Tag Archive | Book trailer

Nite Fire: Chain Reaction by C.L. Schneider

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It’s almost here! Chain Reaction, the second book in my urban fantasy series, Nite Fire, will be releasing soon. In the meantime, I’m super excited to share the cover with you. Inspired by a compilation of several scenes within the book, the cover features empathic shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, in her (mostly) human form. The artwork was created by my amazing cover artist, Alan Dingman.

~C.L. Schneider

Cover Chain Reaction -NF2

 
If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds—creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.

Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have is questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?

Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire Series.

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Curious about the series?

Read excerpts at clschneiderauthor.com

Catch up with book #1 before book #2 comes out!

 

 

Chain Reaction will be available for paperback and up for pre-order soon. Subscribe to my newsletter for information on the official release date.

 

About the Author:

C. L. SchneiderC.L. Schneider is an award-winning independent author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley Region with her husband and two sons. Her published works include the epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, and Flash Point, the first book in her urban fantasy series, Nite Fire. Book two, Chain Reaction, will be released in early 2018.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the worlds she creates, at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, join her Street Team, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on social media, where she is often found chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

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C L Schneider Fantasy Books

Published Works:

All titles available in paperback or for Kindle. Read free with Kindle Unlimited.

Nite Fire: Flash Point (Bk 1)
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price (also available on Audible)
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne

 

 
Chain PB 2

 

 

My Top Twelve of 2017
Books I Read in April ’17

 

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Atlantis by Carol Roberts

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51fIso3t-7LWhen Alanthea, high-priestess of Atlantis, connects to a woman in her dreams, she becomes haunted by a mystery. Compelled to trace the other woman’s life she finds coded poems that hold clues to the predicament of her people. Now she has to venture ever farther into forbidden territory to link past and present, and understand the real danger threatening Atlantis.

Arakon always thought of himself as an orphan, a loner without any real belonging. But after a strange encounter his life changes, and he is drawn into events beyond his control.

They move parallel in their search for answers until their destinies converge, and the weave unravels. Yet what they finally uncover lies deep at the heart of collective evolution, and what has been set in motion cannot be undone.

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Excerpt:

Time shifted as Arakon carefully turned and dug his heels into the horse’s side. A good horse, a strong horse, just like the old man’s had been. The shade of the trees embraced him, and the sound of the water came closer. Would he still find the track? Was there a track? Time shifted further, and he felt an eerie sensation between his shoulder blades. The forest was too quiet, the water overly loud. Gideon started to slip, and he reined the stallion in even further.

The filtered light threw strange patterns onto the ground, and when the moment came, he let go of the reins and let Gideon run. Leaves slapped him in the face, and as the noise became deafening, he could see the glistening spray which lay like a shimmering web ahead of him. Gideon shied but could not stop. They raced on until the tree-line opened up, and he could see the gorge falling away in front of him like a black, open mouth.

 

 
Author Bio:

A10OB2P-XLL._UX250_Carol Roberts is a freelance writer with particular interest in cultural myth. Originally from Vienna, she has spent all of her adult life in the Far North of New Zealand. Her work took her to several different countries, where she indulged her fascination with stories, particularly those dealing with the creation of man.

‘Atlantis’ is her first full-length novel; speculating on concepts of the human condition, the meaning of individual and collective destiny, and the choices within that. Her second novel ‘Tower of Babel’ is also complete.

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The Coven Princess by Lily Luchesi

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Coming March 7th, 2018 from USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi and Vamptasy Publishing:

THE COVEN PRINCESS.

Your blood does not define you.

Harley Torrance’s parents were killed in a home invasion when she was three. Adopted by a nice couple, Harley begins to develop strange powers. At fourteen she brews a potion so strong it gains the attention of the Coven King, and changes her world forever.

She’s not human, she’s a witch.

Now a part of the magical community, Harley must learn to control her powers lest the Darkness already in her blood overcomes her. Can she dampen her lust for power in order to stop the Dark from taking over the Coven and killing everyone in their way?

 

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Cover art by Rue Volley

 

Add The Coven Princess to your TBR list!

~ AND ~

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featuring multiple authors, games, and prizes!

