Pryzbranowski of Hell Yes Designs
Publication Date: May 15th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

The God of Life and Creation seeks to end a malicious vendetta, and will allow no one to stand in the way of his murderous agenda. Yet when his grandson, Nash, learns the truth behind his grandfather’s desires, he finds himself wrestling with whose side to be on in what is sure to be a bloody battle.

 

Torn between duty, and his deep love for Katarina, Nash begins questioning all he thought he knew.

 

The gate is open, allowing unspeakable evil to seep through. Can Nash stop the rising darkness? Or will Katarina pay for his failure with her life?


I’ve always loved to write ever since I was young. I would picture myself as the main character so I could go on adventures. They began as daydreams, which I eventually put down onto paper. Throughout the years I would write whenever I got the chance no matter how small the manuscript turned out to be. I’d tried the traditional method of sending out query letters to agents, but they would respond with a “thanks, but no thanks” note. I felt discouraged, but kept writing. I had a lot of encouragement from my mom, my Aunt Jeanne, my daughter, and my husband. Having the support helped keep me chasing my dream. A few years ago, I decided to buckle down and get serious about my writing. After some research and speaking with a friend of my husband, I took the plunge into self-publishing. I found an editor and a cover designer along with other indie authors on Facebook. I’ve joined groups and asked advice from writers who have already been through the steps it takes to get out there. It took me four years and three versions before I published my first book titled Wasteland. From there, I’ve completed several series and stand-alones with quite a few more in progress, so watch for their release.

Author Links:

Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Facebook | Bookbub | Newsletter








AuThursday – Leslie Hachtel

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Years ago I was cleaning house and I thought I can change the sheets or write a book. I have no idea where that thought came from, but I wrote a book. It was a terrible book, but it ignited my passion.

How do you make time to write?

I get up early every morning and write while the house is quiet. Then I tend to my other stuff.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

No. Nora Roberts spoke at a conference and said (and I’m paraphrasing…) if you wait for the muse to strike, there is no muse. It’s just ‘sit your butt in the chair and write.”

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.

I write romance – historical, historical paranormal, romantic suspense, crossover. I guess I just love love and a happily ever after.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, or both)

I’ve written fourteen books so far and I’ve published both traditionally and indie. I think I’ll try traditional again and if that doesn’t work out, I’ll self-publish.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?

I’m actually both. I can talk to a room of 1000 people just fine, but I am shy at small parties. I tap into both for my characters.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

Don’t quit!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read everything you can in your genre and then read some more. And take workshops. There is always so much to learn. And each book you write should be an improvement over the last one.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website https://www.lesliehachtel.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lesliehachtelwriter/

Twitter:  @lesliehachtel

Blog: https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/leslie-hachtel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/leslie_hachtel

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

This is from the first book in my “Morocco” series, Bound to Morocco… 

Spring, 1713

The throbbing was relentless. Shera, Lady Edgerton, squinted and reluctantly peeked out from beneath her eyelids. She immediately regretted it. A thousand needles of light stabbed her with brutal fury and she quickly closed her eyes again to ease the misery. She drew in a deep breath, trying to quell the pounding in her head. Mindful of the pain, she very slowly opened her eyes again, fighting the agony of vicious brightness that assailed her. Sunlight pierced the room through a narrow slit in the wall high up in the small space and pooled about her. Nausea threatened but she swallowed hard and stiffened her spine.

Gathering her senses and forcing herself to focus, she looked around. Where was she? A small room made of wood? The walls were bare except for four sets of chains attached to the wood by rings hanging a few inches from the floor. Was this an area used to confine prisoners?  But that did not answer why she was here. She was an innocent. Her being here must be a terrible mistake.

          She heaved in a deep breath and listened carefully. Naught but a kind of creaking. Raising herself gently, she sat up. Her head spun and she took in a few shallow breaths to ease the dizziness. The space around her gradually took shape. She was indeed in a small room with walls of horizontal planked wood. Beneath her, the floor swayed gently back and forth. And the smell? It was the scent of despair. Someone had been held here before her. Or many someones. And there was also the unmistakable odor of the sea. I am aboard a ship? How is that possible? A slither of terror crawled up her back. Had she been kidnapped? Was her life at risk? Who did this and what did they want? The lack of answers was tormenting.

