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Book Blitz: Planning for Love by Christi Barth #contemporaryromance

Planning for Love
Christi Barth
(Aisle Bound #1)
Publication date: May 11th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In the harsh spotlight of reality television, a romance-a-holic wedding planner tries to snare the anti-Cupid.

Chicago wedding planner Ivy Rhodes lives and breathes romance. She won’t let anything burst the perfect bubble of happiness she creates for her clients. So she’s immediately on guard when a reality television crew appears to tape one of her weddings. Tall, blonde and sexy, the cameraman’s a relentless flirt, and Ivy follows his easygoing charm straight into the bedroom.

Ever since a scandal ended his career as a news videographer, Bennett Westcott is relegated to filming reality catfights and bridezillas. His latest assignment comes with the bonus of a gorgeous wedding planner. But Ivy ruins their one-night stand by turning too serious too quickly. Although a big fan of lust, Ben’s allergic to love. He rejects her and everything she holds dear, leaving her brokenhearted.

The network builds a reality show around Ivy, Planning for Love. She signs the contract before learning the man who shredded her heart into confetti will spend the next three months filming her. Suddenly Ben has to spend every day with the woman he knows he shouldn’t be with, but can’t resist. And Ivy’s stuck wondering, how do you plan for happily ever after when the guy you want doesn’t believe in it?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“I want to taste you, Ivy.” The scrape of his feet against the stones came to a halt. A gentle nudge with his forehead tipped her head back. Their eyes locked. “Why don’t we get a jump on the inevitable? Because I don’t want to wait another moment.”

Ivy had a split second to decide. Stick to her guns—and her professional ethics—and slip out of his arms? Or stay and lock lips with a super sexy man in the moonlight? Really, it was easiest to not decide at all. Her eyelids drifted shut as she waited for Ben to make his move. And waited. Nothing happened. She peeked out from beneath her lashes to see the merest hint of a smirk lifting the edges of Ben’s mouth. Her eyes flew open the rest of the way.

“What? What happened to the tasting and the moment?”

“The moment’s not right until you decide to commit to it. I promised earlier I wouldn’t steal any more kisses from you. Kissing is interactive. A two-way street. You’ve got to choose to slide behind the wheel and turn the key.”

Why did men turn everything in life into a car metaphor? Well, she could play along. Despite showing every sign of being something of a player, Ben had shown her, with that one little pause, that he also had bucket loads of integrity. No sane, single woman could turn down an honest to goodness gentleman. They were a rare breed, and she didn’t intend to waste this particular chance sighting. Time to seize the day…or at least what was left of the night.

“Oh, my motor’s fully revved. You’d better buckle your seatbelt, Mr. Westcott.”

Ivy tightened her grip around his neck and went up on her tiptoes to reach his mouth. The mouth she’d stared at off and on all day, remembering the firm albeit brief feel of his lips against hers. He wasn’t the only one who wanted a taste. She puckered up and planted a soft kiss. And then Ben quite expertly elbowed his way back into the driver’s seat.

His lips slanted hard across hers, instantly ratcheting the level of heat up from tender to full on sizzle. This was no getting-to-know-you smooch. Ben claimed her mouth with possessive pressure. His teeth nibbled open her lips, allowing his tongue to sweep inside. Her moan of pleasure was all the urging he needed to slide his hands down to not only cup her ass, but lift her off the ground.

Ivy’s world spun. Under the spell of the spring night, she’d yearned for nothing more than a touch, a quiet kiss. She’d wanted a sip of water to slake her lustful thirst. Instead, Ben’s kisses drowned her in a downpour of passion and heat. The arch of her foot curved around his calf, looking for something to ground her. Each stroke of his tongue ignited an array of sparks behind her closed eyes. He tore his mouth away but hovered his lips a breath away from hers. Eyes heavy lidded, he moved not at all, aside from the pounding of his heart thumping through his tuxedo shirt. Suddenly, she realized what he waited to hear.

“Okay, Ben. You’ve convinced me to have a drink with you.”