 
About the author:

Lily LuchesiLily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.

She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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My Review:

The Coven Princess is Lily Luchesi’s first venture into the YA genre, and she has done it with style.

Harley was orphaned and adopted by humans at a young age. She’s a witch, but doesn’t know it until she’s visited by an odd gentleman after being expelled from school.

We join Harley, as she joins the witch community where she learns about magic and her heritage and makes new friends along the way.

The journey of self-discovery the Haley undertakes was an emotional rollercoaster ride for both Harley and myself.

The characters were all multi-dimensional, interesting and flawed and the storyline was well-thought out and exciting, keeping me on the edge of my seat.

Although The Coven Princess is loosely connected to Lily’s amazing Paranormal Detective books, you don’t have to know anything about the series to enjoy this YA read.

 

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The Forest of Trees by Anita Kovacevic

Forest Of Trees

 

When a family of four faces the brutal reality of their city life, they readily embrace a complete change. Emma and David Stone, with their kids Jeremy and Dot, move to a small town with their big hopes. However, small towns have their own secrets – from urban legends about The Forest of Trees to family skeletons in closets everyone knows about.

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Gradually, Jeremy and Dot make some new and unusual friends, whereas Emma and David start working again, and things seem to be going for the better. But evil never rests. The Jacksons, a bigoted and brutal family of pig farmers, however scary, are not the only ones leaning towards malice. The more new friendships grow, the more villains will struggle to retain power. Will the arrival of the newcomers tip the scales in favour of the good or the evil? And how can The Forest of Trees play its part in the solution?

The life between the legendary Forest of Trees and the small town of Tillsworth is separated only by a road. All it takes to reconnect is to take that path.
 

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Sneak Peek #1:

From the author’s foreword:

Our lives always consist of beauty and ugliness, and if we are lucky, we get to keep the balance of the two. The good and the bad start from within us, and spread all around us. It is what weaves this world, and, I believe, all worlds everywhere and everywhen.

All fairytales consist of magic and horror. Not everyone is always good, and not everyone is always bad. Snow White faced the evil Witch Queen, Cinderella her step-family, the children and parents the Pied Piper…

In a way, this story is also a horror fairytale, but it is not for children. You may feel like reading some parts to your children, but those were the parts told by my own inner child, the one who still hopes and believes in magic. The horror in the story has nothing magical about it – it brings out the harsh reality I hated to write, but had to write out of me.

To paraphrase the words of two fascinating authors, we must write even that which we don’t want to write, because it must be said (S. King). And it is up to us which side we choose – the good or the easy (J. K. Rowling).

For myself, I admit to having both sides, but I intend to always feed the good in me – always.

 

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Reviews:

‘This is not a fairy tale for children, but an adult examination of the way belief in oneself can change the course of lives. It is lovely, frightening, joyous, and painful. Anita Kovacevic can put another notch in her author’s belt with this brilliantly written book.’
Elizabeth Newton, from Between the Beats

‘Some of the parts were like the fairytale, happy and carefree, but other parts were nothing but the harsh reality.
The ability of the author to jump from one to another was so easy. I loved the beautiful description of the forest creatures, but I also loved the other side of the coin…’
Irena Cacic, on Goodreads 

Sneak Peek #2:

Chapter 12 – A Change In The Weather

“I hope nobody is still out there,” Miss Pagiotti said.

The rain shower had turned into a thick curtain, masking most outer events. For a second, Miss Pagiotti thought she could see something or someone still there, so she grabbed Mr Jones by the wrist, and they both rose to their feet and walked even closer to the window.

They froze at the image they saw.

Angel’s family was walking outside in the rain, from the direction of a nearby supermarket to their lorry, parked further down the street. The group was led by the grandpa, his grey jacket drenched, steel-framed boots threading the puddles. His dark hat was tucked on his forehead, hiding his wrinkled face, as his eyes fixated on the lorry; the weather never swaying his stride, despite his limp. He walked as if the storm was merely an annoying fly to swat, and ignoring everybody behind him. Angel’s dad followed, copying his father, almost tripping as he forced his legs to adjust the pace and remain behind the pack leader. His yellow fisherman raincoat protected his body, but raindrops blinded him. His two teenage sons walked each on one side of their dad, trying not to stay behind. The two dark-haired adolescents were shaking from the cold, their hands in their jacket pockets, all wet through, skinny, grim and unhappy, faces freshly scarred from fighting or getting beaten. Angel dragged his baby brother behind the trio, annoyed at being left behind as the designated babysitter, his bald wet head glowing in the street light.