Saturday Spotlight – Chaos and Love by Michelle A Valentine

 

Title: Chaos and Love
Author: Michelle A Valentine
Genre: NA Romance
Publication Date: April 22nd, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

He’s chaos–on and off the field…

 

For hotshot quarterback, Luke Finnegan, Love and Chaos are always intertwined, and when he decides he’s through with relationships, a blonde artist with pink streaks in her hair convinces him sometimes love is worth the madness.

 

Miley St. Claire doesn’t do relationships. She’s seen the chaos they cause for those around her and she wants no part of that drama, which is why taking Luke Finnegan up on his offer to be friends with benefits is her ideal non-relationship. Trouble is, when she gets to know Luke, she finds herself missing him when he’s not around and quickly realizes, to her absolute horror, she’s falling for the sexy quarterback.





Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic and New Adult romance.

Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos, and sexy musicians inspired her erotic BLACK FALCON series.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Amazon | Newsletter | Bookbub | Instagram





AuThursday – Tracy Brody

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was one of those kids who loved to read and loved library day at school. I was also the daydreamer whose mind would wander and create stories. I thought everyone did that. 

However, I went to college and studied business because my dad told me I should so I could get a job when I graduated. Yes, he was a business guy. I worked in banking, got married, had two kids, but was always spinning stories in my head. Usually, they involved me as a character on a TV show opposite my current celebrity crush. 

Then I came up with this story that I couldn’t get out of my head. I finally decided to write it as a movie script. Remember, I was a business major. The longest thing I’d written was a ten-page term paper. But when I’d tell people the story, they’d listen to the whole thing. I had a gift for storytelling, but I had to learn the craft of writing. I did that for script writing but after two friends told me they’d love to see the story as a book, I switched gears to writing novels and had a lot to learn. I joined RWA and my local chapters and spent several years learning and taking classes and entering contests to get feedback.

That original story still lives in the recesses of my mind and a hard copy in a drawer, but it would need a total rewrite. I did a lot of research for the first movie script turned book as the hero was an Army Ranger, and that research got me involved supporting troop and my heroes all tend to be in or have served in the Army.

How do you make time to write?

I’m fortunate not to have an outside job. While my kids were home and in school when I started writing, both have graduated college. My son is married and lives across the country. My daughter is living with us during this fun time known as the CO-VID Pandemic and my husband has been working from home – which has presented some challenges and changes in process this past year, but I typically spend most of my day in my office writing (okay, and playing some games and spending too much time on Facebook) but I also love writing retreats and go on one or two a year from a few days to a week. However, I really miss meeting up with my writer friends at Panera!

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I believe in it, however, I don’t suffer from a lack of ideas. I have a folder of story ideas that pop in my head and may write someday. My problem is focusing and writing fast enough — which is where the retreats come in handy.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.

I have four books published in my romantic suspense series. It features the Army Bad Karma Special Ops team whose love lives are as dangerous as their missions. It hails back to my start with screenwriting which got me involved in troop support. Many secondary characters are based on military friends I made, however, they rarely tell me mission stories so those are all from my overactive imagination. I love being able to honor our troops with stories of their heroism and give them happily-ever-afters. I also like writing smart, strong, kick-ass heroines with lives far more exciting than my own. 

I’ve just finished my first romantic comedy, FAKING IT WITH THE BACHELOR, which is based on a reality TV dating show. The hero just got out of the Army and is ready to find love, so his sisters nominated him to be on the show. He lost the bet with them and is now cast to be the lead, only tears are his kryptonite and once he realizes what he’s got himself into, he’s having major second thoughts. He’s also crushing on the producer planning the fabulous dates for him and the women battling for his heart. It’s full of drama, snark, villainesses, and more drama.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, or both)

I indie published my romantic suspense series after parting with my former agent and my second agent sharing how the big traditional publishers were not signing debut romantic suspense authors. I wanted to release the three books I had written fairly quickly and felt I could make more money and enjoy the process more as an indie. I wrote a prequel novella and published the four books in 2020.

I just sent the Rom-com to beta readers and may query agents and possibly traditionally publish it – but only if I’m offered a sweet print deal to get on bookshelves and expand my reach. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?

