Book Blitz: If the Broom Fits by Sarah Sutton #youngadult #romancebooks @SarahMaeSutton

If The Broom Fits
Sarah Sutton
Publication date: October 6th 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Halloween really is the worst.

Blaire’s got to be the only person on the planet who hates Halloween. At least the only person in her small town, which practically worships the holiday. Ugh. And it doesn’t help that her super-hot ex-boyfriend, Lucas, is determined to convince her otherwise by making her take part in “festive activities.” Apparently carving pumpkins and watching scary movies is going to magically change her mind about the holiday? Yeah, right.

But Blaire has never told anyone the truth of why she hates Halloween or the truth about why she broke up with Lucas. She’s definitely never told anyone about how much she second-guesses that decision. Being around him is so much harder than she thought, especially when it looks like he’s starting to move on.

And when she gets a letter in the mail from someone who broke her heart, can Blaire overcome the negativity drowning her? Or will her bitterness and secrets push everyone she loves away?

With scary movies and pumpkin spice, If the Broom Fits is a sweet and heartfelt autumn romance that will put you in the spirit of Halloween.

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EXCERPT:

“You look like a dork.”

Donnie didn’t even glance down at himself as I spoke to him, his expression self-assured. “I do not.”

I pressed my lips tightly together to keep from smiling. “You definitely do. Why are you dressed like a shark?”

Or, at least, that’s what I thought he was supposed to be. The silvery-blue material covered his entire body, accented with a hood and a face hole. It didn’t quite reach his ankles since he was so tall, which made the whole thing look a little silly. An extra bunching of material gathered at his armpits, so his arms stuck out a little at his sides.

A tiny little fin was even attached to his back, and it flapped with each movement he made.

“It’s sea-life dress-up day,” Donnie said in a cheerful voice. “I thought this was pretty clever.”

Author Bio:

Sarah Sutton is a YA Romance author, bringing you stories about teenagers falling in love (sometimes with magic)She spends her days dreaming up ideas with her two adorable puppies by her side being cheerleaders (and mega distractions).

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Book Blitz: Say You’ll Be There by Billie Dale #NewAdult #RomCom @author_bdale

Say You’ll Be There
Billie Dale
Publication date: October 1st 2020
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

From award winning author Billie Dale comes a second chance love story muddling the line between love and hate. As young love goes Joey and Preslee were perfect but nothing last forever and the world is ready for the taking. Dale’s sassy wit shines in comedic fashion with Say You’ll Be There, book two in Love in Seven Mile Forge.

At sixteen, Joey Holmes handed me his heart.

At eighteen, I threw it at the Now Leaving Seven Mile Forge sign on my way out of town.

A silly teenage game of seven minutes in heaven spiraled us from friends to more.

We shared our firsts. Loved with the innocence of immaturity.

I wanted out. A fresh start far away from our tiny home town. Joey didn’t care where we were so long as we were together. I couldn’t spread my wings without clipping his. My heart told me I was doing what was best when I left him broken in my rearview mirror.

With a threat breathing down my neck, I’m forced to return home but Joey isn’t the skinny boy I knew. Nope, now he’s the sexiest Chief of Police in three states and he hates the very air I breathe.

Can the hot cop keep me safe from the danger lurking in the shadows or will the bleached bones of the skeletons in my closet be our tragic end?

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Book 1 in the series, Wannabe More, is only 99¢ for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

“Preslee,” his soft voice turns hoarse, “I lo…” My index finger silences him this time.

When I plopped down his palms landed on my back, rubbing up and down while I situated myself. Now, his spanned fingers inch through the ticklish place under my arms, gliding until both my breasts sit in his hands. A slight ocean breeze peaks my nipples. The pads of his thumbs brushing against them makes keeping my thought train maddening. I deserve top accolades in the resisting temptation Olympics, but I need to say this.

“Show me. Exhale our past. Inhale our present. Until our world slows on its axis, threatening to grind to a halt, we make our second chance more than words. So many times, people use those eight letters in place of the sentiment to make them true. Love is a hug for no reason, support on the worst of days and shared joy on the best. It’s breakfast in bed, a ride from the airport, a forehead kiss, holding hands, sending a song which makes you think of me, handling vapid telemarketers, saying ‘bless you’ when I sneeze, thinking I’m beautiful when I’m really a hot mess, and seeing no other woman but me, trusting someone with all of you… it’s an entire planet of little subtle conveniences, flirts, and simplicity but conveying what matters without uttering a syllable. We save the words to use when actions can’t.”

