AuThursday – Annie J. Kribs

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

In real life, I’m an IT analyst for an insurance company. I spend a lot of my time coordinating programming resources and working with internal staff to develop the best product possible. This often involves leading negotiations between business users and technical resources. I like to joke that I’d be great at hostage negotiation! This probably seems like a really left-brain job for a writer, but in actuality, it gives me great insight into how people interact, what makes them tick, and how they deal with change. The project management experience is a huge help with writing, too.

I’m married with two ‘tween-agers so my writing time tends to be limited to sitting in dance rehearsals, Boy Scout meetings, and baseball games. We live on 20 acres of wooded land in Michigan where we farm, hunt, swim and play. We have a Doberman pinscher, a cat who thinks he’s a Doberman, another cat who thinks she’s a princess, a guinea pig who is the cutest rodent on Earth, and usually a handful of fish.

How did you come up with the idea for your WOLF CREEK series? 

It started as a really weird dream! I dreamt about this enormous old house with a hidden room and something lost there.  I thought about that dream for days before I felt like it had enough “meat” in it to make a book. Once I developed my characters, I started seeing the town come together. I hadn’t really considered writing a series until I was nearly finished with the first book, Resurrected Hearts. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my characters behind, and BAM! A series was born.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Yes. Oh my, yes. Because it takes me so long to write a first draft, I often lose my train of thought or excitement for the scene I’m writing. This is the case right now, actually. When I get writer’s block, I liken it to skipping the gym for a few days. I know I have to return to the story, and I know it’ll be painful at first, but it’ll all come right back with practice and dedication.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any? 

My mantra about rejection letters; the more you get, the less they hurt! I’ve had a few rejections.  Some bordered on rude, some were polite and encouraging. Those polite letters kept my hope alive.

Can you tell us your story of getting “the call” (or e-mail)?

Ahh.  Such a happy memory!  The acquisitions editor at the publishing house sent me an email offering a publishing contract.  I read the email while on a break at work and I literally jumped out of my seat. Mind you, I work in an office with 650 employees, so the action didn’t go unnoticed. (lol) I called my husband first, and then my mom.  About a half-hour later I received a huge bouquet of flowers from my parents congratulating me on my first book. I think I floated on that high for several months! And, the release of each subsequent book has felt nearly the same way.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Strangely, I have a harder time identifying with my own sex. I’ve always been a tomboy.  My best friend was my little brother and I spent the summers of my most formative years at a Boy Scout camp.  I feel like I understand the male brain better than the female brain. Maybe that’s a gift. Maybe it’s a curse.  Sometimes I have characters whose personalities I just can’t identify with, and that’s where I really struggle. I may know the character belongs in the book (and heaven forbid it’s a main character!), but no matter how much I think on it, I just can’t put myself inside that character’s head.  Characters who are fashionable, for example, completely shut me out. Fashion left me behind in the ’80s and I have to turn to my daughter for descriptions of hair, nails, and clothes.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I’m a strong Christian, and I turn to God daily for inspiration, patience, guidance – everything.  My favorite bible verse is from Genesis 28:15

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

I carry this phrase on a tiny sheet of paper in my wallet and it brings me a great deal of comfort.

What are your current projects?

I’m feverishly trying to finish the last book in my Wolf Creek series.  I’m probably halfway through and I have no idea what to call it. I pitched a series idea to a new publisher recently and they loved it so I’m anxious to get started on it.  I’m also working on turning a YA short story I wrote about a school shooting into a full-length novel. This is a work that’s close to my heart, but also extremely painful to write so it’s taking some time.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I’m active on Facebook as “Annie J. Kribs”, on Instagram at @anniekribsauthor, on Twitter at @ajkribsauthor, and I have a website www.anniekribs.com.  I love communicating with readers!

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

From my recent release Healing Hearts:

“So, you’re interested in me, huh?” His expression had now changed from teasing to smug satisfaction as he stepped back and sized her up.

“I didn’t say that.” Bailey turned her back on him and locked the heavy door. She needed to compose herself. She was so out of practice with the whole dating scene and anyway, Brent had never been flirtatious. What was it about Luke that made her feel like a fumbling teenager? Unfair!

“Yeah. You kinda did. You said you could have been interested in any other guy at the coffee shop. That implies that you were interested in someone, and saying that it might not have been me was just your way of throwing doubt across my path. But I didn’t fall for it. You like me.” His complete conviction was as sexy as his megawatt smile. Until now, she’d always thought swooning only happened in romance novels. She tried to cover herself with a stern look.

“Less and less all the time,” Bailey assured him, which only made him chuckle. “Well, it was nice, um, chatting with you, Luke. I’ve got to get back.” Bailey took a step away from the door, which turned out to be too wide, and slid down the cement steps. Luke was there in a flash, his arms around her keeping her from landing flat on her back.

Bailey clutched at his arms, her torso pressed tightly against him. Oh my! He felt every bit as good as he looked in his form-fitting T-shirt. She licked her lips, hoping he couldn’t feel her heart pounding, though whether it was from the near slip or his amazing body, even she couldn’t tell.

Luke watched her, first with concern, and then interest as he held her. His head came down as if he was about to kiss her. Bailey scrambled to free herself.

“Sorry. I really do have to go. Now.” She put space between them the instant her feet met the ground, backing away toward Rose Avenue and the relative safety of Buzzy’s Bed and Breakfast.

 

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Cover Reveal – Alec by Giulia Lagomarsino

ALEC_cover reveal bannerTitle: Alec 

Series: Reed Security Series

Author: Giulia Lagomarsino

Release Date: September 25, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Security Romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47945712-alec

2 (1) (1)Blurb: 

Alec

I’ve been chasing this damn woman for three years. Our relationship is finally out in the open and I’m not letting this chance slip past me. I will make her mine, and there won’t be any room for arguments. There’s the slight problem of Craig, our other teammate. He knows what we do in the other rooms at night, or during the day, and that leaves us in a bit of a predicament. But we’ll work it out. I always get my woman, and Florrie is all mine.

