Chapter Reveal – Cougar From Hell by Marika Ray

Title: Cougar From Hell
Series: Hellman Brothers Series
Author: Marika Ray
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Small Town Romance
Release Date: January 12, 2023
Cover Design: Jennifer Olson


Daxon gently pulling my hand away from my face was what woke me up. I let out a soft groan that had absolutely nothing to do with the pain radiating from my forehead and everything to do with the beast of a man sitting right beside me, taking care of me like he was my personal nursemaid instead of the biggest irritant in my life at the moment. Sadly, he’d put a fresh shirt on at some point while I slept.

“Please tell me you haven’t been sitting there watching me sleep like some creep,” I croaked. Man, he hadn’t been kidding about the adrenaline crash.

Daxon snorted and let go of my hand, more’s the pity. “No, of course not. But you were snoring so loudly you interrupted my work. Figured I’d wake you up and make you lunch. Anything to stop that incessant racket.”

I shoved myself up to sitting, ignoring the way that made my head pulse painfully. “I don’t snore. Just admit you have a protective streak a mile wide.”

The side of Daxon’s mouth threatened to pull up into a smile. “I do not.”

While he was in such a good mood—normally he’d be crossing his arms over his massive chest and snapping at me by now—I wanted to address the thing that had been bothering me.

“Daxon, I have to clear up something.”

He stilled, his expression instantly guarded. “You hate that ridiculous G-wagon too?”

I slapped his arm, mostly just to have a reason to touch him. “No! I love that car.”

He looked on the verge of smiling again, which might have been a record for almost-smiles in a conversation with him. “I always thought you had much better taste.”

“My late husband and I had a business arrangement.”

Welp, that wasn’t how I meant to address things, just blurting it out like that.

Daxon blinked, his jaw hardening. Clearly he didn’t want to discuss this, but I had to get it all out. I couldn’t have him believing that I’d cheated on my husband. That Daxon was just a convenient male. Like I did that sort of thing all the time. Like what happened between us meant nothing to me.

“We were never in love. We married as a business deal, agreeing that it would be an open marriage. He was always discreet and respectful about it, which I appreciated, especially after Ruby was born. We became friends, building a life together, but also separately. The night I slept with you was the day after he went into hospice care and we knew it was just a matter of time before he was gone. My world was being flipped upside down and I just needed to feel something other than lost.”

Daxon sat there staring at me, his face devoid of any emotion. I could feel waves of tension pouring off his body. I wanted to explain more while also snatching back every word I’d already said. This didn’t appear to be helping things between us. By being truthful, I’d somehow made things worse.

“We didn’t sleep together.”

I…was not expecting that response. “No? I could have sworn we did.”

“We fucked, kitten. There’s a big difference,” Daxon growled. 

He stood abruptly, the movement of the couch cushions jarring my head. I swung my legs off the couch and tried to stand too. The room got fuzzy around the edges and I sagged backward.

With a bit-back curse, Daxon grabbed my arms and guided me back to sitting. He followed, settling next to me on the couch with at least a foot of space between us.

“For fuck’s sake. Take it slow. You know what, let’s take you to urgent care. You probably have a concussion.”

I waited until the black dots faded from my vision. “I don’t have a concussion. Callan already ran me through some tests for that and said I was all clear.”

Daxon frowned harder. “He could be wrong.”

I huffed. This man was infuriating. One minute he’s sweet and protective. The next he’s growling at me, demeaning that night two years ago. The same one that had stayed with me through the hard months that followed.

“I just haven’t eaten anything yet. My bagel is back in the car at the base of my driveway.”

More curses flowed as he stood again. “Stay there.”

I rolled my eyes. He sure loved barking orders. But he still didn’t get what I was trying to say. Maybe I didn’t even know what I was trying to say.

“I’ve only slept with two people in my whole life, so I’m sorry if I use the wrong terms.” Apparently I’d become a blurter. The blurtiest of blurters.

Daxon froze. Every single muscle the man possessed—and good gravy did Mother Nature gift him with so much of it—locked tight. I lifted my hand to pull him back, but left it there hovering in the air between us. For half a second I had the fanciful thought that if I touched him, he’d surely break.

He spun around finally, ignoring my hand in the air. His eyes were snapping, devouring my face. “You what?”

Oh, so now he wanted to have this conversation.