A lopsided grin hooks up one side of his lips for a fraction of a second before they touch mine. He draws back, waggling his brows. “I’m all for a little less talk and a lot more action.” A whispered kiss followed by a sinful smirk. “Lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’.” I expect another peck but he shifts, dusting his lips along my cheek instead before hitting me with a hell of a smolder. “Everything I do, I do for you.” He finds the other cheek. “I don’t want to miss a thing.” Now my nose. “More. Than. Words. Preslee, you’re the flame. You were the first and you’ll be the last.” Warm breath skates down until his mouth takes mine in a searing possession.

Author Bio:

Billie Dale lives in no-where middle earth. Lost in a small village in the Midwest with four kids, three animals and an amazing, word inspiring-book boyfriend, worthy husband.

A blogger by nature and a writer because she got tired of arguing with the voices in her head. She loves and lives the words on the page, whether writing them or reading them; her life is consumed by the worlds her head creates.

Her greatest wish is for readers to fall in love with her words as much as she loves writing them. She loves to create new worlds to explore and writing words that will take root in your soul.

Paranormal, New Adult, Romantic Comedy, Contemporary — there is not one box she fits in. She’s a rebel in the author world who writes what her head tells her even it jumps from genre to genre.

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Book Blitz: Mine to Keep by M.C. Cerny #ContemporaryRomance @mccerny

Mine To Keep
M.C. Cerny
(Love By Design #7)
Publication date: September 29th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Remington Kennedy was out of “bless your hearts” to give. She moved North for a chance at something better. Her compass to success was getting an education and getting out of tornado alley. A failed scholarship led her to tending bar. A lie drove her into the arms of the town football star filled with hopes and dreams. A year later, she found herself with a baby on the way, more lost than ever, alone, and terrified.

Evan Rooney was nobody’s hero. As a good cop in a small town, he felt the daily weight of responsibility. Known as the Preacher’s son, he struggled to keep his faith…but secrets have a way of finding the surface and Evan finds himself drawn to the red headed barmaid with a bun in the oven like a moth to it’s flame.

Both need a little saving…both need love, and a baby needs a family made of more than just DNA.

Book seven in the Love By Design series of contemporary romantic comedies.
Mine To Keep is written to be read as a standalone, but many readers prefer to read the series in order.

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Author Bio:

M.C. Cerny is a USA Today Bestselling author of fresh sexy books. She experienced her first real ugly cry reading, Where The Red Fern Grows, and never looked back. She lives with a menagerie of human and feline fur-babies in rural NJ. When M.C. is not writing, you’ll find her lurking in Starbucks, running stupid marathons, and eating all the tacos.

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Cover Reveal: Saving Kimi by Brooke Stanton #historicalromance #westernromance @hibrookestanton

Saving Kimi
Brooke Stanton
(Forbidden Romance, #4)
Publication date: October 13th 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Western

In 1906 Oklahoma, nineteen-year-old Kimimela Wallace has always been an outsider in her small town. With a white father and Indian mother, she’s never been fully accepted into either world. Her childhood friend Chayton—Soaring Falcon—sees only the beauty in Kimi, whom he’s pined for his entire life. But an unexpected turn of events pulls Kimi away from Chayton and towards her new boss, widower Alex Randall. Then tragedy strikes, and Kimi must risk everything to save two very different men. But will giving her heart to one of them mean stripping away the one thing she values most—her freedom?

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Author Bio:

After her own misadventures in New York City, LA, and London, Brooke Stanton now lives in Dallas, Texas. She’s the bestselling and award winning author of the Bloom Sisters and Forbidden Romance series. Visit her website brookestantonbooks.com.

Get a FREE copy of the prequel, IGNITE, here: http://ilovemyfans.info/ignite-download/

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Book Blitz: Dance with Death by Brynn Ford #RomanticSuspense #DarkRomance @XpressoTours

Dance with Death
Brynn Ford
(The Four Families, #2)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Suspense

Holding onto hope was dangerous, but letting go of it would be fatal.

We’d made the worst mistake of all—we had fallen in love. But all the love in the world couldn’t save us from our captivity. Just when we thought we would be okay, a future we never should have hoped to have was taken from us.

Our master was preparing to hurt us in his rage against our love. The only thing worse than the physical pain of the injuries he gave me was the ache of knowing what was to come.

He was going to tear our love apart.

I thought my life was hell before, but my master was prepared to teach me that I was wrong. Dead wrong.