Florrie

It took me by surprise when I fell for Alec. I hadn’t intended to ever sleep with my teammate, but then one day, he was there and so damn sexy. It was just supposed to be sex, nothing more. But he kept pushing and then one day, it was out in the open. Everyone knew and there was no way for me to stop what was happening. Except, there’s just one problem, I’ve got a secret that ensures we’ll never be together in the way he wants. Now I just have to find a way to tell him.

PreOrder (Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2kqDPrd

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2kyRI6s

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2kBcuCt

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2kmrmVr

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Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/B1s4sjT5xAI

Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/81aa78942106

Also Available: (Kindle Unlimited)

Sinner (Reed Security Series #1)

Cap (Reed Security Series #2)

Cazzo (Reed Security Series #3)

Knight (Reed Security Series #4)

Irish (Reed Security Series #5)

Hunter (Reed Security Series #6)

Whiskey (Reed Security Series #7)

Lola (Reed Security Series #8)

Ice (Reed Security Series #9)

Burg (Reed Security Series #10)

Gabe (Reed Security Series #11)

Jules (Reed Security Series #12)

Sniper (Reed Security Series – Book 1 of a 3 Book ARC)

Jackson (Reed Security Series – Book 2 of a 3 Book ARC)

Chance (Reed Security Series – Book 3 of a 3 Book ARC)

Phoenix Rising (Reed Security Series #16)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2SAImCX

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Lecq7e

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2TmbIVK

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2L9s1oD

Author Bio:

I’m a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, “No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book.” I didn’t think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn’t already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven’t been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.

Social Media Links: 

website: https://sites.google.com/view/giulianalagomarsino/home

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17110361.Giulia_Lagomarsino

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/crzybookladyluv

 

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

sapphire flames bannerSapphire Flames

A Hidden Legacy Novel, Book 4

by Ilona Andrews 

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance 

s- about the bookFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrew comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes, powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Harper Collins 

Goodreads: 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41088576-sapphire-flames 

Buy Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Flames-Hidden-Legacy-Novel-ebook/dp/B07G141J8W
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/sapphire-flames/id1444702340
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sapphire-flames-ilona-andrews/1129965255?ean=9780062878335#
Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Ilona_Andrews_Sapphire_Flames?id=DAV8DwAAQBAJ
Harper Collins: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062878342/sapphire-flames

s- about the authorIlona Andrews author photo_266x400“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored several NYT and USAT bestselling series. They are currently working on urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, the paranormal romance of Hidden Legacy, and their independently published series, Innkeeper Chronicles.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads 

Author Links

Website: https://ilona-andrews.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ilona.andrews 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ilona_andrews 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ilona-andrews   

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ilona-Andrews/e/B001RXSCKY 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21748.Ilona_Andrews   

s- giveaway (1)$25 Amazon 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/sapphire-flames-book-tour-and-giveaway

s- excerptSapphireFlames_FinFlt_Art_cmyk_372x600Chapter One

I was swimming through the warm water of the Gulf when someone knocked on the sky. The bright little fishes following me scattered, the crystal-clear water vanished, and I landed on the sand.

The sky above me shuddered. Boom, boom, boom.

The dream tore like wet tissue, and for a disorienting moment, I didn’t know where I was. Slowly the familiar contours of my bedroom came into focus through the gloom. The alarm clock on my nightstand glowed with bright red. 2:07 a.m.

Someone was pounding on my door.

“Catalina!” my sister yelled. “Get up!”

Panic pierced me. I jumped out the bed, sprinted across the bedroom, and flung the door open. “Did the plane go down?”

“What? No!”

I sagged against the door frame in relief. Our older sister, Nevada; her husband; and her mother-in-law were flying to Spain for a funeral. Over the ocean. It caused me no end of anxiety.

“The plane is fine,” Arabella told me.

“Then what is it?”

Arabella’s face was flushed, and her blond hair stuck out from her head in weird directions. She wore an old, stained Sailor Moon T-shirt, and her basketball shorts were on backward.

“Augustine is downstairs.”

“Augustine who? Augustine Montgomery?”

“Yes!”

I snapped out of my relief back to full alert. “Why?” Why in the world would the Head of House Montgomery be downstairs, in the middle of the night?

“He wants to see you. He says it’s an emergency. Hurry up before Mom shoots him.”

She turned around and ran down the stairs leading from my loft suite to the rest of the warehouse we used as our home and place of business.

Augustine was absolutely the last person I expected at two o’clock in the morning. Something terrible had happened.

I looked at myself. I wore an oversized grey T-shirt that came to my knees and said, “I ♥ Sleep.” No time to change. I took the stairs barefoot and followed my sister into a wide hallway. The light in the media room was on, casting a warm electric glow and illuminating the way just enough to see.

The hallway led to a door on the left where a small section of the warehouse was designated as the Baylor Agency’s office. The entire family congregated in front of the door, all except Mom.

Grandma Frida, thin, tan, with a halo of platinum curls, looked worried. Bern, my oldest cousin, resembled a bear awakened halfway through his hibernation—big, muscular, his dark blond hair disheveled, holding a tablet that looked too small for his hands. Next to him, Leon, his younger half brother, and complete opposite leaned on the wall, totally awake. Lean and dark-haired, Leon was a ball of wiry energy. And he still wore the jeans and T-shirt I had seen him in last night. Either he fell asleep in his clothes, or he felt the need to be fully dressed at two o’clock in the morning for some nefarious reason. Leon didn’t have any other kind of reasons.

Ahead of me, Arabella darted up the stairs and into her bedroom and emerged with a huge Texas A&M sweatshirt. She threw it at me. “Boobs.”

Bern woke up enough to roll his eyes.

“Thanks.” I pulled the sweatshirt on, hiding the fact that I wasn’t wearing a bra. “How did Augustine get here?”

At night, access to the warehouse was blocked by concrete barriers. Only one road remained open, guarded by a checkpoint staffed with our security people, who were supposed to prevent exactly this sort of thing from happening. Augustine was ruthless. He could have killed us all in our sleep.

“Did our guards let him in? Did anyone call and say he was coming?”

