Book Blitz: Dead and Gone by Annie Anderson #UrbanFantasy @annieande

Dead and Gone
Annie Anderson
(Grave Talker #2)
Publication date: February 23rd 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

There are few things worse than being on the Arcane Bureau of Investigation’s naughty list.

To keep myself out of hot water, I’ve made a deal with the devil—using my skills as a grave talker to help the ABI solve some very cold cases.

But there is something mighty amiss in this task—especially when quite a few of these cases lead me right back to my home town of Haunted Peak and the secrets buried there.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Out less than a minute and already talking to spirits and punching ghosts. Way to go, Adler.”

That smooth voice did not belong to my best friend, J. Oh, no. I wasn’t that lucky. The big hunk of man-meat Siobhan had been talking about was not my partner, but the death mage ABI agent who’d simultaneously saved my bacon and torched it.

I swung my head to face Bishop La Roux, straightening my shoulders like I was going to have to punch him, too.

Dressed in a criminally hot pair of jeans and a T-shirt that should be illegal in at least five states, Bishop held out a bag with a very familiar logo on it like he was warding off a lion. Ignoring his messy hair and scruffy beard, I met his coal-dark eyes with suspicion. But instead of punching him like I had Hildy, I snatched the Si Señor bag from his hands, opened it, and dug in. The prison fare was a step above cat food, in my opinion, and just the thought of that yummy bit of heaven made my mouth water.

“Good to see tacos still work,” he said, chuckling. “You need a ride home?”

The last time he’d needed to bribe me, he’d done it with these tacos. Good god in heaven, I was a pushover. I ignored the ridiculously hot man in favor of unwrapping a taco one-handed and shoving an end in my mouth. My teeth crunched into the blissfully crispy half-steak, half-pork taco, and my eyes rolled back in my head.

“Maybe,” I said around a mouthful of food. If he were any other man, I might have felt weird about my rudeness, but just like Hildy, Bishop was on thin ice. Though, tacos were an excellent way to strengthen his footing.

That taco was gone in another two bites, and I swallowed the yumminess before continuing, “How’d you hear about me getting out? Even I didn’t know until today.”

Bishop gave me a sly smile. “A little birdy told me.”

“I suppose you could give me a ride if you don’t have anything better to do,” I conceded, my tone only mildly petulant.

“No, Adler,” Bishop said, his voice a hell of a lot closer than it had been a few seconds ago. I whipped my head back to find him solidly in my space. “I don’t have anywhere else I want to be.”

Well, okay then.

Author Bio:

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.

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Conjugal Visits by Lani Lynn Vale #ContemporaryRomance @LaniLynnVale @alyssamg89

Conjugal Visits

Souls Chapel Revenants MC Book 2

Lani Lynn Vale

Release Date: February 23, 2021

About the Book

Don’t ever, ever, ever go near that boy. Not unless you want to be a single mother at seventeen. That boy is Bad with a capital B.

The words that my father spoke to me when it came to Trouper Aoki didn’t scare me like they probably should.

In fact, they only made me intrigued all the more.

When it came to Troup, there was just no resisting fate when it came to the two of us.

Even at eighteen, when we went our separate ways with the promise to come back to each other once we were done pursuing our careers, I knew he would always be it for me.

And color me surprised when eight years after making that pact with Trouper, we were once again reunited. Only this time in an undercover FBI investigation—me, the FBI officer, and Troup call sign ‘State’ as a military liaison.

Trouble always finds him. You’d do better to run far, far away.

Truer words had never been spoken.

From the time Troup was a young boy, he’d been in some kind of trouble.

So it only goes to show when he winds up in the FBI investigation with none other than Beckham Spurlock, his high school sweetheart, things are bound to go wrong.

Only, he has no idea how wrong until things go bad. Really, really bad.

All it takes is saving her by hurting another for him to see the wrong side of a jail cell.

To make matters worse, he has to live the next fifteen years in prison knowing that his son will grow up without him. And the woman he loves will likely move on to a man that isn’t so much trouble.

Purchase Links

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kDfvMi
Amazon Intl.: https://geni.us/b94J

Apple: https://apple.co/34CYdts
Nook: https://bit.ly/2TDKL1P
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Audible: http://adbl.co/3tWKckN

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/34AwpFW

MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

An epic love story — the type of romance everyone dreams of having.

Beckham and Trouper don’t have it easy. Her dad seems to hate the man she loves and does everything he can to keep them apart. But it only makes Beckham and Trouper more determined to be together. Their story unfolds over the span of slightly more than a decade from beginning to end. There were parts that seemed a little skimmed over, but that’s a lot of story to cover in one book so it’s understandable.

I loved see Beckham grow from her high school days, to her time with the FBI, and through it all remaining loyal to Trouper — even when they couldn’t be together. And Trouper is just amazing… yes, he goes to prison, but it’s for defending Beckham. After she’s traumatized, and Trouper finds out who was responsible, let’s just say he doesn’t take it well.

I hate giving spoilers, so I won’t… if you want to know more, you need to read the book. Seriously. Go buy it now! Drama – so much drama! – a love that will never die, and two people determined to find their happily-ever-after no matter the odds. It’s an amazingly beautiful story, with a bit of violence and suspense, and lots of romance.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

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.

Website: http://www.lanilynnvale.com/

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Book Blitz: The Wise One by K.T. Anglehart #YoungAdult #Fantasy @kt_anglehart



The Wise One
K.T. Anglehart
(The Scottish Scrolls, #1)
Publication date: October 28th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Mckenna’s never thought much of her nightmares, but on her seventeenth birthday, a vivid dream of burning at the stake awakens her dormant abilities, thrusting her into a world where faeries are real, spirits hold a grudge, and a High Priestess obsessed with a 16th-century prophecy is tracking her every move.