I’m an extrovert who can talk to strangers and in front of groups. That’s helped me network with other authors and I enjoy interacting with readers and fans. It’s also helped when it comes to research as I made friends with many of the troops I supported, and they are my go-to men and women for military questions – though I still haven’t managed to get a ride in a Black Hawk helicopter. The nice thing is, even with CO-VID and not getting to be around a lot of people, my characters keep me company, so I don’t get lonely. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

If it’s not fun, why do it?

That’s probably why I like having the control of doing it indie. I can keep it fun. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

One person’s opinion is their opinion, however, if two or three people, especially contest judges or critique partners, tell you the same thing, pay attention. Learn. Develop a thick skin. Be patient and persistent. Your first book may be practice and have to be rewritten (like a dozen times) and still not sell but move on to the next book. Don’t give up after five or ten or fifty rejections, because writing is subjective and finding the right agent or editor is like finding a person you want to spend the rest of your life with – and it doesn’t always work out. The dream and affirmation of publishing traditional isn’t as romantic and picture perfect as you might think, so be open to publishing indie, but take the time to learn craft and hire professionals to do the things you are skilled to do or don’t enjoy doing.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Brody/e/B083G9NHTL

https://www.facebook.com/tracybrodyauthor

https://www.instagram.com/tracybrodybooks

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tracy-brody

https://www.tracybrody.com/

Series Promo w free novelette

And if you sign up for my author newsletter, https://www.tracybrody.com/newsletter-signup you can get the free novelette, UNDERCOVER ANGEL, which is the backstory or how Sergeant First Class Tony Vincenti met FBI Special Agent Angela Hoffman. 

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Of course. Here’s the opening from DEADLY AIM, the first full length in the Bad Karma series.

Series Banner

Colombia, South America

Training mission, my ass.

Kristie Donovan banked her Army Black Hawk to the right and pushed the helicopter to max speed. It wasn’t the time for an I-knew-it moment over her suspicions that there was more to this assignment than being sent to train Colombian Army pilots on the electronic instrument systems in their newer Sikorski UH-60 Black Hawks.

Command radioing new orders to pick up a “package with wounded” had Black Ops written all over it. Especially when the coordinates took them right into the heart of an area known for cocaine production. Army “need to know” at its best.

“How far to the LZ?” she asked her Colombian co-pilot trainee.

Josué checked the GPS. “Thirty klicks. If I am right, this is not what you call ‘landing zone.’”

“Meaning …?” Even with the tropical heat and full uniform, goosebumps erupted over her arms.

“Like sixty-meter clearing.”

“You use it for practice?” She could hope.

“Never.”

“But helicopters use it?”

“Small ones owned by cartel.”

Josué might be a relatively inexperienced pilot, but he knew the players here, and his wide, unblinking stare told her more than she wanted to know about who used this clearing. And for what. Great. Let’s use a drug lord’s landing pad. I’m sure he won’t mind. He might even send a welcoming committee—a well-armed one.

Sixty meters—if the jungle hadn’t encroached. Drops of sweat trickled down her neck the closer in they flew.

She pulled back on the cyclic stick and slowed the helicopter. The blur of the jungle came into focus. She leaned forward, her gaze sweeping left to right through the windscreen at the terrain below. Nothing but trees, trees, and more trees. The thick veil of green hid anything, or anyone, on the ground. 

“Do you see the LZ?” she asked her crew chief and gunner.

“Negative,” they reported from their vantage points on either side of the aircraft.

“We’re not giving anyone extra time to make us a target. Not in daylight.” She keyed the radio mic to hail the package on the ground. “Ghost Rider One-Three to Bad Karma, come in.” Energy drained from her limbs as she envisioned the scenario that would keep them from answering. “Ghost Rider One-Three to Bad Karma, come in.” 

Continued silence saturated the air. No, she wasn’t too late. She refused to believe—

Cover Reveal – Blood of the Wolf

 

Title: Blood of the Wolf (Mackenzie Grey: The Crown, Book 2)
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Covers by Christian
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:
Blood is thicker than water.

 

With the bombshell that Ophelia dropped on the night of the mating ceremony, Mackenzie is struggling with her inner self. Everything she once believed her life would be, just got turned upside down—and not by choice.

