Book Tour: Max and the Spice Thieves by John Peragine #Fantasy #YoungAdult @johnpwriter

Max and the Spice Thieves
John Peragine
(Secrets of the Twilight Djinn #1)
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker’s world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas.

Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy.

Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world.

With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows.

Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…

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John Peragine’s Top Ten Favorite Books

The Hobbit

Lord of the Rings (we can count the series as one)

Dune

Interview with a Vampire

The Witching Hour

Treasure Island

Arabian Nights

Odd Thomas

The Shining

Bloodstone (Karl Edward Wagner)

Author Bio:

John Peragine is an author of over fourteen books. The Secrets of the Twilight Djinn series was written as a bedtime story for his son Max to cope with medical issues he was facing as a little boy. John is a full-time ghostwriter who lives with his son, wife, and a menagerie of animals on his vineyard overlooking the Mississippi River.

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BOOK REVIEW: Fake Love by Penny Wylder #contemporaryromance

Spending the night with a guest in my lodge was a mistake.

Getting caught the next morning by her parents is… much worse.

Then I really messed it up by panicking and claiming to be her fiance.
I know, I know, but I could tell she was freaking out.
I thought I was doing her a favor.
Now we’re stuck pretending to be in love. It’s not all bad— Erin is gorgeous, funny, smart.
But when she tells me her life is a mess, I know I can’t stick around because I’ll muck it up more.
Just a few days. Then our future husband and wife act can end.
What happens when I don’t want it to?

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

If you like steamy Insta-love romances, you can’t go wrong with Fake Love! The chemistry between Erin and Hudson is off the charts, and they’re clearly meant for one another. It’s a quick read with a happily ever after that will leave you wanting more… and you’ll definitely want a Hudson of your own.

Release Blitz: Leviathan by Sky Purington #dragonshifters #timetravel

 

 

Leviathan

Viking Ancestors: Forged in Fire 
Book One
Sky Purington
 
Genre: Time Travel Dragon Shifter Romance
Date of Publication: April 12, 2021
ASIN: B08NFGDNWR
Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 70K
Cover Artist: Tara West
 
Tagline: An explosive enemies-to-lovers tale teeming with wicked secrets and fiery passion.
 
Book Description: 
 
The only thing Destiny knows is her name, but who’s complaining? She lives in a beautiful million-dollar seaside chalet without a care in the world. At least until a psychic shows up at her front door claiming Destiny’s true identity is remarkable. She must remember who she is. What she’s meant to do. If that isn’t enough, her house isn’t her own, and her fate tied to a man in the distant past. A fierce, brooding Viking who’s too arrogant for his own good yet sinfully alluring.
 
Leviathan doesn’t believe in love, so the woman he saved shouldn’t be haunting his thoughts. Especially considering they barely got along. Yet now, thanks to the fire he used to keep Destiny alive, the feisty, stunning redhead is put in his path once more. Worse yet, she might be the foretold Sigdir who sparks the next Great War. That means she must die by his blade once and for all.
 
Will Leviathan be able to sacrifice Destiny to save everyone? Or is it already too late, and she’s found her way into a heart he didn’t know he had? Find out as they embark on an epic dragon shifter romance adventure across time in Viking Ancestors: Forged in Fire. 

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Excerpt

As dumbfounded as she’d been when she saw it from afar, Destiny looked up at the castle towering over her. It wasn’t a typical Viking structure but something more sinister yet somehow alluring. Blackened wall walks curved around dozens of towers, and spires shot toward the sky.

“Though he calls it the Realm’s, welcome to what everyone calls Leviathan’s Keep behind his back,” Freya informed. “Because he does so much for us. Gives us safe harbor.” She grinned. “He built it to Múspellsheimr standards to make its dragons feel welcome. All dragons, for that matter.” She glanced at Leviathan with pride. “It’s seen many battles over the years as dragons grew into their own, but in the end, it’s always been a place of resolution and accord. A place where dragons can act like themselves among their own kind.”

“Impressive.” She meant it too. This place was something else.

She eyed people as they made their way toward an ancient-looking grand staircase leading to a behemoth door flagged by massive torches. Though everyone looked normal enough, Viking to the bone, she could feel the fluctuating animalistic energy in the air. Leviathan nodded at many in passing but said little, his expression hard though his eyes were cordial enough.

“It might be safe, but he still doesn’t want them out in this unnatural weather, does he?” she murmured. “He’s worried about them.”

“Every hour of every day of every year,” Freya said softly. “Endlessly.” Her knowing gaze slid Destiny’s way. “Not many see that so clearly.” She considered her. “Or better put, feel it.”

“My necklace then?” Destiny hadn’t missed the shocked glances that went from her face to her collar. Again, she felt the urge to yank it off, declaring her independence, and again, just as swiftly, wanted it right where it was.

“You know better than to ask me that.” Freya stuck close, making it clear to all they were allies. Friends despite having just met. “You knew Leviathan better than most before I put that necklace on you.”

“Perhaps,” she murmured, but Freya was right. Whatever had happened between them had bonded them together in a way she knew damn well he struggled with. She struggled with.

Yet it had happened.