Now, her overprotective dads, Seán and Andre, are forced to tell her the truth—they know who her birth mother is, and her life is not the surrogate story she’s always been told. Abigail, Mckenna’s mom, is some sort of mystic, and Mckenna a Wise One.

Whatever the hell that means.

With the help of a persistent little wren and company of a newfound friend, Mckenna journeys to Ireland in search of her mother and real answers. Along the way, she learns to harness her innate magic and trust her intuition, as best she can anyway—Cillian, a kind and passionate delegate who crosses her path, is proving much harder to read.

Only her mother could truly help her halt her ill fate and prepare her for what’s to come . . . before she gives in to the darkness she knows is buried deep within.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Bruised and battered, the young woman was dragged through the screaming, unruly mob. Her wrists were bound behind her by a rope as thick as the noose she now faced.

“Buidseach! Buidseach!” Witch. Witch.

“Bàsachadh!”

Die.

She halted in front of the noose, unperturbed, for she knew her death would end swiftly. The man who held the end of her rope looked from her calm expression to the noose, and let out a shrill laugh.

“A quick snap of the neck, aye, Bessie girl? You don’t think you’re getting off that easy, do you? Nah, that there isn’t for your kind.”

The ugly man, towering and troll-like, hauled her further on like a rag doll, finally leading her to a pit loaded with broken wood fragments, branches, and logs.

She was going to be burned alive.

In that instant, her body trembled with the fear she had been trying so desperately to conceal. Of dying, no—she knew this life would not be her last, and she was ready to part ways with this physical body. But she would be lying to herself if she said she hadn’t been hoping for a less painful demise.

He tightened the rope from her wrists around the wood banister that stood erect in the centre of the pit, then secured more rope round her ankles. “Spill your guts, now or never, buidseach,” he spat.

The woman scanned the crowd. Foolish, blind, she thought. They had no idea what would become of their Earth. No, she did not regret her actions. And if she had to burn for them, then so be it.

She held her chin up and addressed the spectators. Her voice was steady, knowing. “There will come a day when your fate shall depend upon a witch such as me—and you will beg for mercy.” The crowd cackled and spat back, simultaneously enraged and amused. But no one laughed louder than the troll-man. “Devil-worshipping hag.”

He lowered his torch to the base of the pit, and the flames caught quickly. She watched them crawl towards her boots, but her eyes were forced shut by the rising smoke. In an instant, beads of sweat leaked like rain on her forehead, and her lungs swelled to twice their size.

Just when she hoped she might pass out from the heat, the flames grew larger, now licking the base of her legs. What followed was an acute, unfathomable pain. The flames travelled higher, higher, until they enveloped the lower half of her body—and she could no longer bear the sheer agony of her skin melting away.

 

Author Bio:

Katrina Tortorici Anglehart is a born and bred Italian-Canadian from Montreal. A devoted academic, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism; a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting; and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. After dabbling in TV writing and working as a digital marketing content manager, she left the nine to five to launch her freelance editing and coaching career. Today, she relishes in helping aspiring authors to develop and refine their stories.

Besides English, Katrina speaks French, Italian, and Spanglish. When she’s not writing, diving into magical reads, or Netflixing, she’s travelling with her favourite human–her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, Andy–and obsessing over her pet bunny, Magic, and newly rescued pup, Nessie. Katrina currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Book Blitz: Broken Beginnings by J.L. Beck and C. Hallman #darkromance @AuthorJLBeck @CassyHallman

Broken Beginnings
C. Hallman & J.L. Beck
(The Moretti Crime Family, #2)
Publication date: February 19th 2021
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Romance

The night I saved her eight years ago I knew a choice had been made.

Years later and I can’t manage to let her go.

She’s barely eighteen, virginal, and kind.

Touching her would be a sin, but letting another man have her would destroy me.

Every time I close my eyes I see her, standing there, afraid, scared out of her mind because of that one fateful night.

She doesn’t know the lengths I’ve gone to protect her.

The blood spilled, the words said.

Nothing deters my obsession… it’s wrong, immoral, to follow her, and watch her at every turn but I can’t help myself.

Her safety, her life. It’s the only thing of importance to me.

When an enemy lurking in the shadows challenges that I’ll do whatever I can to protect her, even make a deal with a devil, knowing the only way out is death.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Lucca tosses the broken plate into the sink. The sound makes me jump but doesn’t scare me as much as when I look away from the sink and find Lucca advancing toward me. I take a hesitant step back.

Instantly, I’m the prey, and he’s the hunter.

Lucca’s chest brushes against mine, and sparks of desire form low in my belly. I lick my bottom lip, wondering what it would be like to kiss him or if he would kiss me back? I’m so caught up in him, in his scent, his body, what I want him to do to me, that I lose focus for a moment. I can’t let the lust drive me alone.

Dark blue eyes pierce my own, and I break the connection taking a step back, putting a breath of space between us. It’s hard to show him my anger when he’s this close.

“I will not be your prisoner here. I will not be trapped in that bedroom. I’m an adult, but more than that, I’m a human being, not an animal you can keep in a cage.”

“I don’t care how old you are and what you think is best for you…” His voice is deep and soft, causing me to look up from his chest and directly into his eyes. His gaze has softened to a dull knife, and for once, in all the time I’ve known him, I feel like I’m seeing him, the real him, for the first time. His thumb brushes against the apple of my cheek, his touch making my skin heat. “Your age doesn’t stop me from protecting you, nor does it stop me from locking you up in that bedroom and keeping you there until you learn to listen to me.”