As the Jackson procession passed the restaurant, Ben’s dad opened the door ajar.

“Come inside. Get warm,” he said.

“Mind your own business, you blithering idiot. The Jacksons need no charity,” Old Jackson barked above the noise of the storm, not even looking at the man.
The.Forest.MrsJackson

 

 

 

 

Author Bio:

Anita Kovacevic is multi-genre author of both children’s and adult fiction. Her belief in the power of storytelling has been strengthened through her years of teaching and teacher training. Anita enjoys writing stories which come to her on her ‘dreamstep’, blending reality and magic, and has a quirky fondness for writing limerick stories. You can read her reviews, book news and author interviews on her WordPress blog Anita’s Haven. She lives with her husband and children in Croatia, where she graduated from university with a degree in English and Spanish Literature.

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Other Books By Anita Kovacevic:

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Adult books:

  • The Threshold – paranormal novella
  • Average Daydreamer – light romance
  • Versus Verses – Feel – poetry
  • Versus Verses – Love – poetry

Children’s books:

  • Winky’s Colours: A Penguin’s Story
  • The Good Pirate
  • Mimi Finds Her Magic
  • Spikes for Hank

Contributions to anthologies:

  • Teaching Children from the Heart & Inner Giant
  • Anthology Light & December Awethology Light Volume
  • Twisted Tales & Crooked Tales
  • Looking into the Abyss
  • A Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories

Available on:
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Ghosts of the Sea Moon by A. F. Stewart

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Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.

Title: Ghosts of the Sea Moon (Saga of the Outer Islands Book 1)
Author: A. F. Stewart
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: January 13th, 2018
Paperback Price: $12.99
Digital Price: Release Price $0.99. Will go up to $2.99 on February 14th

 

Ghosts, Gods, and Sea Monsters.

GotSMMedIn the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.

Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.

His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.

What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

The Captain

      Captain Rafe Morrow paced the quarterdeck of his ship, Celestial Jewel, the signs of an oncoming squall setting him on edge. Blustering wind rattled the sails and the crew’s nerves, their usual jaunty hubbub reduced to grumbling and snipes. Trouble travelled on that wind. Rafe could smell it woven in the air, and his blood prickled with a sense of worry. The ship trembled as if with warning. He glared at the sky and its darkening clouds painted amber and crimson from the setting sun. A storm sky coming ahead of a full moon meant dark magic and sea monsters would prowl the waves this night.
      The Moon Goddess will hold sway tonight.
      A trickle of blue energy raced across the back of his hand at the thought.
      Damn her…and her beasts.
      On the breath of a sigh, he whirled to face his crew. “Storm’s coming, boys. Doesn’t bode well, not with the moonrise tonight.”
      “How long, Captain? Will we be in the thick of the weather or just what comes after?” A rough-edged sailor, Pinky Jasper, spoke up, but all ears of the deck crew listened for an answer.
      “It’s coming within an hour or two, out from Raven Rock, by my reckoning. After nightfall by certain. We’re heading in, boys, but we’ll likely hit the edge of it.” He heaved a breath, exhaling. “It’ll be a bad one even for this crew so expect trouble.”
      A shiver of tension settled over the deck. Some of the crew cast worried glances at the sea and each other. Others shivered, and a few more whispered prayers. Storms brought bad memories and nervous anticipation to the sailors of this ship.
      “Which port then, Captain?” The mariner at the ship’s wheel chimed in. “Might make Abersythe if we head north.”
      “We might, Anders. But we head east. We’ll race the edge of the tempest, but it’s closer and the ship will find better shelter anchored at Crickwell Island.”
      “Aye, sir. Laying in course to Crickwell Island.” One-Eyed Anders turned the wheel and the ship’s bones groaned. Others of the crew adjusted the sails, and the Celestial Jewel leaned into her new bearing headed east.