“Funny thing,” Leon said. “We have this lovely footage.”

Bern turned the tablet toward me. A view from the surveillance camera inside the security booth showed two guards, a Hispanic female in her forties and a white man in his mid-twenties with dark hair. Lopez and Walton. A silver Bentley Bentayga pulled up to the booth. The passenger window of the car rolled down, revealing me.

“Hello, Ms. Baylor,” Walton said.

The fake Catalina nodded.

“Check the log, check the log . . .” Leon sang out.

The log of arrivals and departures lay right there, on the counter. It would show that I was already home.

The guard reached over, his hand passed above the log to the switch attached to the barrier mechanism.

“Epic fail!” Leon announced.

Walton flipped the switch and a heavy metal clang announced the spiked barrier retracting. The window rolled back up and the armored vehicle slid forward and out of view.

I couldn’t even. My ability to even was severely compromised.

Lopez frowned. “When did they get a Bentley?”

The male guard shrugged. “Who knows? Maybe it was a birthday present.”

“Dumbass,” Arabella said.

Augustine Montgomery was an illusion Prime. He could look like anyone, he could sound like anyone, and he could pass both fingerprint and retinal scanners. And he just breezed past our security like it was nothing.

“We’re in trouble,” I said.

“No shit,” Leon said.

“Catalina,” Grandma Frida said, “your mother is in the conference room with that ass and a Desert Eagle. Get in there before she puts a .50 round between his eyes.”

I opened the door, walked into the office hallway, and shut the door behind me. This part of the warehouse with its high-traffic beige carpet, a drop ceiling, and glass walls looked just like any regular workspace. The three offices on my right and the break room with a kitchenette on my left lay shrouded in gloom. Only the conference room, just past the break room, was brightly lit, and the electric light shone through the glass into the hallway.

I took a step and stopped. As of three days ago, when I officially turned twenty-one, I also became the Head of House Baylor. We were a brand-new House, formed only three years ago. Our grace period, a reprieve which shielded us from attacks by other Houses, was about to expire. I had dealt with magical heavy hitters before in the course of our business, but this would be my first interaction with another Prime as the Head of a House. And Augustine was a shark in a four-thousand-dollar suit, a sleek, deadly great white with razor-sharp teeth.

I had to do this right. I couldn’t just barge in there. Emergency or not, I had to act the part.

My stomach fluttered.

Think Prime, Head of the House, Victoria Tremaine’s granddaughter, confident, dangerous, not afraid, woken up in the middle of the night . . . annoyed. Definitely annoyed.

I walked into the conference room with a slightly irritated expression.

Augustine pivoted toward me in his chair. Louis Auchincloss, who wrote novels about polite society and old money, once famously said, “Perfection irritates as well as it attracts, in fiction as in life.” Augustine was deeply irritating.

Being an illusion Prime, Augustine crafted his appearance the way one would paint a masterpiece. His face was beautifully sculpted with defined cheekbones, a square jaw that communicated masculinity without implying brutishness, a straight nose, and a broad forehead. His cheeks were slightly concave, just enough to communicate maturity. A virtuoso barber had turned his blond, nearly platinum hair into a masterpiece. A thin pair of glasses was the only imperfection Augustine allowed himself and it wasn’t enough. There was something ageless and cold about him. He was about as alive as a marble statue.

At the other end of the table, my mother sat watching him like a coiled cobra. Her right hand stayed under the table, most likely touching the Desert Eagle .50, the largest legal caliber for a handgun in the US. It was the closest thing to handheld artillery Mom could conceal under the table. It could send a round through a full refrigerator and kill a person on the other side.

My mother spent almost ten years as a sniper and her magic guaranteed that she didn’t miss. If she killed Augustine, Montgomery International Investigations, the firm Augustine owed, would crush us. If he miraculously survived, he would kill her. As happened often in life, there were no good options. I had to get him out of here.

I made my tone cold and annoyed. “Mr. Montgomery, while you’re always welcome in our home, it’s the middle of the night.”

“I apologize,” he said. “It’s an emergency.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out a phone, and showed it to me.

On the screen, an adolescent boy smiled into the camera. Bright red hair cut short, grey eyes, pale skin, and the smug grin of a teenage boy who has just gotten away with mischief. He looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where I saw him before.

“This is Ragnar,” Augustine said. “He’s fifteen. He has a dog named Tank. He likes detective books and the Sherlock Holmes show. He plays a Ranger in Hero Tournament. Two days ago, his mother and sister died in a fire.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Right now he’s standing on the roof of Memorial Hermann Hospital. He’s thinking of jumping and he’s a Prime, so nobody can get to him. If we don’t hurry, his broken body will be the leading story on the morning news.”

Alarm rolled through me in an electric rush.

“Augustine, you know that’s not what I do. I’ve never pulled someone off a roof before. If I fail, I’ll be responsible for his death . . .”

“But you can do it. It’s within your power.” He looked straight at me. “Your sister asked me for a favor once. I’m now asking you for assistance, one Head of House to another. He has one sister left. Right now, she’s at the hospital praying he doesn’t fall to his death.”

And if I tried and failed, there would be a grief-stricken Prime who could turn all of her agony and rage onto me. This was beyond reckless.

“I don’t know if I can help you. I may make this worse.”

Augustine’s composure cracked, and a human being looked back at me through his eyes. “He’s just a child, Catalina. He already lost so much. He’s in the worst pain of his short life and he has no idea how to contain it. He just wants to stop hurting. Please try.”

I opened my mouth to tell him no and thought of a boy standing on a ledge, all alone in the dark. So desperate and hurt that he was willing to end it in the most painful way possible.

My father had stood on a ledge like that, except his ledge was cancer. We had tried so hard to pull him from it. We fought for every minute. We sold the house and moved here, into the warehouse, to pay for his medical bills. Then we mortgaged our business to Augustine to pay for experimental treatments. My dad had built Baylor Investigative Agency from the ground up. He viewed it as his legacy, a business that would feed and clothe us, and we had used it as collateral to borrow money. It felt like a betrayal, and we hid it from my father, because it would have killed him faster than any cancer. In the end, we only delayed the inevitable by a few months, but it was worth it. I would give anything for one more day with my dad. Anything.