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.

Author links:
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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.

Author links:
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Book Blitz: Decide to Live by Shirley Anne Edwards #NewAdult #ContemporaryRomance @ShirlAwriter

Decide to Live
Shirley Anne Edwards
(Finding the Strength, #3)
Publication date: February 14th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

When it hurts too much to live, how does one find the strength to stay alive and find hope again?

Reiko Nakano has a charmed life. Not only does the twenty-three-old come from a life of luxury because of her celebrity parents and supermodel sister, she’s best friends with the biggest brother and sister pop duo in the world- Gio and Gem Grove. But what the public assumes is wrong different because of what Reiko suffers in private. She feels she’s an outcast in her own family because of her ptosis and her social anxiety. She then makes the biggest mistake of her life and tries to turn her lifelong crush on Gio into something more. His cruel rejection after she lets him take her virginity leaves her heartbroken.

Reiko hides in the least likely of places- the small town of Albee, Pennsylvania. There she enjoys her anonymity and enrolls in summer classes at Maison University. She hopes she can fit in as a student, but life continues to play tricks on her when she’s hit in the face by a football from one of the most popular boys on campus, Will Forest. But this accidental but memorial meeting will help heal her fragile emotions because Will shows her how special she is to those she meets, including him.

She isn’t sure what to make of Will. He’s too nice and sweet, and treats her like gold. She accepts his attempts at romance even though it’s only temporary. But as the summer flies by, she doesn’t want to give Will up, who doesn’t know the truth about her “vacation”. And when Gio arrives in town, and threatens to out Reiko, she has some hard choices to make. Does she come clean to Will so she can decide to finally live on her own terms and embrace the amazing woman Will thinks her to be?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

It had been a long time since I’d felt like I belonged somewhere or with someone. I had found that at Maison. I felt the same with Dad when he let me tag along to one of his classes or read chapters of a new book he was in the middle of writing. He was the only one I wanted to call to tell him about my summer plans. Aya would be happy for me, but she didn’t share our love for books and learning, not that my older sister was uneducated by any means. She had different pursuits and hobbies, like Mom. She had a bond with Mom, whereas mine was with Dad.

A small black dog ran by me, chased by a woman. The sight made me snicker. I checked around to see if there were any other dogs, an odd thing to see at a college. The only interesting interaction was a few guys playing football a few feet away. I wanted to soak in the atmosphere a little longer. Then I would call Dad and tell him my news. Trying to figure out the time difference in Paris, I walked forward, realizing too late I was in the path of the football game. Someone shouted— “Look out!” As I turned, a football hit the side of my neck, near my shoulder. I fell and landed on the ground.

The sun above blinded me as I tried to bring the world into focus. Soon, a group of men surrounded me, blocking out the light. One knelt next to me and boosted me up, keeping his arm on my back.

“My glasses?” I searched the area even though everything was blurry.

“I found them.” He pressed them into my hand. “Are you okay? Do you need a doctor? Should we call 911?”

I slid my glasses on and shook my head. “I was just startled.”

When I was able to see again, the guy who still supported me helped me stand. I should have noticed he wasn’t wearing a T-shirt. It was stuck in the back of his shorts, leaving his chest bare. What I did notice first was his chunky black-framed glasses and short yet spikey blond hair. He also had too many freckles across his nose and cheeks.

“You’re wearing glasses also.” I blinked, amazed by how cute he was wearing horn-rimmed glasses, and because of the deep lines around his mouth because of his smile.

“A few other guys on campus wear glasses, but they don’t look as good as I do.” He scooped up the football and tossed it to someone. “I’m going to take a break to make sure the young lady here is okay.”

Young lady? I kicked the grass. Shoot! My paperwork had scattered.

“I’m fine, I think, but my papers aren’t.” I bent to retrieve the wrinkled documents.

By the time I’d found most of them, he had put on his T-shirt. He held the brochure, and, as I rose, he flipped through it. “You’re a new student here?”

“Just for the summer.” I held my hand out for the booklet.

He paused as if he wanted to say something but instead gave me the booklet.

“Thanks.” I took my time putting the book and papers in my tote bag, expecting him to leave. But he still stood there.

For some reason, I wasn’t as uncomfortable as I usually was when I met new people. Our awkward introduction resulting from the football to my face should have made me look in the other direction. But he acted…considerate? Or maybe compassionate was a better word?

A female voice called out, “Will,” and he waved but stayed with me. “Now you know my name. I’m Will, short for William.”

“I’m Reiko, and it’s not short for anything.” I glanced at the girl who‘d said his name. She was with two other girls, and they all looked identical—white girls with highlighted blonde hair and tight shirts and shorts. They were the type I would stay away from because they reminded me of Gem.

“I never heard that name before. It’s pretty.” He gave me another friendly smile.

“It has a few meanings.” The main meaning of my name meant beautiful, but I preferred wise. I left it unsaid because he would probably say I was beautiful in his flirty way, just to be nice.

“I’d love to know what your name means.” He tapped his fingers on his hips.

If I had better social skills, I would have teased him, extending our conversation. But with those girls waiting for him, one of whom might be his girlfriend, it was best I let him go.

“If we meet again, I might tell you.” I turned and walked away. It was better to cut him off and leave. The odds I would see him again were small since he was ending his semester and would return to wherever he lived for the summer.