 

Free companion prequel story:

Sea Bound

Author Bio:
Horror AuthorA steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novels, novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.

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Saga of the Outer Islands

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Ghosts, Gods, and Sea Monsters

Featured Author of the Week by Patty L. Fletcher (pt 2)

Wanda Luthman

13700223_1608454082817676_4467913161563346864_nWanda Luthman published her first children’s book, The Lilac Princess, in 2014 about forgiveness. Next, came her wonderful tale of Tad, in A Turtles Magical Adventure published, March 2016 about self-acceptance. In August 2016, she debuted Little Birdie Grows Up which is her first picture book which exemplifies perseverance. In May 2017, she published Gloria and the Unicorn about a special needs child and empowerment. Most recently in October 2017, she published her second picture book, Franky the Finicky Flamingo which depicts a flamingo as a picky eater until he discovers the food that is right for him.

Biography

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 5 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, Little Birdie, and Franky the Finicky Flamingo). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest.

From the Author:

“I want to inspire young children to be the best people they can be. If I can capture children’s imaginations and entertain them, then the underlying positive character message will come through in each of my books.”

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Wanda Luthman’s Books:

Find Wanda’s books on Amazon and B&N

The Lilac Princess

A modern fairy tale of a young Princess with too much responsibility and not enough freedom. She is an only child to an elderly King and Queen of a Kingdom in turmoil. Upon her rests the responsibility to rescue her Kingdom one day, but for now, she is held within the castle walls for her safety. She longs to go outside just for a moment, to smell the sweet lilacs growing in the meadow. Come along on her adventure when she dares to escape the castle walls and meets a cursed dragon. Little does she know that while the dragon has an evil plan, her sweet spirit may just unravel it.

Quotes from reviews
 “I recommend this very sweet, fun read to anyone who enjoys action, adventure, and dragons.”
“The story line is incredible!”
“The Lilac Princess isn’t a good princess story it’s a great princess story.”

A Turtle’s Magical Adventure

A Turtle’s Magical Adventure is a charming, heart-warming story of a turtle who doesn’t like his shell because it makes him too slow. Tad asks other slow animals if they also mind being slow. Each one gives an answer that helps Tad feel better, but, still he wants to be fast. He happens upon a snake who tells him there is a wizard that can make him fast. He goes on an adventure into The Magical Timberwood Forest to meet the wizard and hopefully get his wish fulfilled. He encounters delightful, magical creatures along the way but also meets with danger and choices. Will Tad get his wish or will the wizard turn him into turtle soup?

Quotes from reviews
“This is such a cute and lovable story. Perfect bedtime reading to the little ones.”
“This is an excellent children’s book full of life lessons.”
“This is a captivating story about Tad, a turtle; who has a perplexing problem to solve.”

Little Birdie Grows Up

Little Birdie Grows Up is a picture book about a fuzzy little blue bird who yearns to fly up in the big blue sky. His Mama encourages him and he tries his best. He is charming and sweet and the illustrations are delightful.

Quotes from reviews
“Wanda Luthman does a very good job with this book. Lots of colorful pictures. Lots of rhyming that small children could quickly learn. Highly recommend this book for children ages one to five.”
“Although “Little Birdie grows up” is written for very young children, who cannot fail to be immediately and deeply attracted to Bryce Westervelt’s vivid pictorial narrative, it is a book which most likely will also engage genuine adult interest.”
“This was the first picture rhyming book I have read and the first time a book has made me cry – but a good cry. Little Birdie Grows up is such a beautiful story.”

Gloria and the Unicorn

Gloria and the Unicorn is a story that will delight you as well as pull on your heart strings as Gloria struggles with her facial disfigurement and wanting to fit in. Gloria’s mother died at birth and her father gave her to Miss Libby, the owner of a children’s home. Miss Libby loves the little girl and feels protective of her. But, it’s not until Sir Louie, the unicorn, shows up that Gloria starts to believe in herself. She has a conflict at school and never wants to go back and then she finds herself in an even worse situation; she encounters the evil Wizards of Malcadore who want to kill her. She must decide if she will face her fear of certain death to save her friend, Sir Louie, or lose him forever. Come along on Gloria’s marvelous journey with Sir Louie.