I pulled my hand back in my lap so quickly it sounded like I clapped for his ridiculously short question. “I slept with Anthony once. It was not long after we got married. We both thought we’d try it out and see if there was any chemistry there.” I grimaced. “There was not. We went back to being friends immediately, putting that little experiment behind us. And then…then there was you.”

Daxon scrubbed both his hands over his face. I wanted to reach up and smooth the dark slashes of eyebrows back down. Why did he have to look like a male model posing as a lumberjack? It was an unfair advantage when a woman was trying to think around him.

“I don’t understand any of this. You’ve had two one-night stands in your whole life? You were married, but kind of not really?”

I wobbled my head back and forth. That was about right. Crazy and crazier. That had been my life, which was why I’d sought out a small town I could sink into with Ruby. A place I could be normal for once. “Will you sit down for a second and just let me explain?”

He sighed and moved to sit back down.

“And not bark one-word questions at me?”

“I don’t do that.”

“Yes, you do.”

“No, I— You know what? I’m just going to sit here and let you talk. How about that?” Daxon leaned sideways against the armrest, about as far away from me as he could get and still be on the same piece of furniture.

“Thank you,” I said with no small measure of sarcasm. “I know our marriage wasn’t conventional, but it worked for us. I was a small-town girl with absolutely no money but a stubborn insistence that I’d make it in a big city. Anthony needed someone to go to awards shows with and business dinners. Our pairing made more sense than most Hollywood marriages. He was my friend, and I grieved when he died.”

I hadn’t meant for my voice to shake when I got to that last part, but I hadn’t been able to talk about Anthony’s death. I’d tried to be there for Ruby, but no one had been there for me.

Daxon reached across the couch cushions and grabbed my hands where they’d been twisting the blanket. His hand was warm, fully enveloping both of mine. He gave me a squeeze and held on.

“I’m sorry,” he finally said, his voice scraping across the inches that separated us. “Thank you for explaining. I, uh, have a bit of a hang-up about married women.”

I tried not to smile too hard. “I could tell. You looked ready to find your nail gun and nail my toes to the foundation.”

“Definitely wanted to nail you…”

My gaze shot over to his. “Are you flirting with me, Daxon?”

“I’m hurt it was subtle enough you had to ask.” His lips were doing that thing again. What would it take to make the man smile fully?

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

Daxon winced. “Ouch. That’s even worse. The pity excuse.”

I talked around the giggle. “No, it’s true. I’ve slept with two men, had one orgasm, and somehow mother a preteen with more attitude than me. I wouldn’t recognize flirting if the dick pic slapped me in the face.”

Daxon huffed what could have been the start of a laugh. “First of all, a dick pic is not part of flirting. And secondly, one orgasm? I’ll be forever wounded if you say that one wasn’t from me.”

Was it getting hot in here? Or maybe it was the low blood sugar combined with the blow to the head making me woozy. “It was definitely you.”

“Of course it was,” he said smugly.

I tried to pull my hands out from under his. “Jeez, ego much, Daxon?”

He held on tighter, somehow inching closer to me on the couch. “Not ego. Confidence. Maybe you need a refresher?” 

He was so close I could pick up on the soap he used and the smell of wood. That combination would forever make my stomach swoop. And not because I was hungry. “Daxon!”

He shrugged, his thumb sweeping out a rhythm against the back of my hand. I could feel that touch everywhere. I really was pathetic, finding a simple thumb touch a source of pleasure.

“Would it be so bad? At least you wouldn’t be married this time.”

I was shaking my head before I’d even catalogued all the ways that would be a very bad move to make. Without even putting sex on the table, I was overwhelmed by this man. I could barely be around him without tripping, or putting my foot in my mouth, or having to come home and seek out my trusty vibrator. One drunken encounter in a dirty bathroom had made me obsessed with him for months. Sober, intentional sex might break me.

“Absolutely not. No. Nuh-uh.”

Daxon smiled then, the kind of slow smile you feel across your skin. Like the sun rising over the mountains and heating up your whole body inch by inch. “So what you’re saying is you’ll think about it?”

“No!” I shook my head so hard it started being a heartbeat again along my cut. “That’s not at all what I’m saying!”

Good God, the man could smile. I could be ruined by that smile.

Daxon squeezed my hands one last time and let go, getting to his feet. “Let’s go make some lunch and then we need to get Ruby from school.”