As expected, he didn’t run after me or tell me to stay. I kept walking without turning around to check like the small voice in my head wanted me to do.

Author Bio:

Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who first found her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age, and since then has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head.

Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.

In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.”

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Book Blitz: A Shot at Normal by Marisa Reichardt #YoungAdult @youngadultish

A Shot at Normal
Marisa Reichardt
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: February 16th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Marisa Reichardt’s A Shot at Normal is a powerful and timely novel about justice, agency, family, and taking your shot, even when it seems impossible.

Dr. Villapando told me to get a good attorney. He wasn’t serious. But I am. I’m going to sue my parents.

Juniper Jade’s parents are hippies. They didn’t attend the first Woodstock, but they were there for the second one. The Jade family lives an all-organic homeschool lifestyle that means no plastics, no cell phones, and no vaccines. It isn’t exactly normal, but it’s the only thing Juniper has ever known. She doesn’t agree with her parents on everything, but she knows that to be in this family, you’ve got to stick to the rules. That is, until the unthinkable happens.

Juniper contracts the measles and unknowingly passes the disease along, with tragic consequences. She is shell-shocked. Juniper knows she is responsible and feels simultaneously helpless and furious at her parents, and herself.

Now, with the help of Nico, the boy who works at the library and loves movies and may just be more than a friend, Juniper comes to a decision: she is going to get vaccinated. Her parents refuse so Juniper arms herself with a lawyer and prepares for battle. But is waging war for her autonomy worth losing her family? How much is Juniper willing to risk for a shot at normal?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Now that the new school year has started and my parents have reached out to other local homeschoolers to plan field trips, I’m hoping I’ll make some new friends.

Until then, I’ll remain on the outside looking in.

Like this morning, in my room, where I spent from seven forty-fi ve to eight a.m. watching through the window as bright yellow buses pulled up to the curb in front of Playa Bonita High School. The bus doors opened and students spilled onto the sidewalk. Others rode up on bikes and skateboards. The older ones, the juniors and seniors, arrived in cars crammed with passengers, two in the front seat and three in the back. Everyone wore shorts or sundresses, because it’s still the last week of August and the heat of summer hasn’t let go of this town yet.

I could feel that heat in my armpits and the sweat marks collecting along the edges of my tank top when I woke up. I slathered on deodorant from the half- empty mason jar on my dresser like I do every morning. It’s sticky and lumpy and leaves behind a white, oily residue that stains my shirts. I’ve asked my mom for real deodorant. Or at least something from the natural health section at Whole Foods.

“Tapioca starch and coconut oil take care of things fine,” she says. I’m sure that’s not true, because if I notice the stink of my mom’s BO, then surely I have it, too.

The girls at PBHS probably smell like strawberries and freedom. I bet they spent all morning soaking themselves in those scented body washes from that store at the mall that always smells like a fruit stand. I also bet my mom can recite the exact paraben levels in each bottle. Because that store, like the mall itself, is not a place my parents would ever let me spend money.

That’s why those girls across the street are there and I’m here. The chemicals and the toxins and the mercury levels and the melting ozone layer made my parents take a big step back from the real world. Everything from our deodorant to our food to our cleaning products to our furniture is organic. Important things, I know. But there’s such a thing as too much. My parents are rabid in their beliefs.

“Organic isn’t what’s new. It’s what’s old,” my mom says proudly. “We’re original.”

She operates in a rose- colored version of history, which is also why my sister, my brother, and I don’t get vaccinated. This makes us ineligible to enroll in schools in California. Not that I haven’t tried. When we moved, I thought maybe this was finally it. The public high school was right across the street. I’d practically still be at home. I begged to go. But couple the strict California vaccination requirements with the fact that my parents think homeschooling creates lifelong learners as opposed to kids who simply regurgitate multiple- choice information for state tests, and it was easy for them to say no. “We decide what goes into our children’s bodies and minds,” they said. So here I sit at the kitchen table, digging into my putrid pancakes, trying to figure out if selling baled herbs and essential oils this summer made me a better person.

My guess is no.

Author Bio:

Marisa Reichardt is the critically acclaimed author of the YA novels UNDERWATER, AFTERSHOCKS (2020), and A SHOT AT NORMAL (2021). She has a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and dual degrees in English & American Literature and Creative Writing from UC San Diego. Before becoming a published author, Marisa worked in academic publications, tutored high school students in writing, and shucked oysters. These days, you can probably find her huddled over her laptop in a coffeehouse or swimming in the ocean.

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Release Blitz: Business and the Beat by Kellum Jeffries #LGBTQ #ContemporaryRomance @kellumjeffries @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Business and the Beat

Author: Kellum Jeffries

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 02/08/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 33800

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, gay, pan, rock star/musician, family issues, band shenanigans, slime attacks

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Description

Rutherford Fitzhugh, shy, repressed financial advisor, is happy to stay in his professional and personal rut. But his world gets shaken up when his new boss insists the firm take on more exciting clients and assigns Rutherford to Mak, the brilliant bassist and chief songwriter for the mega-popular rock band, Memo to Myself.

Mak Makana, extroverted prankster goofball, hasn’t had a serious or lengthy relationship in years. He learned early on in his band’s meteoric rise to fame that a lover he’d fallen hard for was more interested in his fame than him.

The sparks between the two men are immediate and intense, despite their disastrous first meeting when Rutherford walks into a gooey prank Mak meant for a bandmate. Rutherford discovers that Mak isn’t the spoiled, shallow rock star he expected, and Mak finds that Rutherford has a hidden artistic and quirky side. They can’t keep their hands off each other—even as they work to convince themselves it’s just a fling.

