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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…

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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.

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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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Taken By The Huntsman by Mistral Dawn

taken by the huntsman

 

“Hey Everyone!! 🙂

TakenbytheHuntsman AmazonI’ve got exciting news for you, today!  Taken By The Huntsman is on sale for only 99 cents from December 20th through the 26th! It’s been a couple of years since I dropped the price that low, and I don’t know when I’ll do it again. So, if you don’t already have a copy, now’s the time to click on the link below and grab one! 🙂

If you already have a copy, but know a friend who might enjoy an adult fairy tale, why not give them a copy? After all, ebooks make fantastic stocking-stuffers! Need a last minute gift for someone you forgot to shop for and don’t want to brave the crowds in the stores? Here you go! And it will be in your inbox in minutes. Did you get someone a new Kindle as a gift? Well, don’t give it to them empty! Here’s an inexpensive way to give them their first taste of Kindle reading.

Also, the whole series is available through Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a member you can read it for free! Happy Holidays!!”

~Mistral     

 

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Excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman:

Jumping to his feet, he caused his Anamchara to back up a step. The look in his eyes was dangerous, and she was suddenly unsure of herself. He stalked towards her with all the liquid grace of the predator that he was, and she retreated until she found herself backed against a wall.

She looked up into his face and saw that his green eyes were glowing. Leaning towards her, he put his hands on the wall on both sides of her, caging her within his embrace. Unaccountably, she found herself getting aroused and was horrified. How could she be turned on at such a time?

Cadeyrn scented Cassie’s growing desire and a snarl trickled from between his lips. He opened his mouth to better catch the scent, and Cassie saw that his canines seemed to have lengthened. She gasped.

The Erlking lowered his face to her neck and inhaled deeply. Cassie ducked her head. Her heart was beating a mile a minute, but she felt an answering throb for each pulse from between her legs. Moisture gathered as her arousal grew, and she rubbed her thighs together. Her breath caught as she raised her hands and put them against his chest. She didn’t push him away, but she kept them there as a barrier.

He skimmed his lips up the side of her throat, teasing her with the tips of his fangs. Breathing into her ear, he whispered, “This is what I mean when I say you enjoy being chased. You are excited to be pursued and aroused by being trapped. Do you dare deny this, when the scent of your desire hangs so heavily on you?”

Cassie shuddered as Cadeyrn nipped her earlobe and caressed it with his tongue. Gasping, she felt her knees wobble. When she tried to swallow, her mouth was too dry.

 

The Author:

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US, but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)).

She has written three full-length novels in the Spellbound Hearts series, Taken By The Huntsman, Bound By The Summer Prince, and Captivated By The Winter King, as well as Intrigue In The Summer Court, a novella in the Spellbound Hearts series.

To receive updates on her latest published work, please follow her on Amazon.

If you’d like more frequent updates, you can get her latest musings and excerpts from her work on her blog, Mistral Dawn’s Musings.

Mistral would love to hear from you through her Facebook page or Twitter

Spellbound Hearts

Push & Pull by Emily Cyr

Push & Pull by Emily Cyr - SALE BLITZ

Title: Push & Pull
Author: Emily Cyr
Genre: Adult Paranormal

Book one in The Vampire Favors Series:

Push & PullNever make a deal with a vampire. It always comes back to bite you; or so Addison Fitzpatrick has learned. In true Addison-fashion, she’d angered a drug dealer; she may have “forgotten” to pay him. Just when it was time to pay the piper, she was offered a way out by an unlikely being. Cannon Blackwood, master of vampires, made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Now, Addison owes Cannon three favors.

Seven years after that fateful meeting, just as Addison’s life is getting back on track, Cannon calls in one of the favors she owes him. There is a new drug that threatens the very existence of the vampire race and Cannon needs Addison, along with his brother Lachlan, who happens to be a professional thief, to steal it and destroy any evidence of it.

Not only is the future of the vampires on the line, but with both Cannon and Lachlan vying for her attention, her heart is as well. Addison has difficult choices to make and dangerous favors to repay if she wants to see the light of another day.

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Author Bio:
Emily Cyr is a stay-at-home mom turned writer. She holds a degree in middle grades education with certification in English and social science. She has always had a love of all things paranormal and fantasy, but it wasn’t until Emily’s husband said the words, “Why not?” that she considered putting her thoughts and ideas into the book, The Lightning Prophecy. This trilogy was just the start for Emily. It seemed to open a creative door that had been locked.

Emily has always been an avid reader. Through reading came her love of writing. The more she read, the more she knew she wanted to create her own world. Many of her first works were fan fiction.