Ragnar was only fifteen years old.

“Yes. I’ll try.”

“Are you sure?” my mother asked.

“Yes.”

“Take Leon with you,” she said.

“No.” If this situation turned ugly, I didn’t want him getting hurt.

“I’ll bring her back safe and sound,” Augustine promised.

My mother gave him her sniper stare. “You do that.”

Augustine’s silver Bentley sped south on Gessner Road. It was after 2:00 a.m. and even the Houston roads lay empty. The chauffer squeezed every drop of speed out of the heavy armored car. Normally, the trip to Memorial Hermann would’ve taken at least fifteen minutes. We would make it in less than half of that.

Augustine rode in the front passenger seat, presenting me with a view of his blond head. I really wanted to reach over and smack it. If someone told me this morning that I would end up in the backseat of Augustine’s car in the middle of the night wearing a sweatshirt over my sleep T-shirt and a pair of sneakers without socks, I would’ve asked them what they were smoking and told them to seek professional help.

I missed my weapons. It made me feel naked.

Augustine was right though. Nevada did owe him a favor.

My father was born into House Tremaine, a small House consisting only of him and my grandmother Victoria. A truthseeker like Nevada, Victoria could wrench information from a person’s mind against their will. My father had no magic and Victoria was a terrible mother, so when he turned eighteen, he had escaped and started a new life under an assumed name. In her search for him, my grandmother had rampaged through the Houses all across the continent. Just mentioning her name made powerful Primes back off.

Three years ago, before we became a House, Victoria came looking for us. Augustine knew Nevada’s identity. He could’ve shared it with my grandmother and benefited from it, but instead, he had allowed Nevada to mess with his mind, so Victoria left empty-handed. I hated debts of any kind. It would be good to get this one over with.

It didn’t change the fact that I had no idea what I was doing.

“How do you know the family?” I asked.

“Ragnar’s sister contacted MII in regard to her mother’s and sister’s deaths. She doesn’t think the fire was an accident.”

“Was it?”

“I’m not at liberty to discuss the details.”

Right. “Did you take the case?”

“She knows our rates.”

“You turned her down. Augustine! She came to you and you turned her down, and now her brother is going to kill himself.”

He looked in the rearview mirror, his expression iced over. “If I’m going to put my people in danger, I have to properly compensate them. I’m not running a charity, Catalina. You of all people should know how much can be at stake when one looks into a Prime’s death.”

Oh, I knew. When a team of hired killers stormed your home, sending tornados of fire and summoning monsters into the slaughter, it tended to leave a lasting impression.

I glanced out the windshield and saw the futuristic crown on top of the Memorial Hermann Tower, outlined with glowing red, white, and blue triangles shining against the ink-black sky from the height of thirty-three floors. Almost there.

“Did you at least tell his sister what to expect if I have to use my magic?”

“I told her the boy would have to be sedated.”

The car pulled into the parking lot. A Hispanic man, his face frantic, ran to the car and swung my door open. A blast of January air hit me. Winter in Houston tended to be mild, but a cold front had come through and the temperature had dropped to below thirty. My bare knees shook.

“Did he jump?” Augustine barked.

“No, sir.”

“Come on.” Augustine jumped out of the car.

I scrambled out of the vehicle. Wind tore at me with icy teeth.

Augustine and I hurried at a near run to the doorway. The glass doors slid open, letting us pass, and the warm air of the hallway bathed me. A group of people waited by the bank of elevators, some in scrubs, others in professional clothes, and all wearing the same panicked expression. They saw us and scurried out of the way, leaving behind a young woman with red hair. She turned. Recognition punched me.

“Runa? Runa Etterson?”

Her tear-stained eyes widened in recognition. “Catalina?”

Three years ago, at Nevada’s wedding, an enemy of House Rogan poisoned the wedding cake. The only reason any of us were alive now, Augustine included, was because Runa purged the toxins before the cake was served. She was a Prime Venenata, a poison mage. She could kill everyone in this room in seconds. And the boy on the roof was her brother. Oh my God.

Augustine strode past me into the open elevator. “Catalina, there is no time.”

I had come this far. Poison mage or no, Ragnar was still a fifteen-year-old boy on the edge of a skyscraper’s roof. If I didn’t try to save him, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

I hurried into the elevator. The doors slid shut. The last thing I saw was Runa looking at me like I was the answer to all her problems.

The elevator hummed, carrying us upward, brightly lit and perfectly normal. I caught my reflection in the mirrored wall. I looked like I had just rolled out of bed. There was a touch of surreal in it all: me in my sweatshirt, standing next to impossibly perfect Augustine in an elevator of mirrors and electric lights and soft music. Maybe I was dreaming.

Runa’s mother and sister were dead. And Augustine must have quoted her an impossible price. I had planned to simply walk away if I managed to get the boy to safety, but this changed everything.

“You didn’t tell me he was Prime Venenata.”

“I told you he wouldn’t let anybody on the roof.”

Dread washed over me. “Did he kill anyone?”

Augustine sighed. “He’s a gentle child. He made them sick enough to turn back, but he didn’t inflict permanent damage.”

“What did he do?”

“Don’t worry. You’ll smell it.”

The numbers in the elevator’s digital display crawled up.

“When the doors open, turn left,” Augustine said. “Go to the door marked exit, and up one flight of stairs. There will be a metal door that will give you access to the roof.”

“That’s a terrible plan,” I told him.

“Ragnar will hesitate to hurt you. If he does, I’ll be there, and I’ll help.”

“If he sees you . . .”

“He won’t see me.”

The elevator doors swung open with a soft chime. I made a left and followed the hallway to the exit door and up the stairs. My hands shook.

The air stank like acid and vomit. A trail of chunky stains marked the steps. I didn’t want to look too closely at it.

The ice-cold metal door handle burned my fingertips. I pushed it and stepped onto the roof. The dark sky unfolded above me, impossibly huge and black, with the crown glowing against it. The frigid wind pierced my body, going straight through me all the way to the bone.