Rutherford’s never been able to please his conservative, traditional Virginian parents—or get them to accept his sexuality—and the sudden paparazzi attention brings their disapproval on full force. Mak’s got a supportive family back home in Hawaii and another one in his bandmates, neither batting an eye at his pansexuality. But that early experience with a fame-collector makes him wary of opening up to anyone who’s not birth family or band family.

Mak and Rutherford’s very different lives threaten to pull them apart, but could it be they’re different enough to be perfect together?

Excerpt

Business and the Beat
Kellum Jeffries © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Rutherford’s morning started off with a reassuring sameness—same boiled eggs for breakfast, same dogwalk around his neighborhood, same quick skim of the Financial Times during his morning Lyft ride—and there was absolutely no warning that by noon he’d be flustered, turned on, and temporarily dyed blue.

He arrived at work his usual half hour early. It was calm and quiet then, and he had a few peaceful moments to sit with his first cup of tea of the day and start looking through his portfolio of clients, making sure he’d checked in with each of them recently enough to keep them well informed and happy. (This was a tricky balance; some clients were annoyed by frequent contact, some enraged by any lengthy absence of contact, and, of course, there were a few who would find something to be peeved about regardless.)

Rutherford wrote up a schedule of check-in calls to make and started looking through the first client’s current investments, checking on the returns and pondering the fact that said client had a child reaching college age soon. Would tweaking her portfolio in light of that be advantageous? And just when he was settling into deep thought, doodling flowers on his legal pad as his brain ticked over possibilities, Hurricane Jen blew into the office.

He winced—he liked Jen, somewhat reluctantly, but she was loud.

“Heeeeeeeeeey you!” she bellowed, and he sighed as his mental train of morning productivity not only derailed but fell spectacularly off a cliff, hit bottom, and caught fire.

“Hello, Jen.”

He’d wondered, the first few times she greeted him with a “Hey you,” if she was being intentionally rude to him since she seemed to remember everyone else’s name. But when he’d reintroduced himself after several weeks of this, she’d wrinkled her nose and said, “I swear I know your name, I’m sorry, I just— It just doesn’t seem like you! It’s so stuffy! Sorry, I don’t mean to insult your name, you probably love your name, and it’s certainly elegant and everything, and argh, I’m a dick.”

He’d blinked at her, astonished she thought his name too stuffy for him—he was well aware most people thought of him as, well, stuffy. (He was also astonished she felt comfortable blurting “I’m a dick” by way of apology, but the boss’s daughter had certain prerogatives.)

“I, uh, I don’t love my name,” he’d said. “‘Hey you’ is…rather nice.” And since then, he’d been oddly fond of her.

Today, though, in addition to completely ruining his concentration, she was making him nervous. She didn’t come into the office all that often; she was in charge of schmoozing prospective clients, which kept her on the road a good deal. When she did come in, it tended to be for all-hands-on-deck things: staff trainings and the like. Rutherford snuck a look at his online calendar, but he knew before he checked there was nothing like that today. So why was she here?

“What brings you here today?” he asked, but she added to his worry by grinning and making a lock-turning gesture in front of her lips, then striding off to her dad’s office.

“Oh god,” Rutherford murmured to his computer screen. There’d been rumors flying around lately about the old man’s retirement. Rutherford had tried to discount them, but…he wasn’t so sure now.

MacKenzie from the next office stuck her head in his doorway, pointed the way Jen had gone, and did some frantic gestures he assumed were mime for “what is happening?” He shrugged, and she frowned and popped back out again.

He slid down in his chair, put his hands over his face, and whispered, “I hate change” into the dark of his palms.

And sure enough, a few seconds later, an “Everyone to the meeting room” alert popped up on the office IM.

Rutherford grabbed a pad and pen and headed for the hallway; bad news was always a bit more palatable when he had some paper to cling to. He met MacKenzie on the way, leaned down, and murmured, “Two pencils,” in her ear.

“Crap, thanks,” she said and grabbed the pencils out of her short Afro. Sometimes by the end of the day, she had five or six.

They reached the meeting room and grabbed seats. And once everyone had filed in, Jen patted her dad’s shoulder and said, “Don’t leave ’em hanging,” and Rutherford barely managed not to groan aloud.

Mr. Wozniak stood up, said, “Yep, I’m retiring. Nope, we’re not letting anybody go. Yep, I am going to do a shitload of fly-fishing,” and sat down.

As bosses went, he’d always been admirably succinct.

The room was silent for a moment, awkwardly so—what did one say in response to that? And then Jen stood up and talked about how her father had founded the firm on the principles of emphasizing ethics, hiring the best people, and treating them very well. How their employee retention rate (“and our long tradition of not getting caught up in hideous scandals!”) proved these principles worked, and how she planned to continue on the same path.

Oh, good, it was going to be Jen. Rutherford had worried the firm would be sold. Jen, while noisy, was at least familiar and liked.

He’d begun to relax a little when Jen’s speech took a turn.

“While most of you will keep your same client load, I do plan to shake things up a bit. I’m planning to start pitching clients in the entertainment industry—we’ve got a longstanding industry halo for ethical business, let’s add a little buzz as well.”

That certainly got a buzz going in the room at least, but she held up a hand. “I’ll share details with those of y’all who are gonna be involved. Meanwhile, let’s start planning a massive retirement party.”