Was part of them.

And it was locking them together more readily than a collar ever could.

The inside of the castle took her breath away with its stark, towering, regal yet gothic beauty. A massive octagonal great hall led to several long, spiraling staircases going in different directions, rising up so high she wondered if there were an end in sight. Endless cathedral-like stained glass windows depicting sweeping dragons were made more magnificent by the shimmering ash beyond.

“Look at this place,” she whispered in awe, not sure what to admire first.

Four behemoth hearths hosted roaring fires, and huge bowls of fire hung like chandeliers as high as the eye could see. The air smelled of smoke, lust, and roasting meat.

“It used to reek of sulfur too,” Freya said out of the corner of her mouth, “but Leviathan whipped things into shape and taught this bunch how to get their dragon breath under control.”

She bit back a smile. “Glad to hear that.”

Everyone might appear Viking with fur cloaks and pagan looks, but there was no mistaking the fire flaring in many a cat-like eye. Dragons peered back at her with such strong curiosity she knew her collar had made a big impact.

Where Leviathan had remained in front of them to this point, now he fell in beside Destiny. Not to introduce her but rather, from what she could tell, to claim his territory. There was no grand introduction that a time traveler had arrived but rather a pointed sweep from his stormy gaze, lingering on select group of males before he gestured that she follow him.

“Seriously?” she said under her breath to Freya. “Was that Leviathan’s way of welcoming me?”

“Yes.” Freya chuckled and linked arms with her, again making it clear to all they were friends. “And I’ve never seen him do it. Not once with anyone.” She winked. “Let alone a woman branded by his scale.”

“Ah, so that’s the official name for wearing this around my neck?” She snorted. “Sounds like ownership if I didn’t know better.”

“But you do know better,” Freya reminded. “You know this is all for show because you and Leviathan don’t do forever.”

 

 

About the Author:

Sky Purington is the bestselling author of over fifty novels and novellas. A New Englander born and bred who recently moved to Virginia, Purington married her hero, has an amazing son who inspires her daily and two ultra-lovable husky shepherd mixes. Passionate for variety, Sky’s vivid imagination spans several romance genres, including historical, time travel, paranormal, fantasy and erotica. Expect steamy stories teeming with protective alpha heroes and strong-minded heroines.

Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com. Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Either visit Sky’s website, http://www.SkyPurington.com, join her quarterly newsletter, or sign up for personalized text message alerts. Text ‘skypurington’ (no quotes, one word, all lowercase) to 74121. Texts will ONLY be sent when there is a new book release. Readers can easily opt out at any time. 

Website: www.skypurington.com

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3tePdVv 

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Blog: https://skypuringtonwrites.blogspot.com 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/skypurington

 

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Cover Reveal: Worn Out Places by R.H. McMahan #YoungAdult @karenreneewrite

Worn Out Places
R.H. McMahan
Publication date: September 1st 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

I can’t answer that question. I can’t tell him I’ve spent my whole life trying to disappear. I can’t tell him that I was born a drug addict. Or that I’ve been in foster homes so terrible I wished I didn’t exist. And I can’t tell him that last year ended any ambition I had to make it somewhere better in this world.

Drug addict parents. The foster care system. Living on the streets of New York City.

Zoie Cruz is used to an unflinching world that takes without giving back. But at seventeen she isn’t used to Northern Michigan, a family that wants her to succeed, and sobriety.

Everything changed on Christmas morning last year. Her social worker calls it a tragedy and her weekly Narcotics Anonymous meeting wants her to open up. All Zoie wants is to be left alone to get high.

When she meets local golden boy Dean, he’s determined to pull Zoie out of her darkness. And she’s determined to keep her walls sealed shut.

In a whirlwind struggle to stay clean, Zoie’s secrets can only stay hidden for so long.

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Author Bio:

R.H. McMahan a.k.a. Mickie is a Puerto Rican and Irish YA/NA author. She was born and raised in Chicago – and yes she thinks it’s important that you know that. In June of 2020, she graduated with a BA in English Lit and Creative Writing and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing.

Mickie dreamt of becoming an author since she started telling stories on the playground in first grade. Ever since then it is rare to find her without a notebook and a pen. Her book baby, Worn Out Places, debuts on September 1st and she cannot wait to share it with the world.

If she’s not writing she’s doing other creative things like singing, dancing, and drawing.

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Spotlight: Tobias (Salvation’s Bane MC) by Marteeka Karland #mcromance #agegap @marteekakarland @changelingpress

I hate bullies. Gymnastics moms are the worst, too. So when a girl who looks no older than the kids with the overbearing mothers steps in to take over, I’m more than a little skeptical. Her name is, of all things, Kitty, and I’ve been watching her from a distance. I just didn’t realize she was a highly trained athlete in the body of a young, beguiling, innocent woman. Everything about her calls to my protective instincts. Especially when I find her putting herself in the hands of the very tormentor who broke my sister.

Available Today at Changeling Press

Preorder for April 16th at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Marteeka Karland

One thing Tobias had decided over the last few weeks was that little girls ought to be able to be little girls. Oh, and gymnastics moms were bitches.