I was about to learn the true definition of torture, of torment, of despair. I could only dream about the man I loved, hope that he might someday fulfill his promise to find a way to save us both. But I had already learned the hard lesson that hoping only made reality harsher.

The harsh reality was that my love was lost, my hope was gone, my life was over.

And I was forced to learn the steps for this slow dance with death.

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual content, violence, and mature themes including scenes where consent is not sought or given. The author in no way condones such heinous acts, but rather seeks to immerse the reader in the true horror of the characters’ experience. This book also contains suicidal themes. This is your trigger warning – reader discretion is advised.

SERIES NOTE: “Dance with Death” is book two of three in the Four Families trilogy. It is not a standalone and the books must be read in order. Book one—“Counts of Eight”—is available now. The author plans to release book three by early 2021. The cliffhanger ending may leave you gasping and desperate for the finale in book three. Best of luck to you, daring readers.

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EXCERPT:

I’m happy to let her think that I am the only place she will ever be able to turn for comfort.

She should turn to her master to fulfill that need.

I have every intent to take advantage of her fragile state.

Boldly, she lifts her head and slowly meets my eyes. There’s fear there behind the sapphire blue—fear and desperation and longing.

“I want you, moy khozyain.

I grip her waist with both hands and turn her, backing her up to the marble countertop. She swallows, her eyes locked on mine as I stare and press myself against her. I loom above her, my breath steady but heavy, exhaling my internal flames over her, reminding her that I was born from hellfire.

A reminder that she’s come to the devil asking to be burned.

Her features have softened from her normal cold as ice stare. Her eyelids seem heavier as they droop to hang a sultry frame over her blue irises. Her eyebrows are relaxed from the way they usually slant toward her nose, wrinkling her forehead sternly. Her lips are parted and rosy in color, and I feel her shallow breaths puffing against my throat.

“You want me…to do what?”

This question is her test.

Will she back down, afraid to speak her truth?

Will she prove herself to be a rebellious slave and demand rather than ask?

Or will she tell me what she thinks she needs and sweetly ask her master to oblige her?

Author Bio:

Brynn Ford is an independent author of romance in all of its beautiful and sensually taboo forms. She is a lover of the dark, twisted, and playful and strives to bring the unmentionable aspects of passionate romance into her stories.

Brynn resides in the Midwest with her husband and sons, whom she expects will someday be embarrassed by their mom’s books. When she isn’t obsessively writing, you may find her binge watching favorite shows while eating far too much junk food or fanatically reading, always seeking to lose herself in the emotional roller coaster of a damn good story.

She is quite the idealist, despite her fascination with the wicked and warped aspects of humanity. Some of her stories may run out of words before a happily ever after, but she’s a firm believer that her characters continue to live on outside the pages in the minds of her readers. Stories don’t end just because there aren’t anymore pages to turn.

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Cover Reveal: Savage Devil by Daniela Romero #NewAdult #SportsRomance @Daniela_Writes

Savage Devil
Daniela Romero
(Devils of Sun Valley High, #2)
Publication date: January 4th 2021
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports, Young Adult

It’s hard to deny a Devil …
Especially one who promises you a night you’ll never forget.

One night.
No exchanging names.
No exchanging numbers.

That was the deal we made.
I was moving away. I’d never see him again and I wanted to leave Sun Valley with zero regrets.
Only I got more than I bargained for and nine months later delivered a bundle of joy complete with ten tiny fingers and ten perfect toes.

A year and a half later, I’m back.
And this Devil is no longer the devil in my dreams. Now he haunts my nightmares.
He’s savage.
He’s sinful.
And I’m barely a blip on his radar.

I came with good intentions. Determined to tell him the truth. But with so much on the line, I’m beginning to reconsider.
Because making a deal with the devil again just might be another mistake.

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Author Bio:

Daniela Romero is a Snarky AF, Latinx Author, who happens to also be a Mom of 3. Born and raised in sunny California, she now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest and is happy to enjoy all four seasons even if the snow can sometimes be a bit much. She hates cheese–of all kinds–and yes that means she orders cheeseless pizza. Daniela is an ENTJ all the way which means she loves to talk (a lot) and is probably as extroverted as they come so feel free to shoot her a message, send a raven, throw up smoke signals. Whatever it may be. She love’s chatting with readers so feel free to stalk her.