Rutherford tuned out for the rest of the talk, sketching tiny birds in the margins of his legal pad while he mulled over what this might mean for him. He had every intention of staying. Surely, his job wouldn’t change significantly since there was zero reason for Jen to drag him, of all people, into the new “entertainment industry” focus. However, someone his own age taking over the company would certainly send his parents into another “We can’t believe you’re happy with this career…plateau” rant.

He sighed and then startled, realizing only when Jen’s hand landed lightly on his shoulder that people were starting to clear out of the room.

“Hey, you,” she said, grinned, and patted his shoulder. “Let’s talk.”

Oh no.

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Meet the Author

Kellum Jeffries is a bisexual Southern librarian, lucky enough to have a supportive fellow-writer partner and a fabulous dog. She knits socks, gives excellent shoulder rubs, and can touch her nose with her tongue. She loves to write about all kinds of people finding themselves, finding love, and finding the nearest Waffle House.

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Release Blitz: Sticks and Stones by Steve Burford #thriller #LGBTQ @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: Sticks and Stones

Series: Summerskill and Lyon, Book Three

Author: Steve Burford

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 02/08/2021

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 69600

Genre: Contemporary Police Procedural, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, crime/thriller, family-drama, murder, drug dealer, school, politician

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Description

“He’s a thug… a really nasty piece of work.”

When young Clayton Kerry, member of a notorious Worcester family, is found dead on an abandoned factory site, it looks like an accident. Some even say it was what he deserved. But headteacher Alun Blake’s refusal to sugarcoat the truth about the pupil he excluded causes outrage in the local community and sparks a vendetta against him that rapidly spirals out of control threatening both his life and that of his daughter.

When Detective Inspector Summerskill and Detective Sergeant Lyon investigate, they find Clayton’s death was by no means as clear cut as it had seemed and that they are at the start of a trail that will take them into the heart of a school and far beyond the boundaries of their city, to crime on a national scale.

As they uncover what really happened, Summerskill and Lyon are brought face-to-face with uncomfortable truths about their own lives and relationships. Personal loyalties are tested, and before the case is through, at least one more person will die.

Sticks and Stones is the third in the Summerskill and Lyon series of police procedural novels.

Excerpt

Sticks and Stones
Steve Burford © 2021
All Rights Reserved

“And some sad news just in. A tragic accident today on the site of one of the county’s oldest landmarks has resulted in the death of a Worcestershire schoolboy. Fifteen-year-old Clayton Kerry was killed when one of the walls of a building on the site of the old William Fitzmaurice brewery collapsed.

“The Fitzmaurice brewery, once the producer of some of the county’s most prestigious beers and ciders, has been a familiar site on the banks of the River Severn for as long as anyone in the county can remember. For decades, however, it has been closed and deserted, its buildings neglected and crumbling. All attempts over the years to procure the site for redevelopment have been blocked by legal wranglings within the Fitzmaurice family.

“James Fitzmaurice, oldest surviving member of the brewing family, today said that he and his family were deeply saddened by the death but that they could take no responsibility.

“We’ll have more on that story in our local news bulletin later this evening. And now, over to Duncan Lewis with today’s weather…”

The picture on the screen changed to an earnest young weather forecaster in glasses, smiling in front of a map of the country even as a mass of CGI storm clouds crept in from the west.

“Tragic accident.” The man in the bed yawned, muted the television, and carelessly tossed the remote control to one side. “It was hardly going to be an amusing accident or a laughable misadventure, was it?”

Sitting on the other side of the bed, Dave Lyon paused in the act of pulling on his trousers. “And is that all you’ve got to say about it?”

The man he’d addressed gave one of his typical crooked smiles, laced his hands behind his head, and lay back against the large pillows. The sheets were pulled down low over his stomach, and Dave didn’t doubt that their position and the pose had both been deliberately chosen to afford him a good view of the body he was getting ready to leave. It was a great body. “What do you want me to say?” Sean Cullen asked. “That I’m heartbroken over the death of some kid I’ve never even met? Touch hypocritical don’t you think?”

“You’re an MP. I thought that was part of the job description.”

Cullen smiled again. Dave’s barb hadn’t pierced his thick politician’s skin at all. But then Dave hadn’t thought for a second it would. “And you’re a detective sergeant. Didn’t you detect anything about that report?”

“What do you mean? It was an accident. The report didn’t say anything about suspicious circumstances.”

Cullen tutted slowly, clearly enjoying himself. “You heard them say the old Fitzmaurice brewery has been closed for years, and I mean years. Even I used to slip through its fences and hide in the buildings when I was a kid.”

“Bunking off from your posh public school for a crafty fag with the lads?”

“I was never one of the lads, David, and even if I had been, I wouldn’t have wanted them with me while I was enjoying my cigarette and a copy of Zipper or Vulcan or whatever I’d managed to get my hands on. Anyway, these days the old Fitzmaurice brewery has got more barbed wire around it than the nearest HMP but it’s still notorious as a hangout for kids drinking and taking God knows what. Which means, the victim of our tragic accident would have had to walk through several very obstructive fences and have failed to notice several very prominent warning signs before he made it to the buildings where he was no doubt in the act of doing something very naughty before a ton of bricks fell on his trespassing little head.” Cullen assumed an expression of mock surprise. “I know my constituency, sergeant. Don’t you know your beat?”

Annoyed with himself and with Cullen, Dave was damned if he’d show it. Now he thought about it, he did remember some talk back at the Foregate Street station about the brewery, but he was still comparatively new to the area, and neither the name nor the reputation of the place had struck a chord when he’d heard that television report.