Emily and her family currently reside in Cibolo, Texas. She has an incredibly supportive husband who is also an officer in the United States Air Force. They have three sons, ages 6, 4, and 1. Somehow, even with the demands of being a parent to two little boys, she finds time to escape to her fantasies and write them down.

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Book two in The Vampire Favors Series is also available

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 11:
The Neighbor’s Secret by Kimberley Montpetit

summer 17

 

NeighborsSecret_CVR_LRGAfter being left at the altar on her wedding day, businesswoman Allie Strickland returns to her hometown to heal her broken heart. But Heartland Cove County is a small town of Victorian homes and quirky, gossiping citizens.

Grieving the trauma of her ex-fiancé’s betrayal and overwhelmed by her clingy mother, Allie rents the first available house she can find. But on the very first night, Allie’s peace is violated by an unexpected intruder who breaks into the house while she’s taking a bubble bath. An intruder using an alias with old ties to Heartland Cove.

Forced by unusual circumstances to share the same rental house, Allie’s suspicions of the man grow—even as she finds herself attracted to him. But is Ethan Smith merely a magazine freelancer on assignment—or an undercover spy for the mayor who wants to ruin the charming town by running a new highway through for his own profit?

Is Ethan Smith friend or foe? Enemy or lover?

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Make sure to check it out on Author Kimberley Montpetit Amazon page!

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Snippet:

      It was the perfect day for a wedding. After months of trying on wedding gowns, ordering invitations, and searching every bridal boutique in Toronto for the perfect shoes, Allie Strickland was ready to walk—maybe even run—down the aisle of the church and into Sean Carter’s waiting arms.
      That morning Allie had taken her big fat red marker and made an X on the calendar.
      “Mrs. Sean Carter, here I come,” she whispered as she capped the pen and tossed it inside a packing box.
      During five years of dating, she and Sean had gone through grad school together, first jobs, saving money, and now Sean was climbing the ladder to become a partner with Learner & Associates Law Firm.
      She sent a text to Sean and then stared out the window in an effort to settle her nerves. With her brother Jake at the wheel and the car full of her mother, her sister Erin, and best friend Marla on their way to the Episcopal Church, Allie went over her luggage in the trunk, packed for fun, sun, and the beach.
      Three bikinis; red, black, and purple.
      Slinky dresses for candlelit dinners.
      Five pairs of shoes, including a pair of running shoes.
      Lingerie and toiletries.
      She couldn’t wait to get on that plane to Bermuda tomorrow and leave work and stress and family behind.
      Seven perfect days with Sean. Finally, finally, finally.

 

 
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authorWhen she was in Paris, Kimberley Montpetit spent most of her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops with their beautiful and delicious pastries. She grew up in the fabulous city of San Francisco, loves all things chocolate, and now lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her engineer husband and three sons.

She once stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland and didn’t sleep a wink, sailed the Seine in Paris, rode a camel in the ancient world wonder of Petra, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.

Kimberley also writes Award-winning Middle-Grade novels with Scholastic and Young Adult novels with Harpercollins under the name, Kimberley Griffiths Little.

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The Goddess’s Choice by Jamie Marchant

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Title: The Goddess’s Choice
Series: The Kronicles of Korthlundia Book 1
Author: Jamie Marchant
Genre: Epic Fantasy

GodessChoice-683x1024_400x600In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.

Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane–or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.

Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.

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Excerpt:

“Let us be painting your face tonight, Your Highness!” Ardra begged, in her north Korthian accent. Samantha’s maid was as small and slight as the princess herself and had hair so blonde it was almost white.

“Yes, Your Highness,” Malvina chimed in. “Lady Shela’s maids said just yesterday we couldn’t possibly know our business ’cause you never wear paint.” Malvina, more of a typical Korthlundian woman, was tall and broad and not nearly as pretty as Ardra.

“Lady Shela,” Samantha snorted in disgust. Shela wore so much paint she resembled some ghastly sea creature. Samantha knew she wasn’t pretty, but she was fond of the freckles that speckled her nose and thought the emerald green brilliance of her gown set off her white skin and auburn hair beautifully. Besides being appallingly uncomfortable, paint would absolutely spoil the effect. The princess gestured toward the huge portrait that covered one wall of her bedchamber. “Do you think Danu wore paint?”

Malvina shrugged. “The Princess Danu was said to be a powerful sorceress, Your Highness. She probably didn’t need to wear paint to attract men.”

Samantha laughed bitterly, as she thought of the army of men waiting below. “I wish not wearing paint was all it took to scare them off. They say Danu never married, and see how happy she is.”