Ragnar stood on the very edge of the roof, a thin figure in faded jeans and a hoodie, balancing on a concrete ledge. He seemed so very small against the night, like an ant on a skyscraper.

He turned and looked at me, his face lit by the neon glow of the crown. I saw certainty and relief in his eyes. He wasn’t relieved to see me. He was relieved because he’d made up his mind and decided to jump. I had no time.

“Tell Runa I’m sorry—”

I hit him with everything I had.

When the Keeper of Records named my magic, he called me siren, which fit me well, because like the sirens of legend, I called people to me and they couldn’t resist. And like ancient sirens, I had wings, beautiful magic wings nobody could see unless I let them. They snapped open behind my back now, as the focused torrent of magic-drenched Ragnar.

He froze. His heels protruded an inch over the ledge. One slip and he would die.

“Ragnar,” I called him, turning his name into a singsong lure.

He licked his lips nervously. “Hi.”

“Hello. I’m Catalina.” Magic stretched from me to him and I wove more and more of it around him with every syllable.

“You’re so pretty,” he said.

“Thank you. It’s cold and dark. Do you think we could go inside?”

He nodded, fascinated.

I held out my hand. “It’s scary up here. Will you hold my hand?”

He moved, stumbled, teetering on the edge, his arms waving . . . My heart jerked, trying to leap out of my chest.

Augustine materialized out of thin air next to Ragnar, grabbed a handful of his hoodie, and yanked him back. Runa’s brother landed on the concrete roof.

Holy crap. My knees almost gave out.

Ragnar righted himself, walked over, took my hand, and offered me a shy smile.

I smiled back. “Let’s go inside.”

We went through the door and down the stairs with Augustine bringing up the rear. I scanned him. Clean. None of my magic had hit him. I had focused all of it in a laser-tight beam on Ragnar. Augustine could turn himself invisible. Nevada would lose her mind when I told her.

We boarded the elevator. Sweat glistened on Augustine’s flawless forehead. He was breathing like he’d run up all thirty-three floors to the roof. Ragnar held my hand very gently as if my fingers were made of glass. It wouldn’t last.

Most magic users had to put some effort into doing magic. I was the opposite. I had to hold mine in. When I was born, a nurse tried to kidnap me. She paid for it with her career. In the years that followed, before I learned to control my power, perfectly normal people did insane things to hold on to me. My elementary teacher attempted to smuggle me out of her classroom and into her car. My classmates tore out chunks of my hair so they could keep a piece of me.

Other kids were encouraged to be cute, to perform for adults. If I smiled, the adults became mesmerized, and if I wanted them to like me, they would love me with obsessive intensity. Their children would cry hysterically when I left the playground.

Right now, Ragnar loved me, madly, beyond all reason. Soon touching me wouldn’t be enough. He would want to hold me, crush me to him, rip out a lock of my hair to smell and taste. He’d want a piece of me to stroke and to bite.

The Keeper might as well have called me Orpheus. Sooner or later those who tasted my magic would want to tear me apart and they would love and worship every precious drop of my blood and shred of my flesh as they killed me. Only my doctor was immune; we didn’t know why. And my family. I didn’t need to magic them. They already loved me.

The elevator stopped. The doors swung open and Runa lunged to hug her brother. Her arms closed around him, breaking Ragnar’s hold on me.

Ragnar screamed as if cut. It was a raw animal sound. His sister let go, stunned, and he dived at me and clamped my hand in his.

A man shouldered his way through the crowd, carrying a small medical case.

“Ragnar,” I called.

He gazed at me with adoration in his eyes. I knew it was temporary, but even so, it made me cringe.

“That gentleman is going to give you a shot. I’m scared of shots. Are you?”

“No.” He shook his head. “No, I’m brave.”

“Will you show me how to be brave, Ragnar?”

He held his arm out, his gaze fixed on me. Runa hugged him. I watched the needle go in. “You’ll feel a little sleepy in a minute. It’s okay to fall asleep.”

“Don’t leave!”

“I won’t leave,” I promised. “I’ll stay here and hold your hand.”

Ragnar’s hold on my hand slipped. He sighed happily, closed his eyes, and sagged in his sister’s arms.

I turned to Augustine. “I need you to transport him back to the warehouse.”

“He needs to be under observation,” Augustine said.

“No, he needs to be back at the warehouse, so I can purge my magic from him. If he wakes up and I’m not here, he may escape and try to find me. And this time, people will die.”

Augustine turned to Runa. “It’s your call.”

I met her gaze. “You know me. You’ve seen what I can do. Please trust me on this.”

“Let’s go,” she said.

The trip home was taking considerably longer. The chauffeur seemed in no hurry, and the Bentley all but crawled up the dark street. Runa’s rented Nissan Rogue had no trouble keeping up. She had insisted on following us with Ragnar in her car.

I sat on the backseat next to Augustine. The adrenaline had worn off, leaving behind a soft fatigue. If I wasn’t in the vehicle of a dangerous Prime, I would have closed my eyes and gone to sleep.

“Well done,” Augustine said.

I didn’t need his approval. “Nevada’s debt to you is paid in full. We’re even.”

“Agreed. Although technically it was a favor to House Etterson.”

“Your dealings with House Etterson are between you and Runa. I’m surprised you cared enough to get involved tonight.”

“I know what it’s like to be responsible for a younger brother.”

Oh. Humanity from Augustine. Unexpected.

Augustine tilted his head. “House Etterson may prove a valuable ally for you, if they survive. They now owe you a favor they can’t refuse. You need allies, Catalina. The reprieve granted to your House is about to expire. People will be coming for you and yours. You’re powerful but inexperienced, and because of your sealed records, you are an unknown. Unfortunately, being an unknown isn’t enough of a deterrent.”

“What are the terms?” I asked.

Augustine raised his eyebrows.

I counted off on my fingers. “You separated me from my family. You’re aware that my older sister and my brother-in-law are out of the country and are unable to advise me at the moment. It’s the middle of the night and I’m tired from expending magic. You’ve complimented me, you’ve mentioned the danger facing my House, and we are driving at barely fifty miles per hour. You have an offer for me. Let’s hear it.”