Like right now. There was a busty redhead yelling at a kid who looked like she was maybe in her late teens. Tall with flame-orange hair, the girl looked like she was on the verge of crying. Which pissed Tobias the fuck off. He wanted to punch the bitch in the face. Let her take a fall. Maybe she’d find out the fucking mat wasn’t so fucking soft when she landed.

Just as he was about to intervene — it was his Goddamned gym in the first fucking place — another girl inserted herself between the two. This girl looked close to the same age. Slight of build, she carried herself with confidence. It was the only indication she might be older than a teenager. Her mahogany-colored hair was braided into a long, thick tail at the back of her head that fell almost to her hips. It was what gave her away.

Kitty was obviously very good with the kids, but she also seemed to be an accomplished gymnast on her own. Not much bigger than the orange-haired kid, she had more muscle in her legs and arms, though she was much shorter than the adult redhead. She talked to the older woman for a moment, smiling a megawatt smile, seeming to smooth things over. The older woman backed off, but shook her finger at the young girl once before turning back to the mothers’ area.

Tobias watched as the two girls interacted for a while, Kitty obviously giving some pointers before putting a hand on the other girl’s shoulder and urging her back to the large, square spring floor. Tobias had no idea how they kept everyone from slamming into each other, but each gymnast seemed to have his or her own section, depending on what they were working on. He watched for several minutes while the two girls went through some moves, then Kitty encouraged the other one to do the skill she’d previously fallen on. Immediately, Tobias could see how the stuff they’d worked on for a scant few minutes fit with the skill the kid was trying to learn. She stumbled a little on the landing, but she didn’t fall on her face, and it was obvious she was pleased with the change.

The orange-haired kid jumped up and down, clapping her hands, and threw herself into Kitty’s arms. They both laughed for a few seconds before the girl did the skill again. Then again. Repetition was a staple of gymnastics.

Not for the first time, he wondered why he’d taken on this responsibility. He’d volunteered to hire a decent coach and install the recommended equipment. Not high-end, but sturdy and competition legal. Three days a week, he opened the gym for the coach and her band of tumblers. They ranged in age from about five or six to high-school boys and girls. Classes were free to the students through level seven. Everything beyond that was preparation for elite-level gymnastics, which he knew from previous experience was basically Olympic level. Professionals. This coach said she didn’t teach that level, and most of the kids were just that. Kids. Either in cheerleading or school gymnastics. Even though Salvation’s Bane had discovered she was trying to break into elite gymnastics, they paid the coach for her time and gave her a decent, rent-free place for her students to train. In return, Bane used the place as a tax write-off and sometimes, occasionally, every once in a very little while, laundered money when they were paid for some paramilitary operation inside the US without permission. Happened from time to time when Thorn took jobs outside of ExFil, the security company run by the president of their sister club, Bones. Or something like that. Tobias didn’t do tax shit. He punched things.

The reason Tobias had taken on this responsibility was twofold. First, he wanted control over the remodel of the building. He was the instructor for any police or military organization they trained, so he wanted a say in what it was OK to change. Second? Yeah. He really hated gymnastics moms. Always had. In his opinion, they were worse than Little League dads and pageant moms. They pushed these tiny little girls into doing things they could — and often did — hurt themselves doing. Tobias saw it as his mission in life to make sure any mom who was out-of-bounds got called out. Dads didn’t seem to be as bad, but there were one or two. The come-to-Jesus meetings had been swift and eye opening for those men.

As he watched, the two girls continued until Kitty encouraged the younger one to continue on her own. Kitty gave a little wave and went to the balance beam and started working out, stretching and doing handstands and such on the narrow surface. The younger girl’s mother, instead of praising the girl like Tobias thought she should, gestured wildly at her, obviously displeased about something. Fucking bitch.

Tobias made his way from his office to the stair on the balcony overlooking the massive gym. The place was three stories of open space. When he was training the guys, they built scale models on the floor to replicate urban settings or whatever they needed. Now, it was filled with local children on competitive gymnastics apparatus. He trotted down the stairs and stalked straight toward the orange-haired gymnast and her mother.

“Tobias.” The warning came from the gallery where some of the parents waited for the lessons to be concluded. Stryker gave him an exasperated look. “You can’t go beating up on women you don’t like. It’s bad for business.”

“Ain’t like we’re gettin’ money from this anyway. It’s a fuckin’ tax write-off.”

“Yeah, but we still need it. I know you’re headed to the redhead, and I’d say with good reason, but keep it down, OK? We don’t want people afraid to come here.”

“They yell at their kids like that, maybe they need to be afraid.”

“Yeah, well, if you run them off, what happens then? Be nice so the kid has a safe place to go if she needs it.”

Tobias sighed. He and Stryker always had each other’s backs. But sometimes it was a bitch when Stryker was right.

“Fuckin’ bitches are just as vicious as I remember.” Tobias still stood there, watching. The mother seemed to sense his presence and glanced in his direction. Did a double take. Then she stood up straighter, her entire focus on Tobias, her daughter and the girl’s perceived failure forgotten. She pushed her chest out and slinked his way.

“Yeah,” Stryker chuckled, clapping him on the shoulder. “I hear ya. Good luck with that.”