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The Hunting Mates by Alexa Piper #UrbanFantasy #LGBTQ @prowlingpiper

The Hunting Mates (Dusk & Dawn 3)

In New Amsterdam, supernaturals and humans live side by side. That doesn’t mean there are no borders or boundaries within supernatural society. Orrin works to save the living as an NA police detective, and Gordon labors to do right by the dead as a medical examiner. Fear and insecurity foiled their first attempt at a potential relationship. Now, they find themselves pulled to one another once more by a string of gruesome murders.

Prejudice and social conventions don’t make life easy for them, and their own insecurities don’t help. Will they dare to allow love between them while they work side by side to stop a violent murderer?

WARNING: This book contains mentions of violence/assault against minors and animal cruelty though neither are graphically portrayed.

Get it Now at Changeling Press

INTERVIEW WITH ALEXA PIPER

Do you have a favorite type of hero or heroine to write?

I kind like me a nice antihero. Slightly clueless characters are also fun to write. Oh, and of course characters who do banter well.

How long have you been writing, and how long did it take before your first book was published?

I started making up stories way back in kindergarten. But actively pursuing writing, that’s something I’ve only been doing for about ten years, and even in that I wasn’t very consistent. Two to three years ago, I really focused on finishing work and on writing regularly, and that was one of the best things for my writing I ever did. My first book came out in 2016, and my first short story was published in 2008.

Do you have a routine you follow when you’re working on a book? A certain time of day when you write, or a snack you keep nearby?

I do my best work at night. This is annoying when the ideas keep coming when I should be sleeping, but that’s just how it is. I also try to squeeze in writing when I commute (I write on my phone.) I don’t really have a routine though, I just sit down and write the thing.

Did anyone give you writing advice when you were first getting started? Do you think it helped?

No. Of course you pick up the classics: write what you know, show don’t tell. These are all valid. What is the most helpful at an early stage is finding someone who is better than you and then asking them to critique your work. Of course you have to be receptive to this. And you have to be able to not take it personally, because it’s going to sting.

What is the scariest thing you face as a writer? How do you handle it?

There is just never enough time. I have a day job, so I have to work all the essentials–sleep, work, food, writing–into my schedule. At the same time, I have so many stories I’m itching to finish! It’s daunting and scary, but I just try to move forward.

Writers Block. Is it a problem and if so, what do you do to break through and start writing again?

Not a problem for me. But I suggest that you don’t try to break through. Work around it instead. Go for a long walk, start a journal or write some poetry or short stories. The words will come, you just have to let them.

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when following your dreams?

Make sure that when you do, the path to your dreams translates well into the real world. A positive attitude alone is not enough.

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Alexa Piper

“You got a broadsword,” Gordon said when he came back from taking the ashes out of the oven. The dead vamp offender had burned up nicely.

“And you smell of ash,” Maxim said.

They had been playing Dragon Labyrinth for just a little under two hours, and Maxim was already frightfully good at it. If only speed and acute reactions came with vampirism automatically. All special talents Gordon had noticed in himself was that no matter what color he dyed his hair and how often he changed it, it would stay healthy and free of split ends. Not that I’m complaining about that. Healthy hair is great. Currently, he was a dark eggplant purple with black-blue highlights.

“Well, I’m sorry if –”

Someone knocked on Gordon’s still-open office door and cleared his throat. Gordon turned, and when he saw Orrin standing there, all thoughts that had been ordered in his head became a mishmash of confusion. Confusion, embarrassment, and fear, to be exact.

“I hope you don’t mind, Gordon, I asked Detective Orrin to drop by here with some information he considered important. You two have met, haven’t you?”

Gordon managed a nod.

“We have,” Orrin said. His voice sounded even, not angry, and Gordon wasn’t sure whether he would have preferred angry.

“So what was that thing about a hate crime that you were going on about, Orrin?” Maxim said.

Orrin walked into the room and closed the door behind him. “Yes. Jack the Ripper. That guy who murdered humans and Fae and tossed London into a panic around the 1890s. That ring a bell?”

Maxim paused his game and turned. “Oh, it certainly does. The Fae murders. I wasn’t in London at the time, but I followed the case. I take it you have someone emulating that killer, whoever he may have been?”

Orrin pulled something up on his phone, handed the device to Maxim. “Crime scene photos. You tell me.”

Maxim scanned through the photos slowly as if he were committing all the details to memory. Then he handed the device to Gordon. “Your opinion, Doctor?”

“Uhm,” Gordon said. “I’m not really familiar with Jack the Ripper, other than where pop culture is concerned.”

