Vintage: The Reincarnation Series by Laura M. Baird #vampires #vampireromance

Vintage: The Reincarnation Series Book 2

by Laura M. Baird

Available at Amazon for 0.99 and in Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09W1D25RN

#vampireromance #vampirenovella

#fatedmates #secondchanceromance

Reginald Cast, a former slave, will do anything to be reunited with his love, Charlotte. Including becoming a vampire.

Renata Charles has visions of another life. When tempted by an appealing mysterious man, she learns she’s Charlotte reincarnated.

Will Renata acknowledge Charlotte’s spirit within her and accept Reginald’s gift of eternal love? Or will the past continue to haunt them and threaten their chance at forever?

Excerpt:

December 1860

Reginald Cast wept without shame while kneeling on the snow-covered ground, his pitiful wails competing with the howling wind. Fingers-turned-to-ice gripped the frigid monument he pressed his head against as he tried to conjure images that usually warmed his soul.

Sparkling blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and a sunshiny smile given freely to everyone she met. His lively Charlotte Tremmington.

Until seven days ago. The amount of time that had passed since she’d been viciously ripped from his world. Her light snuffed, no longer able to glow with endless joy.

When he’d discovered the true cause of her demise, his rage had kept him from landing in the ground alongside her. Although he would’ve gladly rested beside the one he loved if it meant meeting her spirit in Heaven. But he knew that would never happen. Rest beside her, that is. He, a lowly slave, buried in the Tremmington family cemetery, one of the elite families in the Richmond, Virginia area. Even now the thought caused him to scoff amid his cries. Never mind the Tremmingtons were the kindest people he’d ever known.

Unlike those he served.

The Barclays.

Julius Barclay, son of plantation owner, Simmion Barclay. Julius, the man responsible for the death of Reginald’s beloved Charlotte.

Anger and hatred burned anew, causing Reginald to grit his teeth and squeeze the cold stone so hard he thought for sure it’d crumble at his feet.

With steely resolve, he liPed his face, bracing the bitter weather as he stared at the script on the tombstone.

“I love you, Charlotte,” he began, his voice filled with heartbreak. “I will end Julius and live in the hope of seeing you at the end of whatever journey God lays out before me.

He pressed his lips against the scroll of her name then rose, keeping his gaze on the words carved into stone for eternity.

Beloved daughter, loved by all.

Reginald clenched his fists and turned.

About the author:

Laura M. Baird is an award winning and best selling author, offering readers heartwarming to body blushing romance. A semi-retired dental hygienist of twenty-two years and former US Army sergeant, she has plenty of inspiration from life to infuse into her writing. With stories ranging from young adult to mature characters, military romance to paranormal, there’s something for every romance reader to enjoy. When not writing or reading, she’s enjoying her family, residing in the Pacific Northwest, and dreaming of travels across the US as well as Scotland and Fiji.

Laura invites you to check out her website where you’ll find more about her, her books, and all the ways you can follow her journey. https://www.laurambairdauthor.com

BOOK TOUR: My Favorite Story by Hilary Dartt #ContemporaryRomance

My Favorite Story tour banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for My Favorite Story by Hilary Dartt. In this new contemporary romance book sparks fly between a bull rider who hates reporters and the reporter assigned to cover his three-month bull riding tour.

This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 13 till 19 May. See the tour schedule here.

My Favorite Story book cover

My Favorite Story (Mint Creek Ranch Series #1)
By Hilary Dartt
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 13 May, 2022

Blurb:
When reporter Tessa Kincaid sees a job listing for a mysterious three-month assignment with bonus pay, she applies immediately. It doesn’t matter what it is—she needs the money. The first night in her new town, she spends several sensual hours dancing with a sexy cowboy she believes she’ll never see again.

The next morning, she discovers that man is bull rider Cody Davis, whose comeback tour she’ll be covering for the next three months … and that he hates reporters.