 

Fae magic runs through her blood and the consequences are dire. The demon wants what Mackenzie has because of her blood and will stop at nothing until he gets it … even if he has to kill her in the process. But the question is, why does he want it so badly? And why is he killing so many innocent lycan in his quest?

 

To get these answers, Mackenzie will ally herself with those who once were her enemy. But she’s making a dangerous choice, because at any moment, they’re right on the sidelines ready to stab her in the back.

 

Her blood is the key. Can Kenz survive a battle against Abaddon? Or will the ones closest to her be the ones to take her down?

Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy Author of the Mackenzie Grey novels and The Last Valkyrie series. An avid reader throughout her life, the world of Urban Fantasy easily became an obsession that turned into a passion for writing strong leading characters with authentic story arcs. When she isn’t writing badass heroines, you can find this self-proclaimed nomad in her South Florida home binge watching the latest series on Netflix or traveling far and wide for the latest inspiration for her books. Follow her on social media!



AuThursday – Judy Ford

IMG_20180908_095815707Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve lived all my life in Britain. For the last 40 years, I’ve lived with my husband (also a mathematician) in Cheshire, a county in the North West region of England. We have three grown-up children and six grandchildren.

I first attempted to write fiction when I was a young mother at home with my baby son. I don’t suppose those manuscripts were much good and I certainly didn’t have any success in finding a publisher for them!

I was always good at mathematics as a child and I went on to do two degrees in the subject. I’ve worked in universities and as a research manager in the National Health Service. I began writing again during a time between jobs in 2014. By then, things had moved on a lot when it comes to books. E-books and print-on-demand paperbacks made publishing very different from when I’d first tried to get my novels published – and, now that I had more life experience, I had more that I could write about.

How do you make time to write?

I get up early (my alarm is set for 5.20 a.m.) and devote the first hour and a half (before my husband gets up) to writing. That way, I usually manage to make some progress on my current book every day.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Because most of my books have a “whodunnit” element to them, meticulous planning is essential before I start writing. This means that it’s unusual for me to be completely stuck when I sit down to write, because I can always go back to the plan to decide what needs to happen next. If a chapter goes slowly, it’s often because I suddenly realise that I need to do more research before I can write it. 

I find the first and last pages of each book the hardest to write and I often have to re-write them a few times. The first chapter is hard because there are always several alternative ways of telling a story and it’s important to find one that will capture the reader’s imagination from the start. The ending is hard because I want my readers to feel that they have finished the story rather than that it has just fizzled out – even if there is scope for developing the characters further in a sequel.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.

I write detective fiction. I’ve always loved traditional “whodunnits”. I suppose, being a mathematician, I enjoy the puzzle element, but I’m also interested in why people do what they do. I like to read about three-dimensional characters with mixed motives and complicated feelings. 

I’m a Methodist Local Preacher, which means that I regularly lead church services. In my sermons, I try to get the congregation to think for themselves, asking questions rather than presenting them with my answers. In my writing, I also try to prompt my readers to think about issues that they may not have considered before. For example, one of my detectives is disabled and this sometimes people make assumptions about him (either that he’s incapable or that he’s a hero for doing ordinary things that others take for granted).

Kenny HughesHow are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, or both)

I self-publish my books through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), ACX (for the audiobook editions) and Kobo Writing Life. After failing to persuade a literary agent to take on my first two books, I heard from a colleague about KDP and decided to give it a go. Not wanting to be tied exclusively to Amazon, I looked into alternative platforms and found Kobo. Although it means a lot of work, I like the control that self-publishing gives me and I’ve enjoyed teaching myself about type-setting, cover design, narration and audio-recording techniques.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?

I’m an introvert, but one who isn’t fazed by standing up and addressing an audience. Social events scare me, but delivering a lecture or leading a training event is no sweat! I don’t think this affects my writing much – although perhaps it makes me more content to sit alone in my study and write – but it does impede my ability to promote my work. I’m not good at sounding my own trumpet, especially in a one-to-one situation.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly!”