Cullen, of course, made no allowances. The product of an Oxford education, where he had been on a winning Boat Race team, and of an adversarial parliamentary system where he had been, when elected to the House of Commons over a decade previously, one of the youngest MPs in the house, Sean Cullen was an extremely competitive man. And that competitiveness, Dave was discovering, extended all the way into his personal life.

Dave took some comfort from the image of the young public school boy Cullen had been, sneaking off to abandoned warehouses to smoke and enjoy gay wank mags. It was good to remember he hadn’t always been the high-profile, smug arse he was now. “Well, whatever he was doing, I doubt it was going through his collection of gay porn.”

“You think kids have changed so much?”

“No. But they do have the internet. Any young lad these days can pleasure himself blind in the comfort of his own home. Straight or gay.”

Cullen reluctantly conceded the point. “Mind you, it wasn’t all just about the fags and mags.” He yawned lazily, like a self-satisfied cat recalling an empty carton of cream.

Dave buttoned up his shirt, began the search for his shoes, and refused to give Cullen the satisfaction of asking what he meant by that. How was it you could only ever find one shoe when you were trying to leave a guy’s bedroom? “Why’d you even want the television on anyway?” he asked as he searched. “You trying to impress me with the size of your screen?”

“I thought I already had impressed you. And I was hoping,” Cullen went on, before Dave could reply, “to catch something about my Fitness First initiative. I did an interview about it yesterday for the local news. They said it might be on today. We’ve probably missed it. Or it’s been dropped in favour of the tragic accident. I’ll check again later.”

“Want to see how good your profile looks on the television?”

Cullen smiled, the sheet over his body slipping down another inch, almost accidentally. “I know how good it looks on television.”

Yeah, I’ll bet you do. Like the body, Sean’s was a great profile. With those cheekbones, there had to be aristocracy somewhere in his family bloodline. “I’m only surprised you haven’t got a mirror over the bed.”

Cullen yawned. “Too seventies. And it would get in the way of the cameras.”

Missing shoe found, Dave stood, reached for his jacket, and forced himself not to look up at the ceiling over the bed. A joke. Just a joke. Don’t give him the reaction he wants. “I’ll see myself out, shall I?”

“I think you know the way by now.”

At the bedroom door Dave stopped, hand on the handle, and looked back. Cullen’s eyes were closed as if he was already drifting into sleep. “You never ask me to stay.” It was a simple fact, calmly stated.

Cullen didn’t open his eyes. “Would you?”

Dave considered. “No. See you later.”

“I look forward to it.”

Neither man suggested when or where that might be.

This had been their third hookup at Cullen’s house since that night they had walked out of Gallery 48 together, and this was pretty much the way it had ended the previous two times. Dave couldn’t see that changing any time soon.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Steve Burford lives close to Worcester but rarely risks walking its streets. He has loaded conveyor belts in a factory, disassembled aeroplane seats, picked fruit on farms, and taught drama to teenagers but now spends his time writing in a variety of genres under a variety of names. He finds poverty an effective muse, and since his last book has once again been in trouble with the police. (He would like to thank the inventor of the speed camera.)

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Release Blitz: Breakaway by Kindle Alexander #kindleunlimited #gayromance @KindleAlexander @EJBookPromos

Title: Breakaway
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Cover Design: Reese Dante Designs

This is one of my favorite kind of romances, the ones that start with that meeting of the eyes, that instant jolt that tells you that this is a moment in your life you will never forget. A moment that changes everything. ~Carol’s Reviews

I love love this book!! This is an amazing heartbreaking, romantic, funny, entertaining and absolutely adorable story! ~ Suzy, Goodreads Reviewer

Greer Lockhart set out to save the world from itself when he organized his first beach cleanup at the age of twelve. Now, as a uber-successful venture capitalist for eco-friendly startups, he doesn’t let anything get in his way—whether personal or professional. When a new fitness app schedules a site-wide cycle race, Greer’s competitive side won’t let him back down. Not even when his undivided attention turns to the one racer he can’t beat: Biker101.
Dallas Reigns learned a long time ago to keep his head low and his focus forward. He gives his all to a business he started with his brothers, BikeBro. But he worries his all might not be enough if they can’t gain traction before their financial ship sinks. A chance meeting with a hard-hitting venture capitalist is just what they need. Until his resistance is tested when the striking blond man shows interest in more than just his company, challenging all Dallas’s etched-in-stone boundaries.
When the illusion of Dallas’s life threatens to crumble under the weight of his own desire, can he find a way to fortify his iron will, or will Greer help him breakaway from the restraints of his past?

“No, he’s not gay.” Skye bit her lip and cut a worried gaze back toward Dallas. She had that protective mama bear look. Greer eagerly followed her line of sight. The warmth that seeped into his skin stunned him silent. A rare occurrence indeed. Dallas was enchanting in the silliest of ways because he absolutely couldn’t dance at all, but he sure tried. Greer’s genuine grin was immediate as he watched the dark-haired temptation move. Dallas had no shame in his game. This time Skye’s cool palms landed on his flushed cheeks, snapping his attention back down to her. She gripped his shirt, tugging him closer to be clearly heard. 

“He’s a real good guy. We went to high school together. He’s not married, but he’s not gay. And he’s one of my dearest friends. Like a true best friend since second grade.” 

He lifted his brow, encouraging her to say more as he began rolling his body with hers. 

“He’s got two brothers. He graduated from UTA. He was an elementary school PE teacher, but started working at the gym as a personal trainer. He works nights and has done really well there.” 

Now, they were getting somewhere. “Who’s he dating?” 