Maxim shrugged. “There’s a corpse. Don’t be shy. Have a look.”

Orrin crossed his arms. “And we’ll all just pretend I asked for you to consult.”

“Oh, silly Orrin,” Maxim said. “It’s a possible hate crime against supernaturals, which means I get informed, and through the power my position invests in me, I get to consult all the nerdy medical experts I want. And Gordon here happens to be the best, nerdy or otherwise.”

Nerdy. Yes, I guess I am that. Which made Gordon tense. He hadn’t even thought about it, but his office was, well, every collector’s wet dream, and it was really just a small slice of his entire collection, and really, Orrin could probably smell the weed cookies in the Lord Helmet cookie jar. What was he going to think about Gordon now? When Gordon had already messed up before and hadn’t even taken the time or effort or courage to set things straight. Well, fuck.

He tried to focus on the pictures, which had all the many shades of red and darkness, blended and combined to fill a canvas of a dark mind’s imagination. “Strong attacker, right-handed. I could give you a height range if I were there, but not from photographs alone. I see no obvious indicator the victim was anything other than human.”

Maxim beamed. “See? Gordon and his corpses.”

Orrin grunted. “I can get you to consult on the autopsy, but I can’t have the victim brought here. And if you wanted to, I mean, you have other things to do, but I would appreciate another set of eyes on the crime scene.” After a pause he added, “You too, Maxim. Should have a look, I mean.”

Maxim made a moue. “And here I was, just getting fond of the old broadsword and hoping that those dragon knights would bite their thumbs so I could offer them challenge.”

Gordon sighed. “I don’t think you really get video games, Maxim.”

The blond vampire snorted. “You talking about not getting things is a right hilarity, Doctor. Now, let’s go have a look at a corpse, shall we?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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!

Book Blitz: Stay by Jessica Frances #LGBTQ #ContemporaryRomance @XpressoTours

Stay
Jessica Frances
(In Midsummer #3)
Publication date: September 4th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

One screaming baby. One too many diaper disasters. One surprise shooter. One victim. One perpetrator. One blast from the past.

Having a surprise baby dropped at your doorstep has to be the worst kind of relationship buzzkill in history. Instead of dating, now Rocky and I have shifted into becoming exhausted parents with zero time for any kind of fun. Everything is moving so fast that something has to give. I just hope that something won’t be us.

Then, when a shooter comes after Rocky and their aim is a little too close for comfort, important questions need to be answered. Who wants Rocky dead? How far are they willing to go to make it happen? How much luck can one person have before it runs out? And where on earth did Rocky put those spare baby diapers?

With someone gunning for not only Rocky but also our relationship, one has to wonder just how many hits we can take before it all falls apart.

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EXCERPT:

“Is he still peeing over your face?” He says this so casually, as though this is a completely normal question to be asking your partner. Although, I suppose it probably is completely normal for many parents.

“Unfortunately, I’m fun to aim at.”

I stand up and watch Rocky point his finger at Ryder. “Please stop peeing over Conner’s face. I’d rather like my boyfriend pee-free if possible.”

Ryder grabs ahold of Rocky’s finger and wipes his slobber over it.

“Thanks for standing up for me. You really told him,” I drawl, rolling my eyes. It seems everyone listens to Rocky except for his kids, who seem immune to his commanding tone. Ryder isn’t even biologically his, and he still isn’t affected.

“Fine, how about this?” He turns to face Ryder again. “You give us one night completely uninterrupted, and I’ll give you one night free pass when you’re older to skip vegetables.”

I shake my head again. “Think you gotta know your audience.”

“Fine, how would you do it?”

I lift Ryder up and turn him to face me. “Ryder, I promise you this will be much funnier if you pee on him instead. So, try that from now on, got it?”

“Hey!” Rocky gives me a gentle shove while I laugh.

Ryder seems to sense the mood and grins.

Author Bio:

Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

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Book Blitz: Revved to the Maxx by Melanie Moreland #ContemporaryRomance @MorelandMelanie

Revved To The Maxx
Melanie Moreland
Publication date: September 3rd 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Maxx Reynolds needs help.

His shop, house, and life are all in a state of disarray.

In desperation, he turns to the internet to hire a new employee,
thinking it will make his life easier

What he expects is a fellow named Charly.

What he gets is a quirky, sassy, red-head named
Charlynn who runs circles around him.

And she’s all woman.

He can’t stand her.

He can’t keep his hands off her either.