Augustine cleared his throat. “Good. Skipping extended explanations and hand-holding makes things easier.”

I waited.

“I offer a strategic alliance between House Montgomery and House Baylor. Occasionally, cases which are uniquely suited to the talents of your family cross my desk. I’d like you to handle them. In return, I offer generous financial compensation, access to MII’s resources within the scope of those particular investigations, and the benefits of an association with my House.”

He was offering protection and guaranteed income. More, he offered contacts and data. The MII maintained an extensive network of informants and observers. Very little took place in Houston without Augustine knowing about it. He hoarded sensitive information, holding on to it until someone paid or threatened him. Access to that database was truly priceless.

Augustine was also a master at determining precisely what people needed most. It didn’t take a genius to recognize that our most urgent need was security.

I had to make a decision.

“House Baylor is flattered by your generosity. However, at this time, we must regretfully decline.”

Augustine chewed on it for half a minute.

“Why?”

“You have made a similar offer to Nevada three times. I’m aware that she declined, and I share her reasons for it.”

“Indulge me,” Augustine said.

“Very well. The real value of this partnership for us wouldn’t be in money.” Although we could certainly use it. “It would be in the connections and the elevated profile that comes from working with a Prime clientele. A way for us to enter Prime society and forge relationships and alliances that would anchor our House.”

And of course, the database and access to the MII surveillance agents, who were legendary. We both understood that, so there was no need to mention it.

I kept going. “I want to underscore that I fully understand the value of your offer. However, currently, there is a massive power imbalance between House Montgomery and House Baylor. I have seen how MII operates. If we agree to your proposal, you’ll expect us to abide by your contract, which may require us to compromise our ethics. We’re a family business. All we have is our name and our reputation. We follow only three rules. First, we try not to do anything illegal. Second, once bought, we stay loyal to the client. And third, at the end of the day, we have to be able to look our reflection in the eye. Those are the principles my father laid out for us, they are the rules my older sister followed, and I will follow them as well. If we have an alliance with House Montgomery, we’ll enter this alliance as equals, not as vassals or subcontractors, and we will adhere to our own norms of behavior.”

The silence stretched out between us.

Augustine opened his mouth. “We’re not equals.”

“Exactly. House Montgomery is a behemoth and we’re small and new. As you have said, we may or may not survive. But we must stand on our own. We worked very hard to move out of House Rogan’s shadow and I won’t trade that independence for an easy paycheck.”

Augustine’s face was impassive. “Thank you for your honesty.”

“There may be a time I’ll come to ask for your help,” I told him. “If I do that, I’ll be sure to bring information of equal or greater value.”

The Bentley turned onto our street.

“Then I’ll leave you with this piece of advice,” Augustine said. “It’s free. Do not become involved in the Etterson case. I know exactly what you’re up against, and the price I quoted her was a gift. Sometimes when you search the night, you’ll find monsters in the dark. You’re not ready.”

“I’ll keep it in mind,” I told him.