“Wait. You leaving?” It was all Tobias could do not to burst out in a maniacal laugh. It wasn’t that he was afraid of the woman. More that he was afraid of what he’d do to the bitch if he had to be in her company more than a few seconds.

“Only stepped in to calm your tits. How you proceed from here is all you, brother.”

“Fucker.”

As the woman approached him — eyefucking the living hell out of him — it took everything in Tobias not to take a step back away from her. The only thing making him stand his ground was his Marine pride. No gymnastic-mom bitch was making this Marine retreat.

“Hello there,” she purred. Perfectly manicured nails reached for his chest. Before she could touch his shirt, however, Tobias caught her wrist. A not-so-subtle hint she shouldn’t touch him. “I don’t remember seeing you around. I’m Madonna.” She glanced behind him, not making an effort to hide what she was doing. “Where’d your friend go?”

“None of your fuckin’ business.” Rude, but Tobias wasn’t in the mood.

Red just shrugged. “His loss, but no matter.” She gave him a carnivorous smile. “You’re still here. We could…” She trailed off, her smile going even wider, “pass the time in private until my daughter’s finished for the day. Could take a few hours.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

Book Blitz: Bovine Tricks by Seelie Kay #romanticsuspense @BookReviewTours @SeelieKay

 

About the Book:

Lady Annabelle Trask is missing. Unfortunately, MISix doesn’t know if they’re looking for a woman, a cow, or something in between!

Is it real or is it fantasy? That’s the question MISix Agent Mathilda Honoria Spencer struggles with on her latest assignment. Tasked with discovering the whereabouts of Lady Annabelle Trask, Tillie is thrust into the world of Hucows and other human animals. It’s a world that raises serious questions about sexual fetishes, intentional physical enhancements, and even pornography, but in the end, Tillie has only one mission—to rescue and return Lady Annabelle to the Queen. However, as she and her partner, Agent Abdul Ali, attempt to find Lady Annabelle and keep her out of the clutches of terrorists bent on destroying the monarchy, they must also wrestle with their feelings for each other. Can they draw the line between their duty to the Crown and their relationship with one another? Or must they embark on separate paths to continue to serve the Queen?

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Read an Excerpt from Bovine Tricks

Tillie’s face reddened. Suddenly, she felt quite queasy. She started to speak, but her superior held up his hand.

“There’s more. This is a human-animal auction. It is not limited to Hucows. There will be Hupigs, Huhorses, and maybe even, Husheep. Fortunately, you are to focus on the cows. That is where we believe Lady Annabelle will be found.”

Tillie gazed at him. “What if she isn’t there? What if she has changed…er, species?”

“I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it.”

“And what am I to do if I find Lady Annabelle? How do I extract her?”

“You purchase her at the auction. You have been given sufficient funds to bid up to one million Euros.”

Tillie’s eyes grew wide. “Criminy. That much?”

Lord Ryder nodded. “These cows are well-trained and well-treated. The females are pampered—weekly manicures, hair treatments, and such. A happy cow is a happy milker, as they say.”

Tillie’s eyes widened. “Lady Annabelle could be there willingly? She is not necessarily a captive, forced be a Hucow?”

“Exactly. And that is our dilemma. While the Queen hopes that she is there willingly, several factors are at play. Lady Annabelle may have freely joined a farm to become a Hucow, or she may just have danced on the wild side and somehow wound up at auction. In the alternative, she may have been kidnapped and forced to become a Hucow, or she may have been forced and now enjoys the lifestyle. There are all sorts of reasons she could be there and all sorts of reasons she prefers to stay. Our only mission is to get her out.”

Tillie frowned. “Why would they put her up for auction? Isn’t that a way to get rid of unproductive or uncooperative cows?”

“Not necessarily. Some farms simply raise and train Hucows, then sell them. Given their going rate, it is a lucrative business. A great way to supplement the income from a regular farm. Human cows bring much more lucre than actual farm-raised cows.”

Tillie sighed. “For just one day, I would like to forget that there is a whole lot of people engaged in activities that far surpass my imagination.”

Lord Ryder’s mouth curved up into a wry smile. “Then we would be out of a job.”

Tillie tapped her jaw, considering. “You know, this might be a better job for the Yanks. They are a kinky bunch. I believe there was a recent study that found them to be the kinkiest country in the world.”

Lord Ryder snorted. “If you were the Queen, would you want that bunch of kinksters to know your relatives are participating in like behavior? Why their intelligence services would find a way to use it against us for decades.” He shook his head. “No. This we do alone.”

About Seelie Kay:

Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie on the Web:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Author’s Amazon Page

New Release: The Fae King’s Prize by Jamie Schlosser #paranormalromance @EJBookPromos

Title: The Fae King’s Prize
Series: Between Dawn and Dusk #3
Author: Jamie Schlosser
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 8, 2021

When I wake up at a female auction in a world I don’t recognize, all I can think about is getting back home to Texas. I want absolutely nothing to do with a realm called Valora, magic, faeries, or being sold to the highest bidder.

But the Day Realm king has other plans.