Quotes from reviews
“this tale by Guidance Counselor, Wanda Luthman, is the charming ‘feel-good’ pill that can trigger discussion that parents, educators, and children will enjoy.”
“This was such a cute story!!… This book sends a great message to children!”
“This was such a great book to read with my grandson. It truly has a very meaningful story and a great lesson in love. I recommend this book for all young children and I assure you the adults will love it too!”

Franky The Finicky Flamingo

Franky is a beautifully colored pink flamingo but, he doesn’t know the right food to eat. He tries food that other birds like but he doesn’t enjoy any of them. Then, the unthinkable happens. His adored pink color begins to fade. What will Franky do now? Find out in Franky, The Finicky Flamingo.

Quotes from reviews
“Oh, this is beyond cute!! I love the amazing illustrations.!!”
“My grandson insists we read it every time he comes to visit.”
“I like that the author tried to get kids to understand that not everybody likes the same thing. My son was so happy that that he got to eat pink food it blew his mind!”

 

 

Detective Blanchette Mysteries by Marguerite Ashton

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Series:
A Detective Blanchett Mystery
Author: Marguerite Ashton
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

 

Promised Lies

Book 1

51QnCiY8IuLDetective Lily Blanchette has a lot on her plate…

Her sister Celine has recently been murdered and her parents are on the brink of divorce. Now she’s lead on a multiple murder investigation.

Six months after Lily’s sister’s death, the bodies of two young women are discovered. One look at the way the bodies have been posed and Lily knows her sister’s killer is back.

And she’s determined to get him.

When Lily visits the family of victim Tanya O’Neal, she learns the woman had arranged to meet a man going by the handle CtryGeek23 on the social networking site Scatter.

Lily thinks finding the man behind the account is key to solving the case.

But CtryGeek23 is very clever, and Lily has her work cut out for her. As she digs around, clues point her to a local brewery where she discovers the body of another young woman.

The more Lily digs, the more she thinks there is more than one murderer at work, and CtryGeek23 is the mastermind.

But who is he?

And how will they catch him?

As the investigation comes to life, death hits closer to home, and Lily discovers she may not be who she thinks she is at all.

Filled with plot turns, suspense and mystery, Promised Lies will leave you wondering how well anybody knows anyone…

**On sale for .99 cents!**

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Her Final Watch

Book 2

515V1P1PMbL._SY346_Speaking second-hand truths can be deadly …

Detective Lily Blanchette will stop at nothing to solve a murder. Her current case involves the killing of an undercover cop working to bring down the mob for prostitution and drugs.

But Lily’s usual laser-like focus on the case has been disrupted.

Two weeks earlier, she learned she was pregnant by her murderous husband whom she’d killed in self-defense. Unsure whether to keep her baby or place the child of this cruel man up for adoption, Lily keeps the pregnancy a secret from her colleagues.

Under mounting pressure to solve the case, Lily arranges a sit-down with a local mob boss only to find out her suspect is also wanted by them. But before Lily can warn her team, she and her new partner, Jeremiah, are shot at, and another body is found.

When she discovers Jeremiah has a connection with the underworld, she is pulled into a conflict that swirls around the boss’s son who’s hell-bent on revenge.

To add to the complexity of the situation, Lily learns that her victim might still be alive if it wasn’t for opportunistic Assistant District Attorney, Ibee Walters, who has a twisted vision of justice.

As Lily gets closer to finding the killer, she unravels ugly secrets that point to Ibee and Jeremiah – placing Lily’s life and her unborn child in danger.

**On sale for .99 cents!**

Amazon * Goodreads

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

December 10, 2015 4:13 p.m.