I stood, taking slow deep breaths this time so I didn’t pass out. “I can get her on my own. I just need you to drop me off at my car.”

Daxon led the way to his tiny kitchen. “Can’t.”

I sighed, trying to keep myself from eyeing his backside. He had a really lovely backside. “There you go with the one-word answers again.”

He stopped at the refrigerator and pulled it open to peer inside. “Can’t take you to your car because it’s already been towed to the shop. I texted Clyde while you were sleeping, in case you were worried all I did was watch you sleep.”

Well, shit. There he went again, doing something nice. “I assume Clyde is a tow truck driver and not a car thief?”

Daxon shot me a deadpan glare. 

“In that case, thank you. Maybe you could drop me off at a car rental place so I can get a loaner?”

“Can’t.”

I threw my hands out to the side. “For fuck’s sake, Daxon!”

And that’s when I heard it.

A real live laugh from Daxon Hellman.

And it was everything I’d hoped it would be and more.






I have my fresh start in a new town, this time a widow with a preteen daughter who rolls her eyes enough to make them stay that way. Too bad my past mistake is also here to greet me.

Daxon Hellman. Town a-hole. Hot young contractor hired to build my house in the woods.

It’s only when I’m face-to-face with him for the first time that I realize he’s the mystery man from two years ago. It’s a long story of too many drinks, grief that made me resort to acting out, and an encounter in the dirty bathroom of a bar. Try as I might, I can’t forget that night. And now I have a name to go with that hot body.

Daxon growls at me…I irritate him with my constant social media posting. He orders me to do things…I trample all over his ridiculous commands with a smile and a choice finger in the air. He builds my house with that tool belt slung low on his hips and my cat steals his construction plans. We fit together like rain and exposed drywall.

Between insults and hot stolen kisses, Daxon and I reach a truce: to let our bodies do the talking and keep our hearts locked down. I’m older than him, which means I’m smart enough to keep a clear head. Until I realize when it comes to love, age and common sense do not go hand in hand.

This crazy town has more surprises up its sleeve to drive us apart, which makes me think this might not be our forever home after all…




 


Marika Ray is a USA Today bestselling author of steamy and sweet RomComs, spending her time behind a computer crafting stories, walking any beach she can find, and making healthy food for her kids and husband whether they like it or not. Prior to writing novels, Marika held various jobs in the finance industry, with private start-up companies, and then in health & fitness. Cats may have nine lives, but Marika believes everyone should have nine careers to keep things spicy. All her books come with a money-back guarantee that you’ll smile at least once with every book.

More information can be found at www.marikaray.com



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Cover Reveal

Title: Cougar From Hell
Series: Hellman Brothers Series
Author: Marika Ray
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Small Town Romance
Release Date: January 12, 2023
Cover Design: Jennifer Olson



I have my fresh start in a new town, this time a widow with a preteen daughter who rolls her eyes enough to make them stay that way. Too bad my past mistake is also here to greet me.

Daxon Hellman. Town a-hole. Hot young contractor hired to build my house in the woods.

It’s only when I’m face-to-face with him for the first time that I realize he’s the mystery man from two years ago. It’s a long story of too many drinks, grief that made me resort to acting out, and an encounter in the dirty bathroom of a bar. Try as I might, I can’t forget that night. And now I have a name to go with that hot body.

Daxon growls at me…I irritate him with my constant social media posting. He orders me to do things…I trample all over his ridiculous commands with a smile and a choice finger in the air. He builds my house with that tool belt slung low on his hips and my cat steals his construction plans. We fit together like rain and exposed drywall.

Between insults and hot stolen kisses, Daxon and I reach a truce: to let our bodies do the talking and keep our hearts locked down. I’m older than him, which means I’m smart enough to keep a clear head. Until I realize when it comes to love, age and common sense do not go hand in hand.

This crazy town has more surprises up its sleeve to drive us apart, which makes me think this might not be our forever home after all…







 


Marika Ray is a USA Today bestselling author of steamy and sweet RomComs, spending her time behind a computer crafting stories, walking any beach she can find, and making healthy food for her kids and husband whether they like it or not. Prior to writing novels, Marika held various jobs in the finance industry, with private start-up companies, and then in health & fitness. Cats may have nine lives, but Marika believes everyone should have nine careers to keep things spicy. All her books come with a money-back guarantee that you’ll smile at least once with every book.