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EXCERPT:

On Monday, I carried a sandwich into the garage, setting it on the workbench. It had been a hectic morning, and I’d barely had time to talk to Maxx at all. At one point he’d received a call that he’d walked outside to take, and when he came back, his glower was deeper than usual. I knew better than to ask him about it, though. Instead, I stayed busy.

Maxx was talking to a customer as I went by. He was busy with his hands as he worked on a nice-looking Yamaha. But he glanced up, and I offered him a smile. “Your lunch, boss man, whenever you’re hungry.”

He nodded, his attention on the man he was talking to. The man chuckled. “Wow—she’s good. You get lunch?”

Maxx made a low noise, and the customer stepped forward, his hand outstretched. “Cam.”

I shook his hand. “Charly.”

“Pleasure.” He indicated Maxx. “You’re far cuter than this lug. You smile too.”

I had to laugh. “It’s part of the service now.”

“What else is included?” Cam teased.

“I want those numbers this afternoon, Charly,” Maxx snapped. “Stop flirting and get to work.”

Cam threw back his head in amusement. “I hope you get paid well for putting up with the attitude.”

“I think Maxx considers that one of the perks.”

Cam chuckled and looked at Maxx. “I like this one.”

Maxx snorted. Like a real blow the air through your nose and huff at the same time sort of snort. He glared at Cam. “Hands off my staff. I have a firm no mixing business with pleasure policy. Charly can’t date my customers.”

I managed to hide my surprise at his words. He had never mentioned anything of the sort. And I highly doubted Cam was looking for a date. His tone was teasing and friendly but not personal. He didn’t look remotely interested in me. His next words confirmed that.

Cam frowned. “My wife will be happy to hear that, Maxx. Relax. I was just being nice.” He eyed him. “You might want to try it.”

“I’m plenty nice.”

I had to turn and walk away to stop my laughter. Cam spoke again. “Back to the event. You have to go, Maxx.”

“I can’t. I’m booked solid.”

“Can’t you put it off?”

“No. I can’t just close the garage, Cam.”

“It’s an amazing opportunity.”

My steps faltered. What opportunity?

“I guess it’s one I will simply have to say no to.”

Cam huffed and called my name. “Charly!”

“Um, yes?”

“Can you reschedule your boss here so he can be gone for a while?”

I met Maxx’s expression. It was filled with warning, intense and dark. Telling me not to speak.

I decided to push back a little. I was tired of being quiet. “I can check.”

Cam smirked and crossed his arms. “Great.”

Author Bio:

NYT/WSJ/USAT international bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of thirty-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

Melanie is represented by Flavia Viotti at Bookcase Literary Agency. For any questions regarding subsidiary or translation rights please contact her at  flavia@bookcaseagency.com

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Book Blitz: Escape by Deana Birch #RomanticSuspense @DeanaBirch

Escape
Deana Birch
(The Covington Heights Crew #1)
Publication date: September 1st 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

FROM POPULAR ROMANCE AUTHOR DEANA BIRCH

Book one in The Covington Heights Crew series

The only thing she has to give is exactly what they want.

The Covington Heights Crew has a funny way of protecting their own. With rapes from rival gangs and human trafficking riddling their poverty-stricken streets, they’ll keep the girls from their neighborhood safe—for a price. No money? No worries. They have quite creative payment plans.

Messed up? Yeah, they know. They’re criminals.

Twenty-one-year-old Fiona Thompson was happy to stay off the radar of the twisted drug dealers who encourage her mother’s habit. She’s sure that she can work her way out of Covington and find a better life for herself and her baby sister. But then she beeped. Loud.

Second-in-command Leo Ricci is a poser. The web of lies he’s spun for a life unravels every time he’s around Fiona—every day he’s trying to keep her safe and every second he’s avoiding his destiny.

When his missteps challenge the authority to which he’s pledged his allegiance and Fiona’s life is at stake, there’s only one solution—become the man he never wanted to be and leave the place that was saving him from a worse, but unavoidable fate.

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EXCERPT:

Fiona

The dark gray grime around the rim of the tub would not go away, no matter how hard I scrubbed. I flipped my long ponytail over my shoulder and sprayed the foaming cleaner into the corner where tile met porcelain. While my efforts would bear no fruit, I couldn’t stop. If I could just make our dirty apartment shine, there had to be hope for our lives.

The baby whimpered then wailed from her crib in the back bedroom, and I stored the worn-down green sponge and the bottle that promised gleaming effects on top of the medicine cabinet, rinsed my hands in the sink and went to tend to Violet.