Zander says I’m his fated mate. I don’t believe him. That doesn’t stop him from tricking me into marrying him, though. It doesn’t matter if I argue or run—he won’t let me go.

I should hate him. Instead, I find myself ridiculously attracted to the stubborn, broody man. Sometimes he terrifies me, so I don’t know why his rare smiles give me warm tingles or why his arms make me feel safe.

Everything about Valora is confusing, but after just a short time here, I realize something—this place is full of dangers that are way more frightening than my new husband, and staying by his side just might be my only option.

“I can’t believe I actually thought you were handsome.”

He lifts an eyebrow. “You think I’m handsome?”

“Thought. Past tense.”

“I don’t understand. How can you find me good-looking one minute, and not the next?”

“Because that was before you tricked me into marrying you.”

“If you’re attracted to me, you should be happy we’re married.”

I bark out a laugh. “Marriage is a lot more than attraction.”

“You’re right.” Stealthily, Zander moves toward me, and I back up until the mattress behind me makes me buckle.

My butt lands on the soft feathers with an, “Oof.”

Zander sits next to me, so close our knees are bumping. “My marriage to you is the linking of our souls. The promise to be together until the end of time. The vow that I will love you, unconditionally, forever.”

Jamie Schlosser writes steamy new adult romance and romantic comedy. When she isn’t creating perfect book boyfriends, she’s a stay-at-home mom to her two wonderful kids. She believes reading is a great escape, otters are the best animal, and nothing is more satisfying than a happily-ever-after ending.

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BOOK TOUR — Entanglement: Quantum and Otherwise by John K. Danenbarger #crimefiction @danenbargertw

Entanglement: Quantum and Otherwise

By John K Danenbarger

Genre: Literary Crime Fiction

About the Book

They look like the perfect family. 

But every family has its secrets.

Can we ever know the people we love?

Imagine flipping through old family albums. The faces are familiar; their true stories lost to time—half-forgotten family anecdotes woven together by generations of proud aunts and kindly grandmothers conceal more than they reveal.

“Entanglement” explores the blank spaces in our family trees.

The lives of eight souls intertwine in a sprawling family history. The family story is a legacy of addiction, kidnapping, crime, and murders unresolved and unforgiven.

Enjoy this epic achievement in the experimental tradition of David Mitchell and Ian McEwan, with the darkly exotic undertones of books like Mexican Gothic and The Cutting Season.

Excerpt

Glacial ice. Layered. Thick. Forming after the bewildering storm in her head and creeping up her spine. The courier’s delivery from Joe Tink lies like a white patch of snow on her desk. Being alone in her office, she doesn’t have to explain to anyone why she is waiting for it to melt. But it doesn’t. Finally, with curiosity spreading like hoar-frost, she feels forced to open this unwarranted denunciatory thing in front of her. To decide if she should leave.

Your father is dead.

That’s it? She’s vexed. Almost angry. What’s with this couriered letter? He could just as easily have called her from Bangor. Always had. They were close, weren’t they? Closer than normal.

Besides, she had long hoped her father would kill himself.

But Joe wrote more. Pages and pages.

This late-September afternoon, in some sort of unfamiliar circuitous telepathy, Geena has been thinking about Joe—Pickled Tink Joe—more than usual. She was reminded of him earlier by two different women in her Kansas City office asking Geena about the fall season back in New England, presuming that she knew all about New England and its leaves.

You know, Geena, how beautiful it must be!

With Geena’s children out of the nest and her ex a near-forgotten fugitive from marriage, she had moved to a smaller apartment in Prairie Village, west of Kansas City, to live alone, but rarely feeling alone. Her two boys, or more probably their spouses, dependably call about visiting her with the grandchildren during holidays, and neighbors in the building complex drop in daily to see if she needs anything.

While early on in younger years if she had lived there in Prairie Village—if she would have had time to think—she might have found this neighborly spontaneity a bothersome lack of privacy. Now, in her fifties, she loves this place and the midwestern populace who go nowhere. No New Englander had ever seemed as outgoing and optimistic as these Kansas busybodies. And, although Geena found that the religious tethering of the Bible Belt could be a nuisance, she has several local social friends who are comfortably unbridled and who distract Geena from her shrouded pathos, often recruiting her into playing bridge on Sunday afternoons and in occasional local tournaments.

Geena would never tell any one of these people, or anyone else for that matter, how she had grown up seeing the fall season as death-and-dying. Invariably depressing. Kansas is nosy neighbors, but still, New England is the epitome of fall presenting itself in all its dispiriting glory. In New England she had thought she smelled the dying in the rotting leaves, and she had heard death’s unambiguous footsteps in Maine’s ice and snow, inwardly cringing with the sound of each bone-crushing footfall in the long, dark winters.

Or maybe not. Maybe the winters are not the reason at all. Maine reminds her, in overkill, of the past, the shivers of buried darkness, ruining sleep. Anguish, grief, agony. Words that mean nothing compared to the reality.