This is a quotation from one of my favourite writers, GK Chesterton. It’s about not allowing yourself to be deterred from doing something just because there might be someone else who could do it “better”. Everyone has their own unique way of doing things and life would be duller if we handed everything over to the “experts” rather than being willing to “have a go”.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

  • Write because you love it, not because you expect to make a lot of money. 
  • Remember that there’s a lot of luck involved and if your books don’t become best-sellers, that’s not necessarily because they’re no good. 
  • Find one or two people that you trust to read your work before publication and suggest how it could be improved.
  • Be prepared to be ruthless with editing – if you are uneasy about a passage, it probably needs changing (or even eliminating!)

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I have a website where I put information about my books: https://sites.google.com/view/bernie-fazakerley/home

One of my main characters, Bernie, has her own website: https://sites.google.com/site/llanwrdafamily/

I also have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Bernie.Fazakerley.Publications)  and Twitter account (https://twitter.com/JudyFordAuthor) where I promote my books and post about special offers.

My WordPress site (https://wordpress.com/view/berniefaz.wordpress.com) has more information about the technical side of writing and publishing, including a step-by-step description of how I designed some of my book covers.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

I hope this passage isn’t too long. It’s a scene from “Weed Killers” which is about the death of a young police officer. In this passage his father, Gavin, also serving in the police, talks with an old friend who has his own earlier experience of the violent death of a loved-one.

You can listen to me narrating this excerpt here: https://youtu.be/HbZsNq1LwfQ

 

9781911083696‘Thank you for coming,’ Gavin murmured apologetically as he let Peter into the house. ‘Come through to the kitchen,’ he added looking down at Peter’s foil-wrapped parcels. ‘We’ll put those in the fridge for later.’ Then he leaned over the bannister rail and called up the stairs, ‘Chrissie darling! Peter’s here!’

Looking round the kitchen, Peter spotted the refrigerator and went over to put away the packets of food. He squeezed them in on the bottom shelf next to a half-eaten meat pie. Straightening up, he turned to see Gavin at the sink, filling the electric kettle.

‘Sit down.’ He indicated a high stool next to a breakfast bar, which extended from the wall near to where the kettle was plugged in. ‘I’ll make us some tea.’

Peter climbed on to the stool and leaned his elbows on the counter. He watched silently as Gavin replaced the kettle on its stand and then crossed the kitchen and opened a glass-fronted wall cupboard containing crockery. While his back was turned, Peter reached over and pressed down the switch on the kettle prompting the power light to come on and the kettle to hiss encouragingly.

Gavin returned with a stainless-steel teapot and three cups and saucers, which he put down on a metal tray that lay on the working surface next to the kettle.

‘I don’t suppose Chrissie will be long,’ he said, reaching for a packet of teabags and starting to count them out into the teapot. ‘She’s in Kenny’s room, sorting out his things.’

‘I thought your sister did all that when she was here at the weekend?’

‘Umm. Well that’s another thing,’ Gavin mumbled miserably, adding two more teabags to the pot. ‘I made her stop. I behaved very badly about it. I don’t know if she’ll ever forgive me.’

‘Of course she will,’ Peter told him emphatically, grasping Gavin’s hand gently in his and moving it away from the teapot, ‘unless you keep giving her tea as strong as the pot you’re making for us just now!’ he added, smiling across the breakfast bar at his friend.

Gavin gazed down at the teapot. Then he turned it over and shook it. A dozen or more teabags fell out on to the work surface. He looked up at Peter and managed a brief grin in return.

‘I don’t seem to be able to concentrate on anything these days,’ he muttered, shaking his head at his own ineptitude. ‘This morning I squirted Chrissie’s face cream on to my toothbrush instead of toothpaste!’

‘Don’t worry. It’s all part of the process,’ Peter assured him gently. ‘That part won’t last for ever. Just try not to let it bother you too much. And seriously: your sister will understand that whatever you did was only because of what you’re going through. I’m sure she won’t hold it against you.’

Gavin put three teabags into the pot and then busied himself trying to squeeze the remaining ones back into the packet.

‘I haven’t shouted at Lorraine like that since the time she deliberately broke the head off my action man when I was seven,’ he told Peter morosely. ‘I don’t know what got into me. It was after we got back from our walk. Remember? You didn’t come in because you needed to get off home, so I said I’d say your goodbyes to Chrissie and the others.’

Peter nodded.

‘I was feeling a lot better for having got out in the fresh air for a bit,’ Gavin continued, ‘and I thought we’d be able to finish agreeing on the funeral arrangements before it was time for them to get off to the station, and then Chrissie and I would have the house to ourselves again.’