The last thing Cody Davis needs is a distraction—especially one as hot (and as great of a kisser) as Tessa Kincaid. Strict focus is the only way he’ll win the championship this year.

The two of them develop a tenuous professional relationship, their chemistry simmering just below the surface. When Cody finally begins to trust Tessa, though, she starts disappearing every night.

As the championship approaches, Cody must decide whether their relationship is an unwelcome distraction, or exactly what he needs to win the title, and Tessa realizes she’s in danger of losing everything—including the man she’s falling in love with.

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Excerpt:

TESSA

For a small town, Prescott, Arizona sure knew how to throw a party. The rodeo dance was set up in the big parking lot of the feed and supply store. A chain-link fence surrounded the dance floor and bar. String lights zigzagged across the top of the chain-link. Montana insisted they show up an hour after it started, “to make sure things were really in full swing,” and sure enough, the place was teeming with people. After an afternoon under Montana’s tutelage, Tessa could already spot the difference between the real cowboys and the fake ones, and between the genuine cowgirls and the one-night wannabes chasing after the real cowboys.

As soon as they paid to get in, they made their way to the end of yet another line—the one for the bar.

That’s when Tessa saw him.

Old, worn boots. Jeans that looked like he spent the day out on the ranch. A white T-shirt that looked like he put no effort into dressing up, but proved that he put a lot of effort into something: the cotton stretched across his muscles — forearms, biceps, pecs — in a way that made Tessa’s mouth water. Definitely a real cowboy. He wore a black cowboy hat, so Tessa couldn’t really see his hair, but his dark sideburns ended where his 5 o’clock shadow began. His face was rugged, chiseled. And when he made eye contact with her, Tessa saw that his eyes were a startling, piercing blue.

She noticed, just for a split second, that his expression was bored, like he didn’t want to be there. But once their eyes locked, it took on an interest, an awareness.

And as she saw that, a burst of energy shot right down between her legs. She felt her face flush even though no one could have known.

“What are you —” Montana made a groaning noise. “Oh. Those are the Mint Creek Ranch boys.”

Tessa broke eye contact with the cowboy and became aware that he was flanked by two other guys. Well. They sure made ‘em good-looking in Prescott.

“That’s Sawyer.” Montana jutted her chin toward the trio. Tessa swallowed. She detected a note of wistfulness in Montana’s voice. She hoped to hell Montana wasn’t talking about the one in the black hat.

Feigning simple curiosity, she said, “Which one?”

Montana sighed. “The one in the red shirt.”

What a relief. “And who is this Sawyer?”

“Only Sawyer Nelson, the past future father of my children. The man I was going to marry.”

Tessa had so many questions, but now it was their turn to order drinks.

“I’ll get this round,” Tessa told Montana. “What’ll it be?”

“Seeing as those three are here, I guess I’m going to need something a little stronger than beer. Get me a shot of tequila, will you?”

Tessa ordered two shots for each of them. They took the first one then and there, slamming their shot glasses down on the counter before making their way to the edge of the dance floor. Once they found a spot where they could watch the electric sliding and two-stepping and dipping, Montana threw back her second shot and said, “I’m heading to the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”

Alone, Tessa sat down on a hay bale and began to take in all the detail she could. Wasn’t the whole point of this exercise to get a feel for the town’s atmosphere? Again, she noticed how friendly everyone was. Just like they had on the plaza earlier that afternoon, people greeted her with smiles and hellos. Although she should, she didn’t feel like a stranger there.

That is, until a pair of jeans, filled out in the best possible way, obstructed her view. She had to lean back to look up and see who the muscular legs belonged to, and she couldn’t quite fight the quick shot of pure lust that ignited in her belly when she realized it was the blue-eyed cowboy from the bar.

Now he was smiling at her, and the effect was so disarming, she smiled right back. Then she realized she probably looked like an idiot, so delighted to be smiled at by this extremely handsome man. She tried to tone it down, but then he said, “Would you like to dance?”

So many questions rushed through Tessa’s mind in that moment. Where was Montana? Where were the other two cowboys? Who was this guy? Did she even know how to dance?