Thus, many years ago, when offered a full-time position after temping in Kansas City during college, she decided to continue living in Kansas, away from New England. Geena is running her own construction consulting business, her towering height underscoring her authoritative presence, both for her few employees and for her clients. She has made sure her office staff have only seen her as a stoic engineer, a just but distant boss. Thus, the arrival of Joe’s letter forces her to leave the office as if struck by a sudden illness, which is, in fact, substantially true. She has escaped—not remembering the drive home—to hide her soul in the bedroom corner with her mother’s memories, in the few things she has kept: the cushioned chair—a maudlin carver chair she would never have bought—and the dorm-room lamp, as stringent as its droll Ikea name, that her mother bought Geena years ago.

Lost in the bedroom corner to scrutinize this bewildering letter, she doesn’t remember having ever screamed before, but at the end of this letter, she has screamed. Now crying quietly, the soft reverberations of her emotional outburst, Geena feels a punishing sensation sweeping harshly over her with the intensity of a squalid wind, a punishment for all things hidden inside her.

About the Author

John was a merchant marine captain, sailing the New England coast (including round-trips to Bermuda), and now writes literary crime fiction. He spends much of his creative time in Italy with his wife.

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Book Tour: Unnatural by Deven Greene #thriller @pumpupyourbook

  

 

A gripping and unique fast-paced medical thriller… 

 

 

 

By Deven Greene

 

Title: UNNATURAL (Erica Rosen MD Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Deven Greene
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Pages: 292
Genre: Medical Thriller

 

BOOK BLURB:

Dr. Erica Rosen is perplexed when she sees a young Chinese girl with blue eyes in her San Francisco pediatrics clinic. The girl’s mother, Ting, is secretive, and Erica suspects she has entered the country illegally. Later, Erica encounters Ting’s son and discovers he has an unusual mutation. Erica learns that Ting’s children underwent embryonic stem cell gene editing as part of a secret Chinese government-run program.

The Chinese government wants to murder Ting’s son to prevent others from learning about his unusual mutation and the secret gene-editing program. At Ting’s urging, Erica heads to China to expose the program and rescue the infant Ting was forced to leave behind, all while attempting to evade the watchful eye of the Chinese government.

 

 

A compelling and richly woven story, perfect for those looking for their new favorite thriller! 

The UC San Francisco pediatric clinic is a lively and bustling facility where every sort of injury and infirmity has been seen, diagnosed and treated. That is, until the day a Chinese migrant named Ting brings her daughter in for an evaluation. The striking girl is truly an anomaly, bearing genetically impossible bright blue eyes. Dr. Erica Rosen presses Ting for information, but Ting is paranoid, evasive and overly protective of her family’s privacy. Things become more puzzling when Ting ends up in the ER with a wounded young son and insists that someone is trying to kill the boy. Shocking test results, a second attempt on the boy’s life and a missing phlebotomist are just the beginning of a riveting tale of government conspiracy, medical mystery and dangerous close-calls.

Unnatural is a flawlessly written medical thriller that focuses on a Chinese mother who will sacrifice everything to save her children. Erica is a bold protagonist who follows her instincts to some amazing discoveries. The narrative is driven by intelligent dialogue and a clever, yet heinous, plot. The cultural aspects between Ting and Erica feel authentic and the technical medical language is just complicated enough to feel genuine without becoming difficult to read. Deven Greene has created a truly gripping international thriller with just the right amount of humanity and compassion.  Unnatural, the first in the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy, is a compelling and richly woven story, perfect for those looking for a new favorite thriller!

–Indies Today 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1 

Exiting the restroom where I’d been unsuccessful in removing the vomit stain from the front of my white coat, I’d barely taken two steps before my physician’s assistant spotted me.  

“There you are, Dr. Rosen, you’re in room nine next. Here’s a clean coat.” 

“Thank you, Martha, you read my mind.” I shed my soiled coat, grabbed my stethoscope and other items from the pockets, and tossed the garment to my assistant. She handed me a clean white coat which I slipped on, all without missing a step as I strode toward room nine. We’d done this drill many times, synchronizing our moves for maximum efficiency. I often imagined my coat-switching exercise must be similar to refueling a jet in the sky. After I’d filled my pockets with the items in my hands, Martha removed my nametag from the dirty coat and handed it to me. I attached it to the upper pocket on my clean coat with the alligator clip. “Who’s the patient?” 

Martha smiled and held out a clipboard for me. “Evan Fields and his mom. Forearm laceration.” 

Continuing to walk, I grabbed the clipboard. “Thanks.” Martha started to speak, but I interrupted her. “I know, I know. Room nine.” 

Martha, a stout woman in her late thirties with short brown hair and a pasty complexion, slowed down, letting me approach the waiting patient on my own. When I reached the door to room nine, I knocked twice to let Evan and his mom know I was about to enter, then stopped. Obvious waste of time, I reminded myself. I slowly opened the door to the small, cluttered exam room, the familiar Shrek poster the first thing that greeted me. Pushing the door farther, I saw Evan sitting on the firetruck exam table, his mother seated in one of the two adult-size chairs. The two children’s chairs were empty.  