More information can be found at www.marikaray.com



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Teaser Tuesday – Cougar From Hell by Marika Ray

o Kindle Unlimited on January 12th!
Add to your Goodreads TBR: https://bit.ly/3Gdb0Wk
💞 Ten-year age gap with an explosive mee-cute💞 Hero is the town a-hole, hired to build the heroine her dream cabin💞 Heroine is widowed and now a single mom, looking for peace, not love, and certainly not a fling💞 small town RomCom hilarity

𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘢 𝘸𝘪𝘥𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘥𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘴 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘺. 𝘛𝘰𝘰 𝘣𝘢𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘦.

Daxon Hellman. Town a-hole. Hot young contractor hired to build my house in the woods.It’s only when I’m face-to-face with him for the first time that I realize he’s the mystery man from two years ago. It’s a long story of too many drinks, grief that made me resort to acting out, and an encounter in the dirty bathroom of a bar. Try as I might, I can’t forget that night. And now I have a name to go with that hot body.

Daxon growls at me…I irritate him with my constant social media posting. He orders me to do things…I trample all over his ridiculous commands with a smile and a choice finger in the air. He builds my house with that tool belt slung low on his hips and my cat steals his construction plans. We fit together like rain and exposed drywall.

Between insults and hot stolen kisses, Daxon and I reach a truce: to let our bodies do the talking and keep our hearts locked down. I’m older than him, which means I’m smart enough to keep a clear head. Until I realize when it comes to love, age and common sense do not go hand in hand. This crazy town has more surprises up its sleeve to drive us apart, which makes me think this might not be our forever home after all…

“𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝘿𝙖𝙭𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙍𝙞𝙩𝙖 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙨𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙘.”
#CougarFromHellMarikaRay #CougarFromHellTeaserBlast #TeaserTuesday #ComingSoon #JanuaryRelease #AgeGap #RomCom #SmallTown #MarikaRayAuthor #MustRead #TBR #EnticingJourney
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AuThursday – T.J. Fier

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Tiffany Fier, but I write under T.J. Fier. By day I’m an associate professor of set design at NDSU, and I write when I can around my hectic professorial schedule. I have several short stories in several anthologies, and my debut novel has recently been released: THE BRIGHT ONE.

What does your writing process look like?

Each project is a little different. Sometimes I put together a detailed outline primarily to get to know my characters better. Other times I pants my way through a story. Or, especially with short stories, I’ll give myself a few guiding notes and plot points and work the story around those ideas.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Depends on the project and the task at hand. Sometimes it’s incredibly energizing, and sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes the story pours out, and sometimes you need to drag it out by its ears.

 What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?

I oscillate between contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, and horror. There is a dark undercurrent to most of my writing. It’s just how I’m wired. However, I often try to throw in a touch of irreverence to my stories or a bit of humor to keep the mood from sinking too deep.

What are your current projects?

BisMan Wr (1)Too many! My debut novel, The Bright One was recently released by my publisher Three Little Sisters. It’s a contemporary sci-fi/fantasy adventure with a surly unicorn named Una. I have a short story in a recently-released anthology, Seasons in the Dark, from Bisman Writers Guild. I’m reviewing edits on another short story for the second Moorhead Friends Writing Group anthology. I’m sharing the sequel to The Bright One with some of my writing group AND another story of mine is in the beta-reading phase of review.

How do you relax?

I read, hang out with furry friends, and curl up on the couch with one of my favorite “comfort shows.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

You get better the more you write. Also, having a critique partner or a writing group has been vital to my progression as a writer. Surround yourself with a support system. It takes lots of time, patience, and hard work to have success with writing.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Check out my linktree:

https://linktr.ee/tjfier

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

From the end of Chapter One of The Bright One:

“Holy crap.” 

The beast flicked a lion-like tail with a cascading plume of white hair. Long enough so strands brushed the floor. The hair shimmered fine as silk threads and light refracted off flaxen curls. A radiant blue eyes stared back at her with a mixture of fear and defiance.

Alexa’s head seemed to disconnect from her body, unable to process what stood before her. She refused to accept the creature and backed away, heart racing beneath her trembling fingers.

The smeared light couldn’t manipulate the shape she had seen, nor could it change the animal in anything but what stood before her.

It was a unicorn.

A real, live unicorn.