Samantha yearned for Danu’s freedom. The long-dead princess was laughing as she galloped across the fields. Danu’s auburn hair flew out behind her in the wind. The stars on the forehead and chest of her horse shone against its gorgeous coat. Samantha loved this painting, which was just as well because it was bolted to the wall and couldn’t be removed without tearing her chambers apart. She’d decorated the rest of her bedroom to match. Tapestries of horses covered the walls. Her dressing table, armoire, and large four-poster bed had horses carved into the woodwork. A quilt, embroidered with horses and stars, was spread over the bed. The mantle over her fireplace sported figurines of horses in gold, silver, jade, crystal, and precious stones. Every new ambassador added to her collection.

**Don’t miss The Soul Stone: Book Two in The Kronicles of Korthlundia series!**

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The Soul Stone

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About the Author:

Jamie MarchantJamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998.

She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went in the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012.

Her other novels include The Soul Stone and The Ghost in Exile. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies–Urban Fantasy and Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds—and in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and Short-story.me. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives.

She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.

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Hereafter by Terri Bruce

 

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal
Date Published: January 9, 2014

 

Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn’t plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex…well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore.

 

Hereafter is on sale – just 99 cents! – until May 15th (and then returns to the regular price of $4.95)

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Excerpt:

“Come.” Samyel gestured, indicating that they should follow him. “We must go.”

“Go? Go where?” Irene asked.

“Away. Inside. Or they will see.”

“Who will see what?”

The dark glasses revealed nothing as he stood impassively for a moment. “Everyone.”

Samyel was attracting a lot of attention. The crowd moving around them was giving him a wide berth, and he was the focus of a lot of strange looks, which just confirmed that he wasn’t dead—people could see him. Irene knew that it looked like a seven-foot tall man in a trench coat and dark glasses was talking to himself in the middle of the sidewalk. It wouldn’t be long before the cops came to investigate.

Irene gestured for Samyel to lead the way. “Fine. Let’s go.”

Irene heard another choke of protest and glanced at Jonah. There was a silent exchange of mouthed words, pantomimed gestures, and angry, exaggerated looks.

“Don’t be crazy,” Jonah hissed. “You can’t go with him!”

“You’re the one that always wants to stop and talk to every weirdo we meet,” she countered.

“And what do you mean ‘you’? We’re both going.”

“Uh uh,” Jonah said. “This is your idea. If you get murdered, I’m not saving you.”

With an exasperated look, she motioned for Jonah to follow and set out after Samyel, who was nearly out of sight. Jonah reluctantly followed. Irene gave him a wry look as they trailed, side by side, a few feet behind Samyel. “You know, at some point, we’re going to have to talk about your propensity for picking fights with people bigger than yourself.”

“What’s propensity?”

“A really bad habit that you should stop.”

Jonah’s expression turned unreadable for a long moment, as if he was debating with himself, and then he looked away, stuffing his hands in his pockets and bowing his head to stare at the sidewalk as they went.

“I’ve changed the password, by the way, so you can’t do that again,” he said darkly.

She grabbed his arm, pulling him to a halt. “Jonah, listen to me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate you trying to protect me. I do. Even when it’s annoying and misplaced, like with Ernest. You’re the bravest, sweetest guy I’ve ever met, but I’m dead. You’re not. I’m already probably going to Hell for dragging you along on this adventure. Don’t add being the cause of your death to my list of crimes, okay?”

The tips of his ears had turned pink and his head was down, shoulders hunched. Then, to her surprise, he suddenly looked at her, his eyes inquiring as he searched her face. She didn’t know what he was looking for, but he was gazing at her so earnestly that she blushed.

 
The Author:

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and science fiction stories from beautiful Downeast ME, where she lives with her husband and multi cats. She is the author of the paranormal/contemporary fantasy “Afterlife” series, which includes Hereafter (Afterlife #1) and Thereafter (Afterlife #2), and several short stories in various anthologies.

 

 

 

Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter

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Title: Beauty of the Beast
Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Series: Fairy Tale Retellings, #1
Release Date: March 15, 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Retellings, Gothic Romance

 

BotB_cover_eBookExperience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.


A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: This is an edgy retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

🌹 Special $2.99 sale price through March 19th 🌹

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Rachel L. Demeter is giving away an Ebook copy of Finding Gabriel directly to your Kindle

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Excerpt:

~ Adam gives Isabelle his library ~

“Close your eyes, ma belle.”

Strong hands cupped either side of her face. She felt as Adam’s thumbs tentatively brushed back and forth, stroking her cheeks in reverent caresses. Isabelle shut her eyes and slipped beneath his spell… leaned closer in the darkness until they stood heartbeat to heartbeat. The warmth of his breaths teased her hairline, bringing with them a minty scent. His thumbs descended to just below her chin. She lowered her face… felt a featherlight kiss land on her brow. It happened so subtly and gently—Isabelle wasn’t sure whether she’d imagined it.