As usual, my jaw tightened a bit upon seeing the computer terminal, like the others found in every exam room. It sat innocently enough on a small table with a faux wood top near the sink. The best thing one might say about the computer is that it united all physicians practicing in the clinic and in clinics and hospitals across the country. Male, female, black, white, brown, tall, short, progressive, conservative, they all hated the computer, the bearer of the despised Electronic Health Record, or EHR. After two years in the clinic, you’d think I would be used to it, but I wasn’t. I still resented its intrusion into the time I spent with my patients and their parents. Instead of having a comfortable discussion with that now almost passé element known as eye contact, I needed to spend most of my appointment time sitting before the terminal and typing. Resigned to postponing my long-planned ax attack of the computer, I logged in and quickly confirmed Martha had made sure all the necessary information such as patient’s name and age, parents’ names, address, insurance, and reason for visit was up to date. 

Evan and his mom looked at me and smiled while I signed “Hello.” They each responded with a reciprocal sign. Both Evan and his mother are profoundly deaf. I was the only clinic doctor or staff of any sort proficient in American Sign Language, so it was always up to me to see the severely hearing-impaired patients, something I enjoyed. 

Evan was holding a bloody washcloth over his left forearm. His mother was signing furiously, informing me that Evan had fallen while climbing a tree, and cut his arm on the sprinkler below. I signed to Evan, requesting to take a look. He peeled away the washcloth, revealing a ragged two-inch gash on the lateral aspect of his forearm. I conveyed that I needed to clean the area and put in a few stitches.  

I left the room to get a suture kit, returning a few minutes later to find Evan sitting on his mother’s lap. “He’s afraid,” she signed. 

I explained it would only hurt when I injected the numbing medicine, and when we were done, I’d give him a dollar bill he could use at the dollar store a few blocks away. That’s all the encouragement Evan needed. I anesthetized the area, cleaned it, and put in five stitches. When I was done, Evan’s mom signed that she was proud he was so brave. I spread antibiotic over the wound and handed the boy a crisp dollar bill—one of six I had in my pocket. Most days I needed at least three to coax my patients into submission for various procedures. 

I broke away to sit on the stool facing the dreaded computer so I could enter information about the visit. I usually spoke to my patients as I typed, often just small talk. My inability to sign while I typed made me hate the EHR even more. After I finished typing, I instructed Evan and his mom how to care for his injury. Mother and son motioned their thanks, I handed Mom a printed set of wound care instructions, gestured goodbye, and backed out of the room.  

Martha wasted no time in finding me. “Five-year-old girl in room four for kindergarten physical. New patient. Good luck with that one. Mom has heavy accent. Chinese, I think.” 

The UC San Francisco pediatric clinic was always busy. In addition to the myriad clerks, physician’s assistants, nurses, and doctors rushing through the halls, there were the patients and their entourages. Each small visitor was accompanied by a parent, sometimes two, often with one or more siblings or a grandparent. Between the ages of two and eight, patients and siblings frequently ran through the narrow hallway, not mindful of anyone or anything in the way. 

Making my way to room four, I dodged three-foot-high twins running in front of their mother, the colorful LEDs on the soles of their shoes flashing erratically while they laughed and bumped into the legs of strangers. According to the clock above the clerk’s station, it was 11:30. Two patients behind already, I picked up my pace, brushed back the stray hairs that had escaped my low ponytail, noticed the name tag on my coat that read “Erica Rosen, MD, Pediatrics,” was crooked, and knocked on the door of room four. 

From within, I heard the muffled voice of a young woman. I barely made out, “Come in.” 

I straightened my name tag and before opening the door, glancing up in time to see the clinic director, Dr. Gabe Lewis turn the corner and walk in my direction. As usual, his white coat was clean and pressed, his hair looked ready for a photo shoot, and he looked more like a TV doctor than a real one. 

Avoiding eye contact, I pushed hard on the door and walked in. The door slammed behind me. 

“Hello, Ms. Chen,” I said, consulting the clipboard. “I’m Dr. Rosen.” 

I gazed around the familiar room with torn posters of SpongeBob SquarePants, The Little Mermaid, and Minions. The two adult-size chairs were empty. An attractive, thin young Asian woman with short hair sat in one of the little chairs, a small child on her lap with its face buried in her chest. The child had straight shoulder length shiny black hair. 

Damn, I thought. Martha didn’t get the kid stripped down to her underwear. Only took her shoes and socks off.

The woman seemed nervous, unable to speak for a few seconds. When she finally spoke, it was with a heavy Chinese accent. “This Wang Shu, Doctor. I Ting, his mother.” 

“Pleased to meet you,” I said, happy my roommate, Daisy, had exposed me to her parents and their heavy Mandarin accents countless times. Over the years, I had developed an ear for understanding their speech. 

“Hello, Wang Shu,” I said in my winning pediatrician’s voice, smiling. “How are you today?” 

The child didn’t move. “He shy,” Ting said. 

Knowing Asians pronounce “he” and “she” the same in their native tongue, the inappropriate gender reference didn’t surprise me. 

“I understand you’re here today to have Wang Shu’s kindergarten physical form filled out.” 

Shi. Yes.” Ting reached into her purse and handed me a two-page form, folded in thirds. 