Teaser Tuesday – Alpha Mike Foxtrot by Giulia Lagomarsino

~ ✰ ~ 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗘𝗥 𝗧𝗨𝗘𝗦𝗗𝗔𝗬 ~ ✰ ~Alpha Mike Foxtrot: an OPS Protector Romance Novel Book 5 by Giulia Lagomarsino is releasing 12.26

𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗢𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 ➜ https://mybook.to/AlphaMikeFoxtrot
𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙢𝙚 𝙘𝙧𝙖𝙯𝙮, 𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙡—𝙥𝙨𝙮𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙘.I’m all those things and more. The darkness calls to me, sending me spiraling out of control. But one woman calms me, bringing me back from the edge when I’m about to lose it. She’s my savior in every way possible.𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙤𝙚𝙨𝙣’𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙄 𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙨𝙩. 𝙔𝙚𝙩.I see the way she struggles, trying to maintain her sanity. I won’t let her go down the same path as my mother. She won’t be another statistic. There’s only one thing for me to do—take her.𝙄𝙩’𝙨 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙠𝙞𝙙𝙣𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣. She didn’t believe me when I said that. But I’m not worried about it. She’ll soon find out there are worse things than being hitched to my wagon. I’ll cherish the ground she walks on for the rest of my life, whether she’s in it or not.𝙎𝙝𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙢𝙮 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙮, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙄 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧.I’m not naive. Just because I want Anna doesn’t mean I can have her. I am not a good man, but I am the man for her. I will protect her with my life, slaughter anyone that tries to take her from me. And when an enemy threat looms, I’ll remove them just like any other baddie.𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙋𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙤𝙢 𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙚.
𝗔𝗱𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗧𝗕𝗥 ➜ https://bit.ly/3OZ5dpW𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗯𝘂𝗯 ➜ https://bit.ly/3um5utt
🔥 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗥𝗧 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗦𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗘𝗦 𝗧𝗢𝗗𝗔𝗬 – 𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗗𝗟𝗘 𝗨𝗡𝗟𝗜𝗠𝗜𝗧𝗘𝗗In the Trenches ➜ http://getbook.at/OPS-InTheTrenchesNuclear Option ➜ http://getbook.at/OPS-NuclearOptionCharlie Foxtrot ➜ http://viewbook.at/OPS-CharFoxtrotPop Smoke ➜ http://viewbook.at/OPS-PopSmoke
#alphamikefoxtrotteaserblast#teasertuesday#alphamikefoxtrotgiulialagomarsino#giulialagomarsinoauthor#owensprotectiveservices#comingsoon#decemberrelease#protectorromance#mustread#amazonpreorder#enticingjourney
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Cover Reveal – Alpha Mike Foxtrot by Giulia Lagomarsino

Title: Alpha Mike Foxtrot
Series: OPS Protector Romance Book 5
Author: Giulia Lagomarsino
Genre: Alpha/Protector Romance
Release Date: December 26, 2022
Cover Design: T.E. Black Designs
Photographer: Reggie Deanching – R+M Photo
Cover Model: Vince



They call me crazy, lethal—psychotic.
I’m all those things and more.
The darkness calls to me, sending me spiraling out of control.
But one woman calms me, bringing me back from the edge when I’m about to lose it.
She’s my savior in every way possible.

But she doesn’t even know I exist. Yet.

I see the way she struggles, trying to maintain her sanity.
I won’t let her go down the same path as my mother.
She won’t be another statistic.
There’s only one thing for me to do—take her.

It’s not kidnapping if you know the person.

She didn’t believe me when I said that.
But I’m not worried about it. She’ll soon find out there are worse things than being hitched to my wagon.
I’ll cherish the ground she walks on for the rest of my life, whether she’s in it or not.

She is my priority, the only reason I continue to live when the darkness takes over.

I’m not naive. Just because I want Anna doesn’t mean I can have her.
I am not a good man, but I am the man for her. I will protect her with my life, slaughter anyone that tries to take her from me.
And when an enemy threat looms, I’ll remove them just like any other baddie.

There is no surviving when The Phantom is calling to me.








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.



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New Release – Seasons in the Dark Anthology

My short story “Chill of the Reaper” will be in the BisMan Writers Guild’s Seasons in the Dark Anthology.   This is my second short story in an Anthology, but my first with The BisMan Writers Guild.   Here’s some more information.