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AuThursday – Stacy Eaton

my blood runs blue banner

~~~~~~~~~

Stacy Eaton_400x400Please welcome Stacy Eaton to the Clog Blog.  Stacy, can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

Back in October of 2010, I was on duty, driving around and around in circles on a very dark and quiet night shift patrolling. I had grabbed a cup of coffee and was stretching my legs in one of our parks. While I was drinking, I noticed something glowing near the tree line. It looked like eyes peering back at me, but it was too high off the ground to be an animal. For a while, I stared at it, and the hair rose on my neck.

I glanced around to make sure there was no one else around and then when I looked back, it was gone. Needless to say, I got in my vehicle and left a little unnerved. As I drove, my bored imagination wondered if it had been a vampire and if it was. If I was in danger from something, would it protect me or kill me.

The next day I was off, I sat down and wrote 4 chapters using this original concept. When I told my husband that I was writing a book, he laughed. When I handed him the chapters I’d written, he was surprised. When I published my first book, he was amazed and remains that way with over forty books published now. 

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Intense – Quiet – humble – Visionary – loyal 

What is your favorite part of this series and why?

It’s hard to pick my favorite part of the series, but I love the world that I created for these characters. Writing paranormal is different than writing contemporary or even suspense. In paranormal anything can happen, and I think that is what I like best in this series. I have tried to keep it somewhat possible, but at the same times, adding in elements that aren’t typically earthbound. 

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Well, Officer Kristin Greene was based on me. She’s intense, loyal, committed to her job. She holds integrity to its highest level, and when she loves, she loves hard. It was easy to write her because I put myself in her shoes almost every moment of the writing process. What would I think or do in the same situation? How would I feel? One of the biggest things that Kristin is known for is not having control taken away from her. Yep, that’s me. I’m totally a control freak! 

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Many of the characters in the My Blood Runs Blue Series are based off people that I worked with. Kristin, of course, was me. Olivia is one of my best friends in real life. Kat and Izzy are also friends. Mick was my old partner, and Cole, Tom, and Chief Henderson were people I worked with. Most of the men that Kristin deals with (Chief Henderson, Trent, and Alex) are fictional characters, although Julian is someone from my past that I will never forget. 

Do you see writing as a career?

It is my career. Three years ago, I suffered my second major concussion in ten years. It left me with a few issues, one a memory issue. I have trouble remembering some things and have some holes in my memory from the injury. I tried to go back but realized that I was a safety hazard. Cops are adrenaline junkies, and anytime my adrenaline spiked, my brain wanted to shut down. 

So I decided to put my efforts into writing. While I still have issues, like headaches and fatigue, I keep a lot of notes on what I’m working on, and I’m content. I’m also a Pampered Chef consultant and that gives me a social outlet since I spend so much of my time in my own fictional part of my mind. 

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

What is silence? Hahaha – I need music, always. I have different music for what I’m working on. With this series, I listened to Evanescence and Within Temptation a lot. It’s dark, edgy and it fit with the plot I was working on. Each series has a different music playlist and I use that to get into my mind frame as I write. 

One thing that I do prefer is to be alone. It’s harder to focus on what I’m doing when my daughter or husband are home. So I tend to write hard during the day when they are gone and do other business when they are home. 

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

This is where the control freak in me comes out. I write what I want. I write what I need to in order to let the creative side come out. Yeah, I want to hear what my readers want, but I write from the heart and soul. I believe in writing real-life. People die, they grieve, they fall in love, and they break up. While we all want happily ever after, they are not always possible, and I tend to write that way. 

So far, my readers have loved my books, so why change that when it’s working. Right?
How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I write really fast. I have written a 56,000-word book in 4 days – this was a crazy exception to my rule. When I am working intensely on a book, my goal is 4-6,000 words a day.

Mixing the Blue Blood was partially written a few years ago, but I stepped away from it because I wasn’t happy with the story. Now, years later, after tons of readers have reached out and asked about the next book, I finally dusted it off and got back to work. I wrote the last 45,000 words in six days. 

When I am writing, and seriously into my book, I become possessed with the story. The characters take over. I write as much each day as my brain and my hands will allow. 

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

1- My Blood Runs Blue_400x600.jpg

 

 

“Julian, if you want someone else to go after him, I can send Gabe—” he started to say.

“No, Alexander, I can do this alone. I want him. I need to finish this myself,” I was quick to reply.

“You’re taking this personally, Jules.” He put his hand up to stop me when I would have interrupted. “You know it is better to not have a personal attachment to your assignment. I have allowed you to stay on this case because I know how good you are and how focused you can be. I also figure that maybe your close attachment to him might help you find him, to allow us to finally grieve and move on.” He looked down at his desk, knowing he had made a mistake in his words as he fingered the expensive pen in his hand.

I caught the “us” in there. Yeah, you loved her, too. But she chose me.

I couldn’t repress the sigh as I looked down at the beautifully hand-sewn Oriental rug at my feet, not really seeing it, but noticing its bright reds and blues, the same colors that were swirling around in my mind. Red for hatred and blue for the loss I had suffered. I was taking it personally, I knew that, but I would not allow any other warrior to find Damon and take him to the other world. This would be my vengeance, and mine alone.

I looked back up at him with that heated emotion stark in my expression as he continued.

He tried to redeem his words, and I almost laughed. “We cannot allow Damon to keep up with this behavior. Killing our females and children is not what we are about. If he continues, our race will end.”

“Master, I know it is not. I will be fine; I can distance myself from the attachment. You, of all people, know that.” I said calmly.

“Fine, so be it, but Gabriel is going with you this time,” he said, with a flick of his hand.

“You don’t need to send a babysitter with me, Alexander,” I retorted, as anger bubbled under my skin.

He regarded me with a quick tight-lipped expression which told me he was about to lose his cool. “It is not to watch over you, Julian. It is to assist you.

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Saturday Sale Spotlight – Blue Moon Series by Lucy Score

Series Title: Blue Moon series books #1 – #6

Author: Lucy Score

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/177325-blue-moon

Blurb: 

Small-town, spicy romantic comedies with nosy, matchmaking neighbors.

Binge read the complete Blue Moon series for $0.99 each or free in KindleUnlimited.

No_More_Secrets_600x900 No More Secrets, Book #1:

Opposites attract. Veteran turned bearded, vegetarian farmer meets an independent big-city journalist with an agenda and a secret. Goat attack. Farm life. Family full of attractive, single men. The worst daycare field trip ever.

Buy Links/Goodreads:

No More Secrets: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon Book 1)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MXNWG8Q

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36266789

 

Fall Into Temptation, Book #2:Fall_Into_Temptation_600x900

Neighbors too close for comfort. Single mom of hilarious kids. Most eligible bachelor landlord/attorney/mayor. Opposites combust. Complicated family. Hot yoga. Makeovers with a five-year-old. Sticky situations with an ex-husband.

Buy Links/Goodreads:

Fall into Temptation: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon Book 2)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MXJW894

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36266811

 

 

The_Last_Second_Chance_600x900The Last Second Chance, Book #3:

Enemies to lovers. Second chance. Grumpy tomboy with a baking fetish. Ex-lover returns to town and refuses to play fair. Horses. Most epic pet rescue ever. Farm life. Family business. The closet of truth.

Buy Links/Goodreads:

The Last Second Chance: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon Book 3)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MXNSG1R

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36266818

 