The kettle clicked off and Gavin picked it up and added boiling water to the teapot.

‘But then, when I got in, there was Chrissie in the kitchen, weeping buckets into that box of Kenny’s things that Dennis had brought down from his room. Do you remember?’

Peter nodded.

‘She said she wanted them to stop. She said she didn’t want anyone else messing with Kenny’s things. I just grabbed the box and stormed upstairs with it and threw it down on the bed and told them to put everything back where they’d found it and then get out of the house.’

‘I don’t blame you,’ Peter said with feeling, imagining how he would have felt if anyone had touched any of Angie’s possessions uninvited. ‘And I’m sure, when she thinks about it, your sister won’t either,’ he added firmly. ‘She’s probably stressed out too, with thinking about the way Kenny was killed, and I’m sure she thought she was helping.’

‘I know,’ Gavin groaned. ‘That’s what makes me shouting at her like that so awful.’

‘Not at all,’ Peter insisted. ‘Honestly. At a time like this you really can’t be held responsible for what you do. I’m just amazed at how well you’re both holding things together. I still can’t get over how Chrissie coped with that nativity play. She was wonderful.’

‘It was because she didn’t want to let down the kids,’ Gavin told him, wandering over to the fridge and getting out a bottle of milk. He brought it across the room, and set it down on the working surface next to the tray. ‘It was the same this morning. She was up at six getting everything ready for the Homeless party; and then, while we were there, she was pulling crackers and joking with them, almost as if … as if …’

He picked up the milk and returned it to the fridge.

‘Chrissie’s always been the practical one,’ he resumed, leaning across the worktop so that his face was close to Peter’s. ‘She keeps the house running like clockwork, and she always likes to keep busy. I think all the time she had things she had to do, she could push what happened to Kenny to the back of her mind and just get on with getting them done. That’s why Lorraine coming in and trying to take over was such a disaster. And that’s why …’

He wiped his hand across his face and turned away to look for something in one of the wall cupboards.

‘You don’t take sugar, do you Peter?’ he enquired, turning round again and holding up a bag of it.

‘No, but I would like some milk, if that’s OK.’

‘Haven’t I just …?’ Gavin stared blankly at the empty cups and then shuffled over to the fridge again.

‘As I was saying,’ he resumed as he poured milk into each cup. ‘Chrissie was there being the life and soul of the party and I was just sitting in the corner wishing it was all over and we could go home and maybe just sit for a bit and watch a film on the telly. But then, when we got home … I suppose it was the anti-climax, and not having any reason to keep going anymore.’

Peter picked up the milk bottle and carried it back to the fridge to give Gavin time to collect his thoughts.

‘When we walked in the door, the first thing we saw was that teddy bear in the police costume – you know, the one somebody left with the flowers?’

‘Mmm,’ Peter nodded. ‘I remember.’

‘Chrissie had washed it and put it on the radiator in the hall to dry. Anyway, she just picked it up and went upstairs with it. She said she needed to sort out Kenny’s things. I did try to persuade her to leave it for a bit – at least until we’d had a sit down – but she said she needed to feel close to him again. I realised afterwards that Wednesday was her day for tidying Kenny’s room. She used to do it while he was out at the Scouts. I suppose it probably helped her to keep to the old routine. Anyway, I made us a mug of tea and took hers up to her. I know I ought to have stayed with her and helped, but I just couldn’t face it.’

‘Don’t beat yourself up about it,’ Peter said gently. ‘Everyone grieves differently. And if Chrissie always tidies Kenny’s room on her own, she may not even have wanted you there.’

‘The thing is: when I got up there, she wasn’t tidying the room. She was just sitting there on the bed holding that teddy bear and staring into space. I put the mug down on the bedside table and came downstairs again. I’ve been up again a couple of times, but she’s still just the same – staring ahead like she was in a trance. So that’s where she is now,’ he finished. ‘I don’t think she can have heard me call. I’d better go up and get her. She won’t want to have missed you.’

He looked towards the door, but made no attempt to move from his position, leaning on the worktop. Then suddenly he looked up and caught Peter’s eye across the breakfast bar.