BisMan Wr (1)Title: Chill of the Reaper part of the “Seasons in the Dark” Anthology 

Author: Tina Holland

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date:  December 1, 2022 

Publisher: BisMan Writers Guild

Blurb:

Daredevil Daisy Heyer is dead, stuck on earth, and avoiding a persistent reaper who’s been chasing her through the centuries.   Being a ghost sucks but it’s better than hell.   Daisy had been a bad girl in the Wild West and she has no guarantee which direction the reaper will take her. 

Simon Travers has been a reaper for over one hundred and twenty-five years.  He’s successfully brought every soul to heaven or hell, except Daisy Heyer.  She was his first and the one that got away.  He has time though, because once dead there is no going back. 

After a spell is cast making Daisy flesh and blood, will she stay on earth or feel the Chill of the Reaper?

Excerpt: 

Daisy woke with a kink in her neck. Weird. She stretched on the sofa. Wait! She didn’t sleep or get kinks. She shot straight up. Too fast, she realized, when a pounding started in her head. She placed her left hand on her temple, willing it to stop. “Collette!”

Colette came running down the basement stairs. “Holy craft. You’re flesh and blood.” 

 Daisy didn’t bother to hide her sarcasm. “Really? I hadn’t noticed. What did you do?”

Colette looked at the beige carpet as if fascinated by a non-existent pattern. 

Daisy tapped her boot on the carpet. “Well?”

The witch pinched her index finger and thumb together. “I may have tweaked Nana’s spell a bit.” 

She threw her hands up. “A bit!?”

Colette crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. “I just wanted you to find true love.” 

“True love?” Daisy suddenly felt a great desire to go back to sleep. 

“Yeah. I’ve given you forty-eight hours in mortal form.”

“Collette, I haven’t been mortal in a hundred and twenty-five years. What the hell am I supposed to do in two days?” She was suddenly anxious to return to her former self. 

“Daisy, if you find true love, your soul won’t be bound for hell.” 

“I get into heaven?” Could she after all these years? 

“I’m not a hundred percent certain, but my research clearly indicated a soul could not go to hell if it felt love.” 

“Anything to not go to hell.” Daisy hadn’t lived the best life. She had been an independent woman of the west and rather than earn money in easier ways, she’d taken to a life of crime. “Okay, so how do I find true love?” 

“Well, first we need to change your wardrobe.” 

Daisy looked down. She was wearing the clothes she’d died in, with a crimson starburst pattern on her chest and her six-shooter strapped to her hip. A change was definitely in order. “I’ve always wanted to be a blonde.” 

Buy Links:  Amazon 

About the Author:  

Tina studied Journalism at University and then went to work for a fortune 500 company working in Logistics for over 20 years.  She now writes full-time and helps her husband run his Crop Dusting business in the summer months.  When she’s not writing she likes to travel, read and spend time with her critters.  

Social Media Links:  

Website – www.tinaholland.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/author.tina.holland

Twitter – https://twitter.com/haveubeenaughty

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/tina_holland

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/haveubeenaughty

AuThursday – Gabriella Balcom

QOl9KLjv-2227000682Please welcome Gabriella Balcome to The Clog Blog!  Gabriella, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I live in Texas with my family, work full-time in the mental health field, and I’ve loved reading and writing my whole life. I write fantasy, sci-fi, horror, romance, literary fiction, children’s stories, and more. I’ve had 360 works accepted for publication and was nominated for the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award in 2020. Clarendon House Publications awarded me a publishing contract when one of my stories was voted best in the book in which it appeared. My anthology of short stories, On the Wings of Ideas, came out afterward. In 2020, I won second place in JayZoMon/Dark Myth Publishing’s Open Contract Challenge (a competition in which around one hundred authors competed for cash prizes and publishing contracts), after which my novella, Worth Waiting For, was published. I self-published a novelette, Free’s Tale: No Home at Christmas-time and Black Hare Press released my sci-fi novella, The Return, in 2021. Five others pend publication.
How do you make time to write?
I work full-time but plan in writing time before and after work.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Writer’s block isn’t something I’ve had trouble with. I usually have the opposite problem, with ideas flooding my mind all the time, to the point it’s hard to keep up with them.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I love several genres and write in each of them, too. Many things appeal to me, and all types of ideas come to me, so I don’t restrict myself to just one genre.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, or both)
I’ve published both ways, but mainly via traditional publishers. That’s been easier this far because I haven’t had time to publish more myself.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Introvert. It makes it harder for me to publicize my acceptances and ongoing steps, not to mention handling marketing.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Never give up.
I also like:
You can do anything.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself and NEVER give up. Also, having your work edited is always a good idea.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