Not Part of the Plan, Book #4:Not_Part_of_the_Plan_600x900

New in town. Mid-life crisis. Friends to lovers. Opposites attract. Friend zoned. Organized, by-the-book heroine who doesn’t like making mistakes. Ladies man photographer looking to find his mojo. Swoon-worthy grand gesture. Marshmallow Munchies.

Buy Links/Goodreads:

Not Part of the Plan: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon Book 4)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y695J64

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34838660

 

 

Holding_On_To_Chaos_600x900Holding on to Chaos, Book #5:

Secret romance novelist. Sexy sheriff. Lust at first sight. Accidental flashings. A funny fire. A whole town of people who lost their damn minds. Say no to perms. First date fails. Family secrets. The best town meeting ever. A marching band standoff.

Buy Links/Goodreads:

Holding on to Chaos: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon Book 5)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075T645QL

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36228658

 

 

The Fine Art of Faking It, Book #6:The_Fine_Art_of_Faking_It_600x900

Enemies to lovers. Fake relationship. Feuding neighbors. Stink bombing gone wrong. Hippie parents. Old high school drama. Second chance at a first time. Doofy dogs with no loyalty. A rambling bed and breakfast. A fancy organic winery.

Buy Links/Goodreads:

The Fine Art of Faking It: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon Book 6)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FD4MHTG

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40690450

 

Series Buy Links (99 cents / Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LMoixO

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Kc69X6

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2K2Iz05

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2LMHb3P

blue moon ad 1 (1)Lucy Score bio:

Lucy Score is a Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author. Small town contemporary rom-coms are her lady jam and she enjoys delivering the feels with a huge side of happily ever after. 

Her books have been translated into several languages, making readers around the world snort-laugh, swoon, and sob. Lucy lives in Pennsylvania with the devastatingly handsome Mr. Lucy and their horrible cat.

In her spare time, she enjoys sleeping, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and reading all the romance novels in the universe.

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/lucyscorewrites/

https://www.instagram.com/scorelucy/

https://twitter.com/LucyScore1

https://www.lucyscore.net/

Saturday Spotlight – Sexing up the Spy

Book Boutiques has re-released my Caulfield Cowboys Series.   Sexing up the Spy was the prequel that started it all.   

Title:  Sexing Up the Spy

Series:  Caulfield Cowboys Prequel

Author:  Tina Holland

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Release Date:  April 2, 2019

Blurb:

Lexi Andrews keeps her erotic writing a secret but she’ll gladly risk exposure for the chance to work with “Killer” spy creator Jake Stone. While Jake is hesitant to work with anyone, he’ll meet Lexi to appease his female fans. They hatch a plan to rehearse the love scenes and give Jake’s novel realism.

But what starts out as an experiment soon takes on a life of its own. Jake’s deadline doesn’t seem as pressing as Lexi’s lovely body. Can Jake and Lexi keep their hands off each other long enough to “Sex up the Spy”?

sexingupthespyExcerpt:

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

DING-DONG! DING-DONG!

“Lexi, are you in there!”

A muffled voice came through her dreams. Lexi’s head screamed and she was damn uncomfortable, “Go away,” Who was at the door this late? Sounded like Jake, “Jake, come back tomorrow!” She shouted back. Lexi rolled over. The sun blinded her.

Oh, crap! Sunlight!

She shot up like a springboard.

“I’ll be right there!” She fell to the floor with a loud thud trying to run to the door.

While she slept, Lexi’s usual thrashing tangled her up in the afghan.

“Are you okay?” Jake called from the other side.

“Fine.” She started to pull the afghan off her feet, but the knots were stuck through

her fishnets. Great, just great. She managed to raise herself up and shuffle to the door

like a penguin. She threw the door open, but the action propelled her forward. Lexi lost

her balance and collapsed once again.

*

Jake looked down at Lexi sprawled on the floor, “Are you alright?” he lowered himself to help Lexi get to her feet.

“Sorry, I’m all tangled. The knots of the afghan got caught up in my fishnets.”

“Why are you still wearing last night’s clothes?”

Lexi turned red, “I wanted to get some cleaning done before you came over. Guess I fell asleep.” She teetered forward while motioning her hand around the house.

Jake caught her along her back and under her knees, lifting her against his chest. “Where do you want to go?”

“The bedroom.”

“Lexi, I do love your line of thought.” He winked at her.

“I need to shower and change, of course,” she hit his chest playfully, “Go that way,” Lexi pointed to the opposite wall. Jake started in the direction, “Turn right.”

Jake took in the surroundings of the room, soft green walls, dark brown wood furniture, and sheer off-white curtains. It suited Lexi and more to the point, him. He could seduce her in this room. At least it wasn’t pink with stuffed animals everywhere. He shuddered remembering his first time with his high-school sweetheart, Fran Something. Jake never was good at names.

“Do you need anything else?” Jake asked with anticipation, depositing Lexi on the bed.

“I don’t think so.”

“Alright, I’ll go wait in the living room.”

“Okay.”

Jake no sooner closed the door than a loud THUMP came from the other side of it,

“Are you okay?” he peeked back into Lexi’s bedroom.

Lexi was face-first on the floor trying to get back up. She looked like a bright caterpillar inching its way along the wooden floor. “It seems I need help taking off these stockings,” she said, without even looking up.

Jake smiled wide. “My pleasure.” He helped Lexi back up onto the bed and looked into her sea-green eyes. She seemed to stare at him mesmerized, mouth agape. Lexi darted her pink tongue out to lick her lips. Jake let out a guttural exhale.

“The afghan,” she spoke at last.

“Of course.” Jake looked down at her black stockings and wondered how to accomplish the task at hand without seducing Lexi. Why not seduce her? It was good practice, and really, what was the worst that could happen? She might say ‘no’. Jake could live with a ‘no’. He wondered if he would regret not touching her.

Buy Links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Sexing-Up-Spy-Prequel-Caulfield-ebook/dp/B07NRWFW33

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1131032063

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sexing-up-the-spy-1

 

Saturday Spotlight – Pestilence by Natalie Bennett

Pestilence BannerTitle: Pestilence 

Series: Perilous Gods #1

Author: Natalie Bennett

Genre: Dark Romance

Release: July 11, 2019

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/PerilousGods1

Pestilence Ebook (2)Blurb:

Their worst mistake was always thinking they knew what I was.

A woman with more riches than she could ever spend. 

A pretty doll for them to play with.

A pampered princess searching for her prince.

I wore every one of those faces with effortless grace.

They saw me as a gentle lamb, but I’d always been a savage wolf. 

I am Kalila Pestilence, the virulent heroine of this story. 

And unbeknownst to Jericho Thanatos, I’m coming for his empire. 

I intend to shred it apart with a smile on my face, lurking in the one place he least expects a threat to be.

Underneath him.

In our world, though, I should know to always expect the unexpected.

In this instance, it’s the devastation that plagues everything, and everyone, around us as we engage in a game of predator and prey.

*Pestilence is book 1 in the Perilous Gods series. This is a dark enemies to lovers with a devilish crime lord, and an epically twisted heroine.*

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/2G0us90

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2G3QLKW

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Jxzgng

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2LH0hY8

Author Bio:

Natalie Bennett is the creator of erotic stories that always come with a warning label. She writes about depraved alpha a**holes and women that love to hate them. Her books don’t follow any specific tropes, have no set word counts, and tend to deviate from traditional HEA’s.

When she isn’t in front of her computer she’s spending time with her husband and their three little boys.

Natalie is an avid fan of caramel frappes, horror movies, Shameless, and of course, reading.

You can find Natalie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Social Media Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7447968.Natalie_Bennett

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nataliebennettwriter

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AuthorNbennett

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/authornataliebennett/

Website: https://www.nataliebennett.net

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01G8Z4IF8

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cAAY4v