A hum of approval sounded low in his throat. He buried his face in the curve of her neck. And then from somewhere behind them, a short high gasp, and the unmistakable crash of glass breaking on the stone floor. Ben’s grip bobbled, but he didn’t drop her.

“Get your hands off my friend’s ass right now, or I’ll call in someone a lot bigger than me to make you.”


Author Bio:

USA TODAY bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

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Wolfsblood by Marteeka Karland #paranormalromance @MarteekaKarland

Wolfsblood (Wolfsblood 5)

Cover Art by Marteeka Karland

 

In Earth’s brutal future, humans are no longer at the top of food chain. Paranormals roam the frozen wastes, predators as protective as they are dangerous — especially when it comes to their chosen mates.

Snow Wolf: Xander needs no one, but the woman calls to the Vampire within, daring him to take her. Instinct wouldn’t allow him not to hunt her, especially with another male sniffing around what is his by right.

Fire Wolf: Logan knows the second he scents the little fire wolf she’s his mate. Convincing a Wolfsblood to mate with a Lionsblood, though, will be a tall order. Fortunately, he’s up to the task.

Shadow Wolf: Leiah has no clue what she’s in for when Shadow Wolf Rikker claims her and threatens to take her from the only family she’s ever known. Can two Shadow Wolves find a balance before Leiah’s pack is torn apart?

Savage Wolf: Bred for battle, Lyndal’s nature demands conflict. Felice’s Vampire nature demands blood. She doesn’t count on Lyndal weaving a sensual web around her…

Possession: Harael. Relaren. Valael. They’re predators. Killers. So how is it the three biggest, baddest Vampsblood out there have been undone by a mere slip of a girl — a human at that? They never saw this one coming. No one — not human, not Vampsblood — is going to come between Josette and her mates.

 

Available today at Changeling Press
preorder for May 15th at retailers
also in paperback at Amazon

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Marteeka Karland
Excerpt from Snow Wolf

Xander’s anger was as cold as the frozen rain stinging every bit of his exposed flesh. He watched his prey with fury. How dare she? The Snow Wolf embraced a male of her kind before slipping into the small opening in the rock beneath the natural overhang.

As soon as he’d realized this was where she lived, Xander had scouted out the caverns until he knew them like the back of his hand. He’d only seen the woman from a distance, but her obvious familiarity with the other man put Xander in a killing rage. The unnatural attraction he had for a woman he’d never even met didn’t bother him in the least. It was what it was. Xander intended to take the woman for his own before the night was upon them, and that was all that mattered.

Soundlessly, he followed the couple into the cave beyond the rock wall. Only the slight sound of their distant voices deeper underground drifted to him, but it was enough. Xander followed, waiting for the moment the male turned away from her. He would not kill the man. Yet. If he proved to be too much of a nuisance later, though, Xander would eliminate the threat.

Knowing the caverns in this area well, Xander recognized the direction his woman and her companion headed, and he veered off. The farther away from them he was, the less likely they’d know he followed. Crawling through smaller crevices, he made his way to the community buried deeply in this particular branch off the Mammoths. It was getting late, and Xander knew the woman would make her way to her residence soon. He intended to be there waiting on her. It was time he claimed what was his.

Never had a woman intrigued him like she did. The pull toward her was unbreakable, and Xander wasn’t a man who fought his inner cravings. Being half Lionsblood, he recognized the call of a mate. Being half Vampire, he knew he could choose to ignore it, but he didn’t really want to. He wanted to explore her before he dismissed her. If he had her a time — or fifty — he could think again. All he had to do was work her out of his system, and he could move on with his life. Xander wasn’t made to be tied to someone. He was more animal than man.

It took only a few minutes to reach her den and enter through a crevice in an out-of-the-way corner she’d covered with a heavy boulder, presumably to keep out the draft as well as unwanted guests. Xander’s strength, however, was enormous. Not only did he have the enhanced strength of the Lionsblood, but he was gifted with many abilities of the Vampire as well. More so than even his brother, Shiffley. Shiffley had always helped humans, even before he met the female he’d mated with. Now, he was positively smitten. Xander refused to be like that. He was a loner, pure and simple.