      Detective Ariel Weeks stabbed at the small block of ice until it split into several pieces across the counter. She tossed the jagged cubes into the glass and made her client a drink.
      In less than twenty-four hours, Ariel would no longer have to use the name Jasmine and keep men company to protect her cover. All she needed to do was make it through this last night, and she’d be allowed to be who she was; a mom just doing her job.
      After gathering evidence and recording all the data she had, it would be hard to detach. Towards the end, she’d learned things she’d wished weren’t true, leaving her stomach in tattered knots.
      Back at home, there were two reasons Ariel would never take on another undercover assignment.
      Click.
      Ariel ground her teeth as the door to Cabin D opened and closed. She could feel Mikey Surace, the mob boss’s son, staring at the backless white dress she wore at his request.
      The man who smiled at the sight of blood was standing behind her, breathing heavily.
      She turned and handed Mikey his drink. “Your gin and grapefruit.”
      Mikey took the drink and pulled Ariel down on the bed next to him. His hand, smooth like velvet, traced over her dark brown skin, along the length of her arm and rested on her thigh. “I had a shitty day.” He loosened his tie, removed his gun and put it on the ottoman.
      Ariel stole a glance at the weapon, thinking of ways to grab it before he did. Just in case. “Wanna talk about it?”
      “I had my talk with Pop. He wants me to get married and have kids so I can take over as head of the family soon. He wants our family to be seen as more law-abiding than the other three families.”
      “Nowadays, no one gets married to have a family. Would he accept a long engagement?”
      “No way. My old man still believes in marrying now, ask questions later.” Mikey took a sip of his drink and sat it down on the nightstand table. “My father asked my mother to marry him on her seventeenth birthday.”
      “I’m sure you’ll find a woman who’ll accept you for who you are, who won’t care about the lifestyle you lead, and who knows when not to ask questions about your business.”
      “You always say the right things. Why won’t you let me take care of you?” he asked, planting a kiss on Ariel’s full lips. “This is my third time asking you to be with me.”
      Ariel wanted to wipe off the lingering citrus taste from her mouth but didn’t out of fear. She had already been spotted by one of Surace’s men and couldn’t believe that she was still alive. Probably because Ariel, at any moment, could tell the boss things that the other person was doing, clearing herself from any suspicion and allowing her to keep her cover. Even that wasn’t a guarantee.
      Drops of rain peppered the window facing out at the bare branches of a willow tree. Wind hissed against the cabin.
      Ariel stared into Mikey’s almond-shaped eyes. The olive tint of his skin masked his fiery temper. Things were getting heavy and out of control for a first time U.C. like herself.
      She undid the strap on her stilettos and let them drop to the floor. “Because your ex-girlfriend is in charge of my money and I need every penny. I wanna make my money and maybe one day get out. It’s a dream of mine to stop escorting and waiting tables at the club.”
      “If you get with me, you won’t need money.” Mikey cupped Ariel’s chin and squeezed. “Why do you keep turning me down?”
      “I’m not turning you down.” She pulled out of his grip and rubbed her chin. “I don’t want to ruin my friendship with your ex. She’s my bestie and the only one I can trust in this business.”
      “You don’t trust me?”
      “You’re a dangerous man.”
      “I’m only dangerous to those who cross me.”
      Ariel wanted to ask Mikey if he’d kill her but decided against it. It was best to redirect the conversation and talk about what he enjoyed the most. Him. “What’s it like to kill someone?”
      Mikey pulled Ariel back on the bed and laid on top of her. “When I put my finger on the trigger, it’s like foreplay. With each pull of the trigger, that’s the build-up. Once my target is dead, I’m satisfied. For me, it’s a lot like sex.”
      “Has anyone told you you’re crazy?”
      “Yeah. They never lived to say it again.”

 

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About the Author:

A1I-1HlW2hL._UX250_When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer. Five kids later, she founded the Crime Writer’s Panel and began working with former law enforcement investigators to create; Criminal Lines Blog, an online library for crime writers who need help with their book research.

She’s a workaholic who hides in her writer’s attic, plotting out her next book and stalking Pinterest for the next avocado recipe.

A member of Sisters in Crime, Marguerite grew up in Colorado, but is now happily living in Wisconsin and playing as much golf as possible.

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Q&A’s with Marguerite Ashton:

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

One of my favorite characters is Detective Lily Blanchette in Promised Lies. She’s got a lot going on. So, I’d like to think about what a day in Lily’s life would be like if her life weren’t in so much chaos.

My main character Lily is a workaholic like her dad, Collin. She works at a medium-sized police station in rural Wisconsin with her best friend and partner, Morgan. Between chasing leads—the coffee shop and McGinley’s Irish Pub is the local hangout for law enforcement professionals when they need to relax and blow off steam.

At home, she wakes up with her new husband. They are still getting to know each other’s personal spaces in their marriage. If her husband has time in his schedule, he tries to impress his wife with his culinary skills while she focuses on her latest remodeling idea for her Victorian home.

On Lily’s day off, she enjoys time with her dad, which is sometimes hard when their two schedules don’t match up. While enjoying their favorite pastime together, fishing along the banks of the Rock River, their conversation would be:

“Hey Dad, watch your pole you’ve got a nibbler.”

“Nah, the river is running fast near the bottom so it just looks like it. Crank up 2 reels off the bottom and you’ll see.”

“There’s more to the Bagdenol case. That wasn’t a suicide.”

“Lily, this is our time to relax our minds, and put a filet in the skillet for supper tonight.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to relax.”

“I understand. Just remember one thing, always go with your gut instinct. By the way, I agree with you about the Bagdenol case.”

“Thanks.” As Lily adjusted her fishing pole, she felt a firm tug. “Wait, get the net. I think I’ve got one.”

“Reel him in. I want fish tonight, not another meatloaf.”

 

Describe your writing style.

When writing my books, if an idea for another book hits me, I jot it down in one of my many notebooks. When it’s time to go over the notes, I talk it out with my husband. For the law enforcement side, I contact my cop friends to see if I can get away with the story line.

Sometimes I’ll be editing one manuscript, or working on the latest promo and the idea hits, and I write the scene. But it helps me to let it flow, then organize it later.

 

What are you passionate about these days?

The arts and becoming a foster mom for dogs until they find their forever home.

 

Advice they would give new authors?

Being a writer isn’t easy. Our job is to write every day and be prepared to repeat the process of creating a book over and over. My tip to writers is to give it your ALL.

A – Ask questions about yourself and your writing. Make sure that this is something you want to do.

L – Listen to the answers. Sometimes the reply is not what you’d expect or want to hear.

L- Learn from those answers. Then take the appropriate steps to master your art.

 

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

When writing my books, if an Idea for another book hits me, I jot it down in one of my many notebooks.

When it’s time to go over the notes, I talk it out with my husband. For the law enforcement side, I contact my cop friends to see if I can get away with the story line.

Sometimes I can be editing one manuscript, or working on the latest promo and the idea hits, and I write the scene. But it helps me to let it flow, then organize it later.

 

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

It’s a process…Writing Her Final Watch was tricky. I had to find a way to work Lily’s pregnancy in the story and allow her to work in the field. That’s when I turned to my friends in law enforcement. They helped me understand what my heroine, could and couldn’t do. After I did my research, I put myself in Lily’s shoes and focused on what would be important to her. No matter how much she loved her job, her motherly instincts would kick in. And I think I’ve managed to find a balance between the two.

 

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Addicted to avocados.

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

For me, there was never that one moment. I had several. A lot of it had to do with my self-doubt as I tried to decide if I was making the right decision. My strong desire to write was something I felt from the inside. For me, I have to write every day. Even if it’s just making notes on another book or working on my blog.

If I miss more than a day, I start to get cranky.

The one thing that keeps me writing is David Baldacci. His story helped remind me that success can come with persistence and continual improvement.

 

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

Coming up with a title for any of my books is a process. I’ve tried to make it easier, but I haven’t had any luck.

I write down the first words that come to my mind and start crossing out the ones that don’t work for me. If I run out of suggestions, I go to my husband or mentor. It took me three days to come up with Her Final Watch. Promised Lies took a year.

 

Who designed your book covers?

Endeavour Press designed Promised Lies and Her Final Watch. Judy Bullard is the designer for my YA mystery series.

 

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do see writing as a career. It’s very important to me and the challenges that come along with it.

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, I wouldn’t change anything. In fact, it kept me focused on what to write in my upcoming book, The Parolee.

 

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Gabrielle Union as Detective Lily Blanchette.

 

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I want to thank you for giving Detective Lily Blanchette a chance to invade your personal reading space.

 

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