“I’ll admit, silence isn’t the response I’m used to.” His eyes twinkled, and Tessa laughed out loud.

“It’s just — I came with someone, and I —”

“Oh.” He looked disappointed. “If I’d known you’d come with someone …”

“Oh! Not a he someone, a friend. A colleague. It’s not —”

“Well, that’s a relief. I guess you don’t have any excuse not to dance with me, then.”

Tessa held up her full shot. “I haven’t finished this yet.”

“Well, get to it. And then we can dance.”

Tessa didn’t even bother trying to resist. What better way than dancing with a real, actual cowboy, from a real, actual ranch, to experience Prescott life? She tossed back the tequila, stood, and threw the empty shot glass in the trash.

The cowboy held out his hand and she took it, immediately noticing the feel of his calloused skin. Suddenly, an image of his rough palm against her stomach, making its way up to cup her breast, flashed itself on the front of her consciousness. She shivered.

“It’s June in Prescott! Are you cold?”

“No,” Tessa rushed to say. “Just got a shiver, that’s all. Probably the tequila.”

“The cowboy turned to face her and took her other hand in his, backing up, pulling her with him onto the dance floor. His eyes locked on hers, he said, “Somehow I don’t think it’s the tequila.”

Then he winked and pulled her close, just as a slow song started. He settled one hand on her waist and with his other, he held her hand. Although the position was old-fashioned, Tessa found that she liked it. His mouth was just next to her ear, and when he spoke, his voice sent a skittering of goosebumps over her skin.

“You’re not from around here.”

Tessa didn’t miss the fact that it was a statement, not a question.

“No.” She didn’t know how much to say. She was a woman, traveling alone. She would be hanging out around town and returning alone to a hotel room every night for the next week until they left on tour. Yes, maybe she had the hots for this guy, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t a serial killer. As she’d done many times in her work, she decided it was best if she took control of the conversation.

“Are you?”

“Born and raised.”

“This is my first rodeo dance,” Tessa said. “You come to them often?”

“Nah. When I do, it’s because my friends drag me along.”

“Why do they have to drag you?”

Just for the briefest of moments, she felt his shoulder tense under her palm. “Not really my thing. I’d rather be at home, watching the sunset from my back deck.”

Well, Tessa thought, that sounded pretty pleasant. “Is that what you do to unwind?”

Although the conversation had been flowing so nicely, Tessa’s new companion stiffened. Then he seemed to remember they’d never met, and therefore, the question was purely innocent.

“Do I look like I need to unwind?” His voice held a little humor, but also real curiosity.

“To be honest,” Tessa said, “Yeah. When I saw you standing there with your friends, you looked bored. Like you’d rather be somewhere else. And, honestly, you looked stressed.”

Quite to Tessa’s surprise, he threw his head back and laughed. “You got all that from one look at me?”

Tessa wasn’t sure what to say. There was an edge to his voice. She sensed she had better step carefully. She wanted to keep dancing with him. For some strange reason, even though she’d just met the guy, she wanted to be the one to relieve that stress.

Besides, at this point, her body might revolt if she tried to walk away.

In an effort to keep the mood light, she leaned back so they could look at each other, and she smiled. “Yeah.”

“Well,” he said, smiling widely back at her, “I guess you’ve nailed it. I’d say that’s an accurate representation of my attitude tonight. Most nights, actually.”

He pulled her close again and she said, “I do have a keen sense of observation.”

She felt him laughing. They didn’t speak again.

As the slow song faded out, the drummer threw in a few quick beats and the music came back to life with a rousing tune that had people pouring onto the dance floor. Tessa figured this mysterious cowboy would want to call it quits with her, so he could head out into the crowd and find another woman to dance with. But he surprised her by grabbing one of her hands and twirling her around before pulling her back into the same slow dance position.

“I don’t really know how to dance to this music,” she said.

“Lucky for you, I do. I’m an excellent leader.”