Once inside, he surveyed her room with a critical eye. There were several small feminine articles — pastel bed coverings, scented candles, a colorful vase, and a small bar of scented soap — but nothing masculine. Good. She didn’t share her living space with the man. That would have been unfortunate.

For the man.

Situating himself in one of the darkened corners, Xander settled in to wait. Which he did. For over two hours. To say Xander was in a foul mood by the time the door to her den opened was a severe understatement. To put it mildly, he was seething. He waited until she was in the room and the door firmly shut behind her before making her aware of his presence.

“Where the hell have you been?” He growled, the question so full of menace Xander half expected her to run screaming from the room. Lesser men and women had in the past.

Not his woman. She merely looked around until she spotted him where he leaned against the wall.

Xander straightened then and stalked toward her. He didn’t move quickly, but took his time, approached her warily. No doubt she’d bolt at any second.

“I wondered when you’d finally get around to joining me.” Her tone was mild, not in the least distressed. If he hadn’t known better, he might have suspected she knew he’d been following her. “Have a seat. I’ll make us some tea.” She gestured toward the small couch, the only piece of furniture in the room other than her bed. Lighting a small lamp set in a natural alcove in the rock, she set about her task, not once looking back at him.

Of all the things Xander had expected, this wasn’t one of the options. The Snow Wolf acted as if this were an everyday occurrence to her. He wondered exactly how many men she’d entertained here.

Immediately, he tried to tamp down on the inquiry because it sent his temper spiraling out of control.

The Snow Wolf turned to him as if sensing his rage, her face serene. She might have been in the room with a close friend for all the fear she showed. She didn’t seem to consider herself in any danger at all. “Drink this.” She handed him a cup of dark, steaming liquid. “It will help ease your discomfort.”

On some level, Xander knew he should say something. He knew what he was feeling was so far out of the norm for him as to be on a completely different plane of existence.

Anger was nothing new to him. Everyone got angry. But the intense, rolling jealousy was something else altogether. He knew it, but seemed helpless to stop it. What the hell was happening to him?

 

About Marteeka Karland

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.

Marteeka at Changeling Press |Website

 

The Hunter’s Bride by Alexa Piper #paranormalromance #vampires @prowlingpiper

The Hunter's Bride (Dusk & Dawn 1)

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

 

Maxim, tall, whimsical, and a vampire, wants to hire a curator for his art collection. Robyn, a newly minted art historian looking for a job, loves fine art and old stuff, and Maxim soon realizes she is not just perfect for the job, but also for him.

Robyn never liked prejudices against vampires, werewolves, or Fae, but the moment she starts working for a vampire, things appear less black and white, especially when she begins to fall for her new boss.

Robyn and Maxim’s young love will have to overcome odds and odd vampires who take issue with the fact that Maxim happens to be a vampire hunter who doesn’t shy away from decapitating his own kind.

 

Get it today at Changeling Press
or preorder for May 15th at retailers

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Alexa Piper

Brian seemed to be slipping. He’d called up to tell Maxim of the interviewee’s arrival only about twenty seconds before the elevator had dinged, which barely gave Maxim the time to refresh his memory in regard to her name.

Heath had left a file on his desk titled Interviews, and Maxim had complained at the sheer lack of imagination that was obvious in that title. Heath had used magic marker to write it, though, and Maxim had wondered, out loud, if Heath had missed the developmental stage crayons were clearly meant for. Upon which Heath had broken into verbiage that came odorously dripping from the verbiage gutter. Heath had informed him that he, Maxim, best not pull any of this bodily refuse with the artsy people. They were, after all, artsy people and not likely to enjoy such shenanigans, at least if Heath’s soliloquy was to be believed. It was a shame the creativity he had displayed in his colorful speech had not translated into the simplistic title of the file that had sparked it.