AuThursday – Lynda Cox

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve been a writer all of my life, but it wasn’t until my mid-30s that I got serious about publication. I now have 11 books published, both traditionally and as an indie. I hold a master’s degree in English that other than being a point of pride doesn’t do much for me. When I’m not writing, I raise and show collies.
How do you make time to write?
I have a set schedule. I may not be writing during that scheduled time, but at least I’m sitting at the keyboard and playing with words.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes and no. Yes, I believe outside influences can stymie the creative flow. But, there are other ways to be creative. When the words won’t come, I play around with promo images or I make beaded “bling” show leads to support my dog show addiction or I make beaded string bookmarks.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Under my real name, I write western historical romance, some of it very steamy. I grew up on a steady diet of Westerns and John Wayne movies. I love that so much of that time period seemed to be cut and dry/black and white. It wasn’t because that’s the romanticized version of the Old West, but there is a bit of comfort in holding on to that romanticized ideal. Under my pen name Linnea Fletcher, I write fantasy romance with my writing partner McKayla Jade. That stuff is VERY spicy.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
The most recent is under the pen name. It’s called *Monster* and it is indie published. I like the control that is open to indie authors as well as the significant lack of a time lag between acceptance by a publishing house and actually publishing said book.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I’m an extreme introvert. Writing under my own name, I struggle with certain “smexxy” scenes. Writing under my pen name takes away that struggle. I can be an extrovert. I can be outgoing and push the boundaries of my comfort zone.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Actually, I have two and both are believed to be attributed to Ernest Hemingway. The first one is
“The first draft is always sh*t.”
The second is
“Write drunk. Edit sober.”
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. I signed my first book contract when I was working on my master’s degree when I was 37. Keep writing. Keep cultivating a reader base. Don’t stop writing. The world needs your unique voice because you’re the only one who can tell your story.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