Her sobs quickly morphed into coos once she was in my arms and I’d shushed her with an easy bounce and kiss on her sweaty head. Even though she could walk, I carried her to the kitchen, and I wasn’t surprised to see that my mother had not left any milk. After a diaper change—at least we had those—I packed Violet into her wobbly stroller and rode the slow, rickety elevator down to the ground floor of our apartment building. The florescent light flickered over the beat-up metal mailboxes as we crossed the depressing lobby.

The sun shone bright and blinded me for a quick second. The weather had two gears, hot or storms. And while the storms were a relief from the heat, the wind and rain that came with them didn’t make running errands easy. I navigated the stroller through the cracking cement of the courtyard, careful not to step on anything sharp or deadly with my flimsy sandals.

Predictably, the Covington Heights crew were huddled around their bench across from the run-down park—all in their signature black jeans, which must have been torture in the heat. In three months, their numbers had doubled and I was sure it could officially be considered a gang. I recognized a couple of them from their lives before they’d decided to become delinquents. I was even sure the tallest one had been a star basketball player in his day. And, while their matching pants unified them, the physical similarities stopped there. Blonds, shaven heads, dark hair in a man bun… They were all different in race and creed.

Internal groan. I was brewing a perfect stew of resentment, hate and disgust for those fuckers—and maybe just a pinch of lust. Ripped asshats. They were like a calendar spread for hot bad boys.

Their business was an endless supply of drugs that fed my mother’s meth habit, and groupies drooled around them like they were rock stars. Gross.

But they were also an anomaly. As long as you called Covington Heights home, they kept you safe, client or not. And for that, I gave them my respect.

Maybe it had been my odd hours that had kept me off their radar—the sole benefit of working the night shift. Not to mention, the maid’s smock and comfortable shoes I had to wear to work hadn’t done much to make me stand out. Or perhaps I was just too old for their tastes. Their female hangers-on didn’t exactly look over eighteen—not that it was any of my business. And not that I had been paying attention.

But the whispers I had heard about them weren’t all horrible. Girls had sworn they were harmless, a notion I couldn’t quite swallow with their primary source of income.

Violet sucked her thumb in the stroller below me. I lowered my head and picked up my pace to pass by the group of drug-dealing male models.

“Hey, little mama,” a dark-haired guy with a black tank top over his muscled chest called. “Where you been hiding?”

Great. I’d officially bleeped on their screen. Fuck.

I let out a slow breath before turning with a wry smile. “Been here all my life, big boy.” And a big boy he was. He had almost a head on me. It was best to ignore his olive skin and dark inviting eyes below thick brows. I kept walking.

“Hey!” Black Tank Muscle Man stepped in front of the stroller and my breath hitched.

I met his gaze, and even though my spine was like an iron rod, I softened. “I’m just trying to get some milk. I don’t want any trouble.” And I certainly wasn’t interested in being their customer. With my thumbs hooked on the handle and a hopeful smile, I opened the rest of my fingers in a small surrender then clasped the stroller again.

Black Tank’s eyes traveled the length of my body and he licked his plump lips that looked like the softest thing on him. Jesus, he dripped danger and sex at the same time. Those two ingredients should not be allowed to mix.

He jutted his clean-shaven chin toward the stroller. “This your baby?”

I should have lied. Single moms were probably less appealing to someone like him, but for whatever reason—maybe fear of being caught by one of the crew that did know me—I told him the truth. “It’s my sister. Please let us pass. She needs her milk.”

He stood his ground, staring at me for a long beat. I couldn’t tell if he was mind- or eye-fucking me. But there was nothing pure about the vibes he was sending, of that I was sure. A lump grew in my throat and I wouldn’t allow myself to try to swallow past it. I was a girl who’d grown up in the projects. I knew damn well that if you gave an inch to a bully, they would take a whole damn mile.

After one more glance at my chest, which made me hate the boob fairy who’d given me D cups, he stepped to the side. The tension from my back released and I pushed Violet to the deli. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that those foreboding, dark eyes followed me the whole way.

On the return trip, his electric, wicked energy stalked me, haunted my every step. Yeah, I was officially on the radar and had no idea why or how to disappear from it. It was only once I’d closed the door to our apartment on the seventh floor, gotten Violet her milk and turned on her favorite program that I allowed myself to shudder in the corner of our tattered brown couch.