“Robyn with a y,” Maxim mumbled to himself as he walked toward the elevators. “Y, y, y… Why would whiskey-vending witches want vigor with their witchy wits?” He pushed a strand of his hair back behind his shoulder and put on a smile. He could smell the interviewee even before he saw her, some perfume he didn’t know, light and floral, forgettable as Valentine’s Days spent alone. The scent underneath that was sunshine-warmed skin, a slight note of crushed cardamom pods. A shame to hide that with such perfume.

When Maxim laid eyes on the interviewee, he could feel his pupils spill black, and he immediately understood why Brian had taken so long to pick up the phone. Robyn with a y Somerton was gorgeous, though very much on the skinny side, always something that made Maxim’s memories of hunger float back to the surface of his mind, no matter how long ago that had been. Her hair was dark and wonderful, lush ebony, and her gray eyes and pale skin made her deep purple dress look even better on her. But damn it, he had promised Heath.

“Miss Somerton, thanks for coming in for the interview. My name is Maxim Vallois. I believe you talked to my assistant over the phone?” Now, there’s some perfect manners for you right there, Heath. If only that dhampire brat were here to see it.

The shock on her face at seeing Maxim and realizing what he was would have been amusing, should have been amusing, but for the first time in decades, Maxim felt futile fury at the reaction rise inside of him. She did go a shade paler, though, which was pretty.

“Y-yes. About the curator position?” she said, catching herself rather quickly and reining her expression back into normal. Maxim liked her voice. It was calm, not shrill. Heath sometimes brought home shrill, and that was usually headache inducing, rhetorically speaking. Maxim did not actually get headaches.

“Certainly. Please, come in.” Part of him wondered whether she would run. She was wearing terrible heels for that, and because he cared and paid attention, Maxim was pretty sure she was already headed for at least one blister on her left heel. Maxim had never understood heels, nor foot binding. He had understood what it said about having power over women, but he’d loathed that, loathed that society made it necessary for women to give that power.

Not the time to wax philosophical, Maxim reminded himself. Heath, if he were here and not away doing something that had to do with banks and money, would have been seething in the acid of his own glaring stares already. Stares glare glistening staffs of seeping solace. Not my best one, Maxim thought.

Robyn with a y came forward. Clearly she had decided running would be stupid. Mmh, Heath. Did you get me a final girl? Maxim filed that as a nice line for later. When he would tell Heath he wanted Robyn with a y. He wasn’t even sure why. It sure as bodily refuse wasn’t the cheap perfume, and it wasn’t the mildly scrawny look that Maxim found mildly headache inducing. Perhaps it was that stare of not quite fear but close enough to fear. Or lust at first sight? Who knows. Whatever the why, Maxim wanted her.

Of course Maxim couldn’t just spring this on Y Robyn. It would sound as if he were planning to make her a plaything, something Maxim knew good and well vampires did. He could go off on a whole other tangent about that nasty habit. He had to at least give Y Robyn the impression she had won the job, and of course he needed to be able to tell Heath as well, so he led her to the cluttered table he had lovingly prepared for the magic marker interview.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” Y Robyn said when he shook her hand. “You know how fickle the subway can be.”

“I don’t, actually. But it’s no trouble. This way.” He made a mental note of checking out the subway. It might be fun, ethnologically speaking.

When Y Robyn saw his table, she summed it up wonderfully concisely. “Wow,” she said, and Maxim glanced at her saucer wide eyes and at the appealing slackness of her drooping jaw.

 

About Alexa Piper

Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Her retelling of Dracula, A Tale of Honey and Garnet Wine, might be a cursed manuscript, and every writer should have at least one of those. She also loves writing series, and her Fairview Chronicles follow a ragtag gang of supernaturals who try to make their city safer. Mostly. Connect with Alexa on Facebook or Instagram, follow her on Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter!