‘Why did it happen to Kenny?’ he demanded in an anguished voice. ‘Why was he the one who got sent round the back of the house? With his whole life before him! Why couldn’t it have been me they picked instead?’ He brought both fists down heavily on the work top, staring across at Peter defiantly for a moment before dropping his head and gazing down at the marble-effect work surface.

For a long time, neither of them moved or spoke. Then Gavin straightened up and gave Peter a sheepish grin. ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to …. I’ll go and get Chrissie.’ He looked down at the teacups.  ‘Could you take those through to the front room? We won’t be long.’

Peter came round to the other side of breakfast bar to pick up the tray. As he passed Gavin, he gave him a pat on the shoulder. ‘Please believe me. It never goes away, but it won’t always be as bad as this.’

New Release – Unleashed by the Moon by L.P. Dover

 

Title: Unleashed by the Moon
Author: L.P. Dover
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Model: Chase Ketron
Cover Designer: RBA Designs
Editor: Amy Briggs
Publication Date: Mar. 30th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Pulse-pounding action meets smoldering romance in Unleashed by the Moon, the latest masterpiece by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author L.P. Dover that is sure to leave you howling for more!

 

Desired by many.

 

Longing for one.

 

As the last royal arctic female, shifters across the country are sniffing for the chance to be the lucky male mated to Faith. A bond with her would elevate her chosen to the Royal pack, allowing them to tap into unimaginable power.

 

But Faith’s heart has already been claimed.

 

Hidden among the Great Plains pack, she finds the missing piece of her soul in Tate. But this love comes with a fatal risk. If their feelings are discovered, a price will be put on Tate’s head. At the next full moon, their bond can be fulfilled. Until then, they wait…

 

Little do they know, Killian Vilkas is preparing to manipulate matters to further his own twisted agenda. Orchestrating a vicious tournament, he pits shifters against one another in battles to try their luck at winning Faith’s hand.

 

Loyalties will be tested. Bonds broken by crushing betrayal. When the face of the silvery moon rises, will love stand victorious? Or fall beneath the snapping jaws of merciless ambition?





New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Everything’s sweeter in the South has always been her mantra and she lives by it, whether it’s with her writing or in her everyday life. Maybe that’s why she’s seriously addicted to chocolate.

Dover has written countless novels in several different genres, including a children’s book with her daughter. Her favorite to write is romantic suspense, but she’s also found a passion in romantic comedy. She loves to make people laugh which is why you’ll never see her without a smile on her face.


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CLICK HERE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD FROM LP DOVER!











Fake It Til You Bake It by Emily Cyr

 

Title: Fake It Til You Bake It
Author: Emily Cyr
Genre: Contemporary RomCom
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens The illustrated Author Design
Editor: Kristina Circelli Red Road Editing
Publication Date: March 5th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb: 
Emery St. James never dreamed of being a contestant in one of those dramatic baking contests. But then her life turned into a reality show of epic proportions.
Owning a bakery was her childhood dream – and the pompous rich boy who opens a French pastry café right down the street, her worst nightmare. The last thing she needs as she struggles to make ends meet is competition. Even more annoyingly, competition by the name of Marshall Bartlett, who has the nerve to steal her parking spot and insult her bakery. But putting Marshall out of her mind isn’t a piece of cake. Not when both families attempt to broker peace by blackmailing them into five “get to know you” dates, and especially not when Emery’s sex-starved grandmother is chaperoning from afar.
Will their dates go down as easily as Emery’s cherry cobbler, or will they be a recipe for disaster?




Emily Cyr is a stay-at-home mom turned writer. She holds a degree in middle grades education with certification in English and social science. She has always had a love of all things paranormal and fantasy, but it wasn’t until Emily’s husband said the words, “Why not?” that she considered putting her thoughts and ideas into the book, The Lightning Prophecy. This trilogy was just the start for Emily. It seemed to open a creative door that had been locked.
Emily has always been an avid reader. Through reading came her love of writing. The more she read, the more she knew she wanted to create her own world. Many of her first works were fan fiction.
Emily and her family currently reside in Cibolo, Texas. She has an incredibly supportive husband who is also an officer in the United States Air Force. They have three sons, ages 6, 4, and 1. Somehow, even with the demands of being a parent to two little boys, she finds time to escape to her fantasies and write them down.

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