I took a moment to examine the form. It looked familiar, resembling many I had filled out previously. I sat in front of the computer and checked the EHR. Other than the patient’s name, age, address and mother’s name, her chart was blank. It wasn’t unusual to have patients with no medical insurance. “Has Wang Shu had her vaccinations?” I asked. 

“Shi, yes. Everything. He have very good medical care. The best.” 

“I’m glad to hear that. Do you have some documentation?” 

Ting looked at me blankly. 

“Papers that list her vaccinations.” 

“We come from China. He get them there. I not have papers, but I know he get everything. Very excellent medical care.” 

“Wang Shu doesn’t start school for over a month. Can you have the information sent to you?” 

“No. Not possible.” 

“You must have shown documentation when you moved here. How long have you been in this country?” 

“Two month.” 

“You speak English very well for someone who’s been here such a short time.” 

“I study hard.” 

“Since it was only two months ago, you should still have the documentation of vaccination you showed to pass the health inspection when you came here.” 

“I not find it.” 

“If you don’t get the documentation, we’ll need to revaccinate her. Without proof of vaccines, she can’t go to school.” 

“Oh. He no like more vaccine. But no choice.” 

This woman seemed intelligent, clearly educated enough to speak English and know about vaccines. But something didn’t seem right. “I have to ask you this,” I said in my gentlest tone so as not to alarm her. “Did you enter the US illegally?”  

Ting burst into tears. 

I grabbed a tissue and handed it to her. “It’s okay. You can tell me. I won’t report you. But if you came here illegally, I’m going to insist that Wang Shu also have a TB test.”  

“I know he not have TB,” Ting said, her tears now a slow trickle. “He very healthy, never around people with TB.” 

“Well, she needs the test. I can’t put other children at risk.” 

“No, no,” Ting said, still sniffling. “He have BCG vaccine.” 

The BCG vaccine is given to protect people from TB in countries like China, that have a high incidence of the disease. When a TB skin test is given to people who have had a BCG vaccine, the test is often falsely positive. I turned to the child. 

“Now, Wang Shu, I’m going to have to examine you,” I said, wondering if the child understood a word I was saying. “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt.” 

I got up from my seat at the computer, picked up Wang Shu and placed her on the exam table. For the first time, her tiny face was exposed as she looked straight at me. Black hair cut into short, straight bangs across her forehead. Light olive skin. Typical Asian features, with a small nose and epicanthal folds in upper eyelids. I almost gasped. Light blue eyes.  What I was seeing was not possible. 

 

About the Author

Fiction writer Deven Greene lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Ever since childhood, Deven has been interested in science.  After working as a biochemist, she went back to school and became a pathologist.  When writing fiction, the author usually incorporates elements of medicine or science. Deven has penned several short stories. Unnatural is the first novel the author has published.  

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: https://www.devengreene.com 

Facebook: https://facebook.com/devengreeneauthor 

New Release: Jailbait by Lani Lynn Vale #RomanticSuspense #ContemporaryRomance @LaniLynnVale

Jailbait

Souls Chapel Revenants MC Book 3

Lani Lynn Vale

Release Date: April 6, 2021

About the Book

The first time I saw her was across the room at a bar. I had no idea at the time that she was only sixteen. All I knew was that she was beautiful, she was sending me do-me vibes from across the room, and I was fresh off a deployment where there’d been nobody but men for nine of the longest months of my life.

The second time that I saw her was at a court hearing that would decide how long I’d be sent to prison for. She was a cute little curly-haired blonde with wide, expressive eyes, a banging body, and the reason that I’d gone to prison in the first place.

The third time I saw her was through a glass divider of the prison visitation room as she waited for her stepfather, my lawyer, to tell me how sorry he was that he lost my case. Especially when I’d been the one to kill the man that was about to kill his daughter.

The last time, the time that I decided enough was enough, was when I saw her at my bar eight weeks after I’d been set free.

Unlucky for her, I’d stopped being a good guy about two seconds after those bars closed behind me twelve years ago. Now all that was left was a shell of a man that didn’t see the good in anything. Anything except for her.

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gRSe8t

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MY REVIEW:

5 stars!

Explosive chemistry, a wrongfully accused man, and a second chance at love make Jailbait a fast-paced wild ride you won’t want to put down.

The men of Souls Chapel Revenants MC may be ex-cons, but each one has a heart of gold and Trick is no different. Wrongfully accused, imprisoned, and feeling bitter he does his best to avoid Swayze… but when you meet the person fated to be yours all bets are off.

Swayze is strong, feisty, and always gets up when she’s knocked down. But she also knows being strong sometimes means accepting help, especially when it comes from the hot bar owner across the street. She and Trick are perfectly matched.

The book does carry over a storyline that’s been building. Each time you think the mystery is solved, another piece falls into play. If you like suspense, steamy scenes, and bad boys who are so much more than felons then you can’t go wrong with the Souls Chapel Revenants series. The only thing I didn’t like is that the cat Trick adopts (or the one who adopts him) seems forgotten in the last quarter of the book and isn’t mentioned again. Otherwise, it was spectacular!

About Lani Lynn Vale

Lani Lynn Vale is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.

When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.

Lani is married with three children and lives in the Great State of Texas.

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