Alexa at Changeling Press | Website| Facebook

 

The Beta’s Spitfire by Gale Stanley #paranormalromance @GaleStanley

The Beta's Spitfire (Utopia 2)

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

 

Samson: Levi and I have always been best friends. Now he’s the pack Alpha and I’m his beta, a.k.a. the man who cleans up after his shit storms. This one is a doozy. He dumped his intended bride, and now it’s my job to take care of her while he goes off to find his soulmate. Delilah is beautiful, a real spitfire, and completely off limits. But she ignites a fire that makes my wolf sit up and howl.

Delilah: I was meant to be the mate of an Alpha, so l accepted an arranged marriage with Levi. But the arrogant jerk dumped me right before the wedding. I’m no damsel in distress, so I took off for New York to live a life of independence. Along the way, I was kidnapped and my situation became desperate. When Samson came to my rescue, I never expected him to claim me for himself.

 

Available today at Changeling Press
or preorder at retailers for May 15th

 

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Gale Stanley

Samson

I’ve always been an early riser. Good thing too, because Levi left me a ton of work. I showered and dressed, then headed for Levi’s house.

The front door opened to the living room, which had been converted to Levi’s office. Despite the many shelves and file cabinets lining the white walls, the room remained in a perpetual state of clutter and disorganization. Sighing at the mess, I headed to his kitchen to make myself coffee. I took a few sips, and then carried my mug back to the office and placed it next to the desktop computer.

The computer was grimy and old, like everything else in Levi’s office. I logged on and waited for it to power up. It took forever. I’d replaced the power supply, added RAM, and updated the operating system, but it was already obsolete. I had begged Levi to let me renovate the office, but we always had the argument. “The pack doesn’t have money for nonessentials.”

“Bullshit.” I knew Levi wasn’t tech savvy and he felt intimidated by computers. “Keeping up with technology is essential.”

“My old man never used one when he was Alpha, and he did okay.”

“Things are different today.”

“Not for me, Samson. I’m a hands-on guy. I don’t need a tricked up office and flashy equipment. When my father was Alpha he solved problems by using his head and real physical work, not these so-called laborsaving devices. All they do is keep an Alpha from interacting with his pack.”

I gave up trying. “Okay, man. Whatever you say.”

Even if Levi thought I was right, he would never admit it. Levi was my best friend, but he had a big ego and didn’t take advice well, especially from his second in command. I was good enough for the grunt work and maintaining law and order, but when it came to running the pack, my opinions didn’t count.

The rest of Levi’s house wasn’t much better than the office. To say it needed work was an understatement. The old clapboard two-story house sat next door to his parents’ home and had been furnished with their castoffs, right down to the floral print couch. There were two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor.

I couldn’t understand why he hadn’t fixed the place up for his intended bride, but then Levi had never showed much interest in Delilah. The day she arrived he took off for some appointment and he’d been doing it ever since, leaving me to fill in as escort and bodyguard for the stunning redhead.

Delilah was a real looker. Smart as a whip, too. She-wolves are supposed to do as they’re told, but Delilah had a mind of her own. Levi complained plenty about her independent streak. His Alpha ego demanded a more compliant mate. Not me. I want a strong woman I can talk to, an equal, a partner. But I wasn’t likely to find one in our pack. We outnumber the women two to one.

Tradition holds that a wolf will know his true mate, but with so few women to pick from, a guy can’t rely on destiny. That’s why Levi’s father ignored the old ways and went outside the pack to find him a suitable mate. If I didn’t choose a woman soon and start breeding, Levi might do the same for me.

Reproduction was a top priority for us. So was keeping the bloodline pure. I understood the reasons, but letting an Alpha pick my wife, even if he was my best friend, didn’t appeal to me. Still, I was a loyal pack member and I’d probably go along with Levi’s wishes like I always had.

Right now, that loyalty was driving me crazy. Levi had me babysitting a woman I’d rather be fucking. Her scent drove me crazy, and every time I laid eyes on her, I got tongue-tied. He might not want her, but that didn’t mean I could have her. According to the bro code a bro’s ex-girlfriend is off-limits.

So here I was, drooling over Delilah, while I made up excuses to explain Levi’s absence. I knew Delilah didn’t believe me and I felt like a heel.