What was worse was that I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The hard truth was that I’d liked his attention, even though I was sure I hated him and all he stood for. At least I wasn’t stupid enough to trust him. But, to be fair, I didn’t trust anyone—an addict for a parent could do that to a girl—and, yeah, Black Tank certainly did not have take-you-out-to-dinner-and-buy-you-flowers ideas forming in his beautifully dark eyes.

I made Violet a peanut butter sandwich with our last two pieces of bread and cut an apple that we shared as I ate instant oatmeal. While the clock ticked closer and closer to when I needed to leave for work, it came—the instinctual awareness that my mom would be late coming home, again. And therefore I would be late for work, again.

I cleaned the small mess we’d made from eating—I didn’t think what I’d done could qualify as cooking—and I sat with my uniform on, ready to bolt out of the door, as I assumed the too-familiar position of waiting for my mother to get home.

Over the years it had been a sad and constant element of my life. When she was late, I usually knew why, and I was sure that this time would be no different. The door finally opened thirty minutes after I’d needed to leave and her skinny, fidgeting frame walked through. Every ounce of my being hated leaving Violet with my mom while she was high, but if I didn’t work, we would be worse off than we already were, and I didn’t want to imagine what that might look like.

My mom ignored me and went straight to the kitchen, where she took out a glass and filled it from the tap.

Fighting with her, high or sober, was a battle I’d surrendered to in high school, so I hid my sigh and stood.

In the calmest voice I could muster, I asked, “Can I have the phone, please? I need to let work know I’m running late.”

She darted her bloodshot eyes around the room, looking anywhere but at me. As she twisted her lips, I understood that the phone was gone—either lost, stolen or sold. Great.

“Right,” I said with a knowing nod. “I’ll be back for breakfast.”

Her guilty conscience must have been keeping her from both eye contact and speaking, because she turned her back to me and drank the rest of her water. I hurried out of the door and flew down the seven flights of stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. It was all I could do not to run through the courtyard and down the three streets to the subway station, where I was lucky enough to catch a train, my heart still thumping in my chest.

At the stop in Midtown that led to the hotel where I worked, I bolted up the stairs, retying my long hair into a tighter ponytail as I went. I entered the side door in the alley for employees and hauled ass down the stairs to the locker room where we kept our personal belongings.

The cold LED lighting was a bright contrast to the dark basement, and I had to blink several times to adjust my eyes. But once I’d focused, I saw my supervisor sitting on the bench in front of the row of mint green metal lockers.

Fuck.

“Fiona.” He crossed his arms and frowned. Sweat puddled around his thinning blond hair. Carrying around his massive stomach must have been a lot of work.

“I know.” I brought my hands together in a plea and slumped. “I’m so sorry. I’d love to say it won’t happen again, but my mom—”

He held up his chubby hand that looked more like a ball of dough with five short, fat sausages sticking out of it. “You’re fired.”

My chest contracted at the loss of oxygen.

“No, no, no, no, no. Please.” I needed to make him understand. Me losing that job wasn’t just a paycheck. It was our livelihood. The government didn’t hand out checks to addicts anymore. The only thing we had for security was the shitty apartment, because no one in their right mind would want to live in our neighborhood.

A neighborhood where the police rarely made an appearance… A neighborhood where criminals ruled with wicked eyes, iron fists and where they openly exploited the addictions of their own… Where girls gave up hope of leaving and settled into worshiping drug dealers because instant gratification was more attainable than a long-term plan…

No. I needed this job. I had a fucking dream. Get the fuck out of Covington Heights. Roly Poly on the bench in front of me did not understand what he was doing to me and my sister.

“Mr. Hansen…please.” There was no need to fake the tears streaming down my face and I hoped my trembling bottom lip would show him how desperate I was. I tapped my fingers on my cheeks as I searched his mole-like eyes for any hint of sympathy. There was none.

“I’m sorry, Fiona. If I can’t keep my cleaners in line then it’s me without a job. I’ve been warned about being too lenient. I can’t stick my neck out on the line for you or anybody else. It’s nothing personal.”

For him, maybe. For me, it was everything.

Author Bio:

Contemporary romance and erotica writer Deana Birch was named after her father’s first love, who just so happened not to be her mother. Born and raised in the Midwest, she made stops in Los Angeles and New York before settling in Europe where she lives with her own blue-eyed Happily Ever After. Her days are spent teaching yoga, playing tennis, ruining her children’s French homework, cleaning up dog vomit, writing her next book, or reading someone else’s.

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