True to his word, the cowboy twirled her and swung her and dipped her in time with this fast music, and by the end of the song, she felt herself gasping through her laughter.

“Pretty good for a newbie,” he said.” But it looks like you could use some water. I’ll get us some.”

Tessa figured this was it: his out. She told herself she’d wait on the edge of the dance floor for a couple of minutes, and when he didn’t come back, she’d return to observational mode and write this off as a moment she’d remember for the rest of her life.

But before he’d taken more than four or five strides towards the bar where the self-serve water cooler sat, he turned around and came back.

“Want to come with me?” He pointed toward the bar and said, “I don’t want some other dude to snatch you up while I’m gone. I think I’ve got at least another dance or two in me.”

Teenage-girl excitement swelled up inside Tessa’s torso, and she found herself grinning again. “Sure.”

Sure, like she didn’t mind either way. Sure, like she hadn’t just been imagining him in her hotel room bed. Sure, like she hadn’t gone so far as to consider what he’d want for breakfast. Even if she was never going to see him again.

He gestured for her to go ahead of him and she tried to walk without sashaying. Somehow he managed to beat her to the water cooler, where he poured them each a cup of water.

Maybe it was the tequila, or maybe it was the state she was in, but Tessa started talking and couldn’t quite seem to stop.

“You know, I never liked country music much. But listening to it here, tonight, it does have some pretty good stories, doesn’t it? It really has a good beat, too,” she said. “And you’re right, you’re an excellent dancer.”

Then she giggled, a bona fide girly giggle. The cowboy seemed amused by this. Tessa didn’t know if amusement was what she was going for. But he did look more relaxed than he had a little while ago. She sincerely hoped it was thanks to her.

“So what else do you do, aside from sitting on your back porch watching the sunset?”

His expression turned serious. “I like riding my horses. Trail rides, sightseeing. You know.”

“Actually, I don’t know. I think I’ve only seen maybe three horses my entire life. They’re so big and powerful. They kind of scare me.”

She saw him catch the innuendo, and her face burned. A movement behind the cowboy caught Tessa’s eye. It was Montana, waving wildly, motioning for Tessa to come over. She didn’t look upset, though, and Tessa couldn’t bear to tear herself away from her new dance partner. So she waved back and when the cowboy said, “Then what are you doing here? You know Prescott is pretty much the Old West,” she gave him her full attention.

Tessa didn’t feel quite ready to reveal the truth about why she was here. People didn’t often trust reporters. They assumed journalists were always looking for secrets that they’d store up to spill to the world at the most inopportune time. Which wasn’t true. But still. She decided to keep it simple. “I’m here for work.”

He looked like he wanted to ask her something else, but the music changed again. This time it was a song even Tessa recognized.

“Take one more drink,” the cowboy said. “You’ve gotta dance with me to this one.”

A few seconds later, they were back on the dance floor, bodies pressed together. Tessa could feel the heat of his skin through the thin fabric of her dress. Desire, hot and fierce, made her body vibrate with unmet need.

It couldn’t be love. Certainly not after less than an hour and a few country songs. It was tequila, and atmosphere, and being in a new place.

At the same time, Tessa knew it was something special. She decided then and there that she would commit every single detail of the night to memory.

* * *

One song melted into the next and into the next, and Tessa danced with the cowboy through every single one of them. She didn’t think she had ever had this much fun in her whole life. She couldn’t wait to call her mom and tell her all about it.

The evening passed so quickly that Tessa couldn’t believe it when the band’s singer announced, “All right, Prescott! You’ve been a great audience tonight! One last song. Let’s close it out with a bang!”

“Is it midnight already?”

“Why, is your carriage going to turn into a pumpkin?” He looked at her with such tenderness she couldn’t believe they’d met only a couple of hours ago. It was as if he, too, was memorizing every detail of the evening, knowing it was all they had.

But maybe … this would be her home base for three months, after all. She hadn’t told him as much, but maybe she should.

“Last dance?” he said, and even though