I was pretty sure he was fucking someone. We hold she-wolves to a strict standard of conduct. No sex until marriage. The same didn’t hold true for our men. We could screw around as much as we wanted. It was hypocritical, but it was for the good of the pack, so no one disputed it. Except Delilah. I overheard her yelling at Levi once. She accused him of bringing her to the Adirondacks to be his broodmare. I had to bite my lip so they wouldn’t hear me laughing. Like I said, she’s feisty.

Sighing, I started putting together the end of the month financial reports. The keyboard had been used so much all the letters were worn off. Good thing I knew them by heart. One of the keys started sticking. Luckily, I was done.

I took a swallow of my coffee and listened to the voicemail. My ears perked up when I heard Levi’s voice. Maybe he was coming home, finally.

“Hey, Samson, I’m on my way home and I’m bringing my new wife. Uh, do me a favor, buddy. Can you straighten up the house? Thanks. I owe you one.”

“What the fuck? You owe me a hell of a lot more than one, you son of a bitch.”

To say I was stunned was an understatement. The only tail Levi had been chasing was the demiwolf he’d fucked at his bachelor party. She was one hot stripper, but he should have stuck with humans. Messing with a half-breed can get complicated. But it was his bachelor party, and, like I said, he never listened to me.

What should I tell his parents? And Delilah?

I smelled her before I saw her. Delilah’s tantalizing scent hit me full force. My wolf stirred, randy and ready for business. I looked up and there she was, standing at the open door, the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen, a five foot four inch she-wolf with pale skin, flaming red hair, and bottle-green eyes. How could Levi have let her go?

 

About Gale Stanley

Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.

Some things never change.

Gale at Changeling Press | Website

 

Release Blitz: The Island by M. Rose Flores #LGBTQIA+ #zombies

Title: The Island

Series: Abnormal/Variant, Book Two

Author: M. Rose Flores

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 4, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 86300

Genre: Horror/Thriller, LGBTQIA+, YA, PNR, bisexual, dark, horror, zombies/undead, postapocalyptic, family drama, found family, San Francisco, Alcatraz

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Synopsis

Two years after the end of the world, Cate and Marco have finally found a place for their people to start over. Sustainable and safe from zombies, the island is everything they hoped it would be. It seems the worst may finally be over; they can stop surviving and begin to live again. But the arrival of two new people sets in motion a chain of events that throw the island into unrest, and Cate must fight for her love, her people, and her sense of self. Can the inhabitants of Alcatraz Island find a way to come together when everything around them is falling apart?

Almost two years before their arrival on the island, just after the event that ripped their family apart, Marco began an aimless journey. With his foster family gone—some dead, some vanished—once again, Marco was on his own and sure it was for the best; other people only slowed you down, ended up as liabilities, or worse. Alone was good. It was what he was used to. But on his journey south, he collected other wanderers and began to consider the idea of a cooperative group or, maybe, a found family. There was, after all, safety in numbers.

Finally, together on the island, everyone assumes they are safe. But assumptions in a world run by zombies can be dangerous. Deadly. There is something going on in the city, terrifying and unnatural. Something that will change everything they think they know about zombies. And it’s coming to the island.

The Island is not a stand-alone. It’s advised that book one, The End, be read first.

Excerpt

The Island
M. Rose Flores © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Cate

Those are not people. The way they move, the fact that when we wave, they don’t wave back, and the way they are all shambling toward us down the paths to either side. It all collectively spells zombie.

“Hello,” calls Calvin.

No answer. Damn it.

None of us has the energy to fight any more. We spent the whole night fighting to get to the island. We watched our people get maimed and die; Calvin’s Nana Mae sacrificed herself to save him, my sister Mel, and their new babies. Five other people died too, though I didn’t know any of them well. They were all Marco’s people. Now we’re all one another’s people. What a way to make a family.