Skye’s brows plunged into a hard V. He took her silence to mean she couldn’t remember the last time he’d dated. A guy like Dallas would be sought out by women…and men, for that matter. Greer hoped there may be some sort of promiscuous curiosity on Dallas’s part for no other reason than he really wanted it to be that way. 

“He’s busy with BikeBro. He doesn’t have time for anything more.” 

Greer’s smirk turned her confusion to irritation. But her statement made him curious. “Does he work for the company?” 

Both her hands landed on his chest, and she started pushing him off the dance floor, not caring who she ran into as they went. “Greer, he started BikeBro with his brothers.” 

Once they were off to the side, her palms captured his cheeks, more forcefully this time. She drew him down to where their faces were only inches apart. Her gaze was guarded as she stared him straight in the eyes. 

“Listen to me. He’s not gay or bisexual. That’s not going to change, doesn’t matter how good-looking you are. Dallas had a long-time girlfriend in college. They dated until a couple of years ago. She took a job in Atlanta. He didn’t want to leave his family. He’s a good guy. Real down to earth. A sweet man who doesn’t play your kind of games.”

Greer nodded, hoping to indicate he’d heard every one of her cautionary words. “Okay, how old is he?” 

She threw her hands in the air. “You didn’t hear a word I said, did you? He’s like a brother to me, Greer. He’s not your type.” Skye rolled her eyes at his raised brow. He waited for an answer. She finally gave. “He’s twenty-seven. He helps anyone in need. He volunteers for things all the time, and when I plan to settle down, I’m marrying him. He would be a great husband and father. He’s a genuinely good man.” She tossed out her hands and gave him a clear, see-I-told-you-so look. 

Pfft, like her reply answered anything. “Then can I have a crack at him before you two get married?”

Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!
I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindl
I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.
That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.
Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.
Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.
Find out more by visiting http://www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com

 
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Book Blitz: Tough Love by Melanie A. Smith #ContemporaryRomance @MelASmithAuthor

Tough Love
Melanie A. Smith
Publication date: February 8th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

From award-winning and international best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes a standalone steamy contemporary romance about life choices, love, and finding yourself in between.

Sometimes you need a bit of tough love to get where you’re supposed to be …

Mia Anderson has been living a life that was chosen for her. But her impending thirtieth birthday is the wake-up call she needed to stop wasting time on all the wrong pursuits. Just as she’s figuring out what she wants to do about it, her beloved grandmother falls ill and Mia drops everything to be with her. What she didn’t expect to find in her grandmother’s tiny mountain town is the courage to quit working for her father, supplied by a little tough love from her Gran. Now faced with an uncertain future, the last thing on her mind is finding love.

Nate Edwards is living a solitary life deep in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. He’s content, or at least he thinks he is — until the granddaughter of a good friend shows up and he starts having feelings he thought he’d never have again. But Mia’s future isn’t in Alpine Ridge, so acting on it would lead to nothing but heartbreak. Still, their connection is undeniable and circumstances continue to push them together, despite their resistance. Will Mia stick to her decision to carve her own path? And if she does, will it be with Nate? Or is he doomed to an isolated life?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“I need to know what it’s like to kiss you,” she whispers.

My chest tightens with longing, but I press her away far enough to look into her eyes. “Mia, you’ve had a lot to drink, and —”

“No, I think I’ve had just enough,” she interrupts, and then she breaks free of my hold and kisses me.

I’m so startled I don’t react until her arms are around the back of my neck and she slides into my lap.

Her lips are hot and supple, and she definitely tastes like the wine. But I can only fight it so much when she’s warm and willing and sitting on top of me, and I wrap my arms around her. I open my mouth and slide my tongue over her bottom lip to allow myself a real taste.

It nearly undoes me as she accepts it, as our tongues tangle while her hands wind into my hair. I slide my hands to her face, tilting her head to give me better access to her delicious mouth.

It’s heaven and hell at the same time, as all the fantasies I didn’t even let myself have come to life. Fantasies I knew I shouldn’t want. Couldn’t want. But right now, I don’t care.

I’ve kissed a lot of women in my day, but it’s never been so good. I’m burning with desire on every possible level. The fire I’ve seen in her eyes has become a raging passion between us that continues to build to an inferno as she grinds into me, as I slip a hand under her shirt, the soft skin under my fingertips causing me to moan into her mouth.

She inhales sharply and tilts her head up, and my lips finds the soft skin of her neck, licking, sucking, and biting as she makes the most erotic noises. It makes me want to strip her bare, slip inside of her, and see what other noises I can get her to make. My cock swells at the thought and she clearly feels it, grinding harder toward the spot where it meets her thigh.

It’s been too long since I’ve let myself go, and as she tugs at my shirt, my good sense rallies a cry from underneath the mind-numbing need Mia just drew out of me.

“Stop,” I breathe out, gathering myself and pressing her back. “We can’t do this.”

She looks at me, clearly bewildered. “I think your erection disagrees with you,” she sasses me.

Author Bio:

Melanie A. Smith is an award-winning and international best-selling author of steamy contemporary romance fiction. Originally from upstate New York, she spent most of her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Los Angeles for college. After that, she spent almost fifteen years in the Seattle Area, and now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas with her family.

A voracious reader and lifelong writer, Melanie’s writing began at a young age with short stories and poetry. Having completed a bachelor of science in electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s in business administration at the University of Washington, her writing abilities were mainly utilized for technical documents as a lead engineer for the Boeing Company, where she worked for ten years.

After shifting careers to domestic engineering and property management in 2015, she eventually found a balance where she was able to return to writing fiction.

Melanie is also a Mensan and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and driving with the windows down and the stereo cranked up loud.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

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