AuThursday – Rachel D. Adams

BW normPlease welcome Rachel D. Adams to the Clog Blog! Rachel, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up in the US South/Bible belt and my research and writing grew from wanting to dive into subjects that many in my culture saw as taboo. I’ve been writing since age 11 and am just now going out on a limb to publish some of my collaborative fiction.
How do you make time to write?
I write for work. I write content for websites and freelance while also managing with the use of HB90 and sprints to keep myself on track – to write, edit, and revise my manuscripts.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. But so far mine has rarely lasted more than a week and it is usually focused on one type of writing.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write multi-genre fiction. However, the first series I plan to publish is Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance. I love these because I used to read Christopher Golden and Anne Rice. Then, I got into some writing groups (fan fic) and someone told me I wrote like Laurel K. Hamilton. So, I had to look her up and that’s when I realized…maybe I liked these kinds of worlds, but with character-driven scenes. I also like steamy scenes (though this 1st book in the series is kind of tame…slow burn folks…) and I love dragons. Being pagan and a previous TTRPG enthusiast, I’ve put a lot of research into the magic systems in my worlds, too. So that makes it a load of fun. The reason I love the Paranormal Romance setting is because all of my books will have a relationship if not more in it. And they are not all conventional romances. Some are LGBTQ, some are polyamorous, some are reverse harem, some are BDSM… and paranormal romances don’t tend to limit the author.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
I’m going indie publishing because I like the idea of having control of my work.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Introvert – though I often come off like an extrovert. I’ve got anxiety and depression along with ADD – so if I’m over social, I have to go dark and build up those “social batteries” again before I can keep going. As an introvert, I prefer to stay home and don’t like being the center of attention. So…it can be bothersome for any kind of work. But since I work remotely, it doesn’t affect me as much as it used to.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To give of one’s self; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – This is to have succeeded. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Give your best.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
racheldardams.com has all of my links and my newsletter sign-up on it. Everyone who signs up for the newsletter will be getting a copy of our prequel eBook as soon as it’s published and ready. I spend most time on Twitter and Facebook right now.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Doppelgängers-&-Deceit---bonus---promo-post-comingThe idea frightened Gabriel – being taken and someone replacing you?
How many human lives had already been taken by the doppelgängers? Had this one not made a mistake, shining a light on other odd deaths or murders in recent months, no one would’ve thought about it. As Gabriel placed the notebooks and scribbled on pads in his briefcase at the desk, he thought back over the unusual amount of missing person reports in Whitley. Reports he hadn’t even had time to peruse. For a college town, the possibilities were deadly. Students could go missing and not be reported for weeks.
He heard the phone vibrate on his desk. Regarding the device, Gabriel sighed heavily. “Jean-Michel Raudine” was on the screen. The Councilor answered the phone immediately. “It’s about time. What use is having a Tasker assigned to me if he never responds? I’ve been trying to get hold of you for two days.”
“This Tasker was on assignment for someone on a higher pay grade than you, Councilor Kennedy,” The sound of ice and sloshing liquid could be heard. “Take my absence up with him.”
“Apparently, the Director is too busy to be bothered. And you’re my Tasker, not his.” All Gabriel heard was a grunt and the sound of liquid being poured from the other end of the call. “Are you drinking, Jean-Michel?” Gabriel flattened the palm of his free hand on the desk while he waited.
“Yes. If you had a day like mine, you’d be drinking, too.”
“No. I would be doing my duty,” Gabriel heard a release of air from the other side of the call. “Sorry to be so boring, but there are things to do besides getting drunk. There may be lives on the line.”
“There are always lives on the line with you lot. You should be taking that stick out your arse and pouring your own drink,” the Tasker chuckled.
Gabriel’s eyes glared down at the phone he had just pulled from his face. Why did this man always get his goat? He took a deep breath, swallowed, and continued.
“In case you were blissfully unaware, there’s a possible emergency happening here. I’m trying to save people from a horrible end.”
“Let me guess, human lives?”
“Well, yes, but it could also be argued that I’m trying to save supernatural lives. Who knows why doppelgängers are doing what they’re doing? So,” Gabriel took another pronounced breath. “I’m trying to save both supernatural and human lives. And for that, I need a Tasker who is available to me. And not drunk.” If it were any other person…
“Oh, come on, Gabriel. Surely you don’t think the Council and Crimson are here for supernatural benefit?” Jean-Michel took another drink.
“It is stated in the vows and pledge of duty….”
“Fuck that! I want your opinion, not some fuckin’ vow!” The Tasker growled from somewhere close to his soul. “Stop hiding behind someone else’s words and empty promises!”
Gabriel’s voice caught. Large brown eyes waited, trying to overcome the sudden catch in his throat and his chest. There was a flash of memory, a sleeker, younger version of his Tasker…using that voice while arguing with his father. The Councilor could feel the anger and tension in the room that day – years ago – and he swore to himself he’d just felt it again. After all, Jean-Michel had been the Tasker assigned to several human Councilors over the years – Kennedys all in a line. He was definitely not human, though he was listed as such. Perhaps, human magi? They had longer lives.
No. he knew better. His eyes moved to the cart where the books had been. He swallowed. “Crimson just wants supernaturals cleaned up and out of sight, so their precious humans don’t ever have to be burdened by knowing supernaturals exist,” the Tasker scoffed. “And you know what the funny thing is? Humans, who know about supernaturals? They want to become them or wipe ‘em from the face of the earth out of jealousy. So which are you?”
“You…are…drunk…” Gabriel spoke with measured patience. “You know how I feel about drinking and being drunk.”
“Why are the rules all made about you creatures? Humans don’t even treat one another properly. Consider all these murders and wars. You use one another and us! Skinner’s a fine example, using Crimson to herd supernaturals and keep’em under control. We’re not the ones out of control.”
“That’s news to me, considering I just got a report of a doppelgänger in Whitley taking the life of a human and becoming him. Supernaturals have the upper hand. A balance must be kept, Tasker. Crimson and the Council are about balance.” This wasn’t the time for a philosophical discussion. He needed to reel this conversation in. “Jean-Michel, I need you to come back here. The supernaturals in question are killing humans, replacing them, and wreaking havoc on other people’s lives,” Gabriel whispered every phrase in the sentence slowly. His hand was popping his thumb against his thigh.
“Yeah, well, I’ll get right on it.”
“Raudine!” Gabriel shouted the Tasker’s last name as if that would better get his attention, but the call had ended before he’d even finished the second syllable. He stared down at the phone. Where had that much venom come from? Why the sudden indignation? They had both taken vows, had they not?