Toby is looking pale. His younger brother Jax, though much smaller than Toby, is doing his best to keep him upright. The place where Toby’s hand used to be, before it was clawed by an Abnormal zombie and then cut off by me to prevent infection, is wrapped in a bandage from what I’m guessing is a very limited supply. I think everything is probably limited. There wasn’t much time to pack or prepare after Mel’s labor screams drew in the horde last night. It’s not her fault. Birthing twins with nothing stronger than ibuprofen must be agony. But we had to leave in a hurry. We made it all the way to Alcatraz, barely. And now, apparently, we have to fight again.

I’m too exhausted to cry. We are broken, for the second time since this all started. It’s cold and drizzling. There’s a thick fog rolling in. At least it isn’t dark anymore.

“What do we do?” asks Sylvia, holding her kids close to her body.

“Same thing we’ve been doing,” answers Marco.

When he doesn’t offer anything else, Calvin steps in. “We should get the injured and the kids somewhere safe, right?”

Marco nods.

“They’re still far enough we can probably slip by them on that road—” Calvin points to the right. “—and come back out once you’re all safe inside. Shouldn’t take long to clear the island; there don’t seem to be many here.”

“It’s a big island,” says Marco. “There will be a lot more up there than you think.”

“Can’t say I’ll be much use,” says Captain Jacob, stepping forward through the group. He’s cradling his arm. I can guess what comes next: He edges his sleeve up, wincing, to reveal a definite bite near his elbow. The veins around it are black, all the way up and down his arm, peeking over the collar of his shirt.

“Captain,” breathes Amy, our doctor, “why didn’t you say something?”

“Call me Jacob; I told you. I knew it wouldn’t do any good. Happened so fast. Had to get us here either way.”

Amy examines the wound, touches his arm where the veins disappear under his sleeve. “There’s no way this hasn’t reached a main vessel by now,” she says, feeling his face for fever and shaking her head. “I’m so sorry, Jacob.”

“I appreciate it, Amy. But there’s no need. I’ll have to show someone how to drive the ferry. Murray?”

“Of course, Jacob.”

“It has been an honor to know all of you,” Jacob says. “Marco, you take care of these people. You got us this far. Soon you’ll all be safe.”

“I’m sorry, Jacob,” says Marco, who looks on the verge of tears.

“Don’t be. I did my part. I can live with the result. Or, I guess I can’t.” He chuckles at his own dark joke, but it turns into a coughing fit that makes his whole body tremble. “Come on, now, Murray. We haven’t got all day.”

Murray follows Jacob, catching him as he stumbles getting back on the boat. Jacob looks back and lifts a hand in goodbye to all of us. He doesn’t have long. Another family member lost, claimed by the infection.

“We should go,” says Ana, ever the stoic. “They’re getting closer.”

We move up the wider path as quickly as we can, although every one of us is exhausted and several of us are in some way incapacitated, so we’re not as fast as we need to be. The path switches back and forth as it ascends.

“Stay together,” Calvin whispers as the first few zombies notice us.

We do as we did last night, shuffling the less capable into the middle of our huddle as we move. However, now, so many more of us can’t fight than can. When the zombies get to us, we are less efficient than we have ever been. It takes me two hits to take down one zombie, even though I sharpened my axe the other day, and I have to put my boot on its head to get the axe back. I haven’t had to do that in ages. Calvin gets one on the first try, but it takes him a second to pull his knife free. Somehow, we escape. But just up the path, more swarm toward us. Not many, but there are always more.

Purchase

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Meet the Author

M. Rose Flores has enjoyed writing since she learned how to string letters together. She grew up in the vast green Pacific Northwest of the United States, which with its dense forests, four seasons, and proximity to the ocean made a perfect setting for The End. When she isn’t writing on her computer or in a notebook (though scraps of paper and the palm of her hand will do in a pinch), she works as a professional dog trainer and loves every part of it, even the copious amounts of drool. She believes everyone should be represented in literature and all other media. The End is her first novel.

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Book Blitz: Insta Lovers by J.L. Beck and C. Hallman #contemporaryromance

Insta Lovers: A Collection of Steamy Novellas
C. Hallman & J.L. Beck
Publication date: May 4th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

If instalove is your jam, then welcome to the party.