She was allowing herself to feel too much. A stab of guilt penetrated her chest as her thoughts crept inward. Yet instincts told her to trust in her gut—to allow her heart to speak over her tumultuous thoughts. So she shoved away her guilt and allowed herself to simply feel.

Pounding footfalls echoed in the room, attesting to its sheer size. Isabelle waited in anticipation under the veil of darkness, her small hands knotted in Stranger’s wiry coat. The steady beat of Adam’s boots floated away from her. A loud whipping noise and a burst of light illuminated the room as he tugged a heavy damask curtain aside.

“Open your eyes, Isabelle.”

She did as he commanded. Shafts of sunlight tore inside, dancing across the marble floor in blaring prisms—though the darkness still obstructed the room’s contents. Isabelle’s imagination soared as she fantasized about what lay in those clotted shadows. Pale light fringed Adam’s formidable shape, contrasting his silhouette against the dim atmosphere.

He paused in front of the opened window and folded both arms behind his ramrod-straight back. Isabelle gazed at the line of his body, unable to tear her eyes away. Indeed, light from the window set him aglow, shrouding him in a cloak of gold. He wore black trousers and a white silk shirt, which fluttered lightly when he moved. Over the past several days, he’d made a habit of abandoning the cloak and hood. Isabelle had become accustomed to the mismatched sides of his face; where she once felt horror and revulsion, she now tingled with curiosity and budding admiration. Alas, the only true revulsion that remained was the memory of that night…

Adam was an undeniably prideful man, and she knew he’d only scorn her pity. Even his stance exuded a sense of importance and authority. Strange, how he was so often shy and almost childlike; then, as if by a flip of a coin, he’d turn regal, confident. It was as though he was battling two separate halves… as if an intricate part of himself kept fighting to emerge.

Not unlike the two contrasting sides of his face, Isabelle mused.

For a suspended moment, he stood in front of the conservatory window, his scarred hands planted on his lean hips as he surveyed the distant gardens. Then he crossed the room, his footfalls amplified by the medallion flooring, and thrust open another curtain.

Whoosh. Light flooded the space and chased away the shadows, and the room’s contents were ushered into view.

Isabelle nearly lost her breath at the sight.

It was a beautiful library—the most stunning sight she’d ever beheld. Ornate, intricately carved shelves towered against the painted walls and reached for a gilded ceiling. A baroque chandelier hung in the heart of the room; its crystals sparkled like diamonds as they drank in morning’s light. Isabelle fought to temper her racing heart as she gaped at the sweeping shelves. An intimate reading nook lined a curved window; lush pillows decorated the chaise, and a brass candelabra towered beside it.

In all her life, she’d never seen so many books. There were far too many to count. Too many books to read in one lifetime. Isabelle couldn’t help but think of the little storekeeper from Ruillé’s bookshop; she imagined his astonishment, how his bushy white brows would rise at the sight of Adam’s vast library. He’d run his wrinkled fingertips over the bindings and spines, reverently caressing each one. Her heart twisted with nostalgia at the thought of her former home. Once Raphael had entered her life, however, Ruillé had transformed into a prison.

This castle should have been just that. A jail cell. Yet she’d never felt more free than in that moment.

The library was larger than her whole cottage; several book-filled rooms connected to it, each one built with floor-to-ceiling shelves. Three sliding ladders were nestled against the circular walls, soaring to the very top of the domed ceiling.

She spun on her heels, twirling in place—watching as the immense collection flurried by in a fantastic mosaic of colorful spines and intricate woodwork.

Her eyes planted on Adam, who stood in front of the large row of glowing, arched windows. His arms were still folded behind his body, his sleek back straighter than an arrow. She couldn’t find her voice, couldn’t move forward, although she ached to reach out and embrace his solid body.

How would it feel to be enveloped inside that commanding strength?

A devastating smile spread across his misshapen features and cut her thought short. He ran a shaky hand through his hair, which was highlighted by the sun’s rays, and then hesitantly strode toward her. His boots rapped against the floor, and the sound swelled through the library. Stranger barked as he approached, the loud noise echoing in the room and jarring Isabelle from her trance.

“Do… do you like it?”

Finally he stood before her, silent and still. Isabelle inhaled a long breath, then laid her palm on the left side of his face. Her fingertips danced over the raised ridges and welts, the reddish scars and shriveled ear. His eyes shuttered closed, and she felt a shudder rake through his tense body.

“Yes. I love it.” And I’m starting to fall in love with you, too…

 
 
The Author:

998774_196925293816491_1628414777_nRachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of fourteen years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.

Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.

Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

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