Five steamy-novellas that will melt your panties and your heart.

Each book contains an alpha hero, a heart-warming heroine and a happily ever after that will leave you deeply satisfied.

Included in this boxed set is:

HIS GIFT

She was brought to me as a gift. One Valentine’s Day.
Completely naked, besides a shiny red bow that was wrapped around her slender middle.
The moment I laid eyes on her… I wanted her. Every single inch of her body and every dark corner of her mind.
I wanted it all.

RUNAWAY BRIDE

Escaping the church is easy, but figuring out where to go from there is impossible. And then she runs into him, a ruggedly handsome man with eyes that pierce her soul. Instantly, she’s drawn to him.

THE BILLIONAIR’S NANNY

When Cassie shows up at the home of the Barnes twin’s she’s not sure what to expect. Why do these brother’s need a live in nanny, and how the hell is she supposed to live with them when she can barely handle looking at them?

ON THE RUN

I still don’t quite understand how I ended up running from the cops that night.

Well… at least I have a hot as hell convict in tow.

TAKING WHAT’S HIS

Her daddy owes me a half million dollars, but I’m taking her in instead.
She’s an innocent in this evil war, but I can’t let her go.

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Author Bio:

J.L. Beck is a USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, she has written over fifty different romance novels. She started her journey of writing back in 2014 and hasn’t slowed down a second since then.

She’s captivated by real romance, and loves reading about strong “ALPHA” males, as well as sassy heroines that know or may not know what they want. She is best known for delivering a happily ever after but has ended things on a cliffhanger a time or two.

When she’s not typing away at her next book you can find her being a mom to her two adorable kiddos and wife to her high school sweetheart.

She’s obsessed with Starbucks, social media, and is definitely more of a dog person than cat.

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Born and raised in Germany, Cassandra moved to the United States when she was eighteen. She always had a love for reading, that love slowly transpired into writing. She put fingers to the keyboard and started writing about the dark side of romance.

Cassandra is one half of the international bestselling author duo Beck & Hallman, who are most knows for the writing the Northwood University series.

The pair also write under the pen name Jenna Reed.

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Book Tour: Death in Her Eyes by Erin Bedford #urbanfantasy

Title: Death In Her Eyes
Series: Children of the Fallen Book 1
Author: Erin Bedford
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 28, 2020

“Once inserted reading it I couldn’t stop. So many witty lines in this book and a quarantine reference. Angles, Nephilim, visions, Fire… you get the picture. I completely recommend this book! I can’t wait to read more of this authors work!” ~Amazon Review

“Erin never disappoints … Hands down one of her best books yet!” ~Amazon Review

 

Since she was four, Elle’s life has been nothing but pain and death, so it’s not surprising she ended up jaded.
 
When Elle’s absentee father kidnaps her from her own mother’s funeral, Elle is forcefully enrolled into Fallen Academy, a school for nephilim like herself.
 
Mind readers, seers, and elementals? Finally, Elle is with other freaks like herself.
 
Except, Elle soon finds that even surrounded by her own kind, she might just be too different to fit in.
 
Will Elle find her place among the other children of the fallen? Or does her father have plans of his 
own?
Erin Bedford is an otaku, recovering coffee addict, and Legend of Zelda fanatic. Her brain is so full of stories that need to be told that she must get them out or explode into a million screaming chibis. Obsessed with fairy tales and bad boys, she hasn’t found a story she can’t twist to match her deviant mind full of innuendos, snarky humor, and dream guys.
On the outside, she’s a work from home mom and bookbinger. One the inside, she’s a thirteen-year-old boy screaming to get out and tell you the pervy joke they found online. As an ex-computer programmer, she dreams of one day combining her love for writing and college credits to make the ultimate video game!
Until then, when she’s not writing, Erin is devouring as many books as possible on her quest to have the biggest book gut of all time. She’s written over thirty books, ranging from paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and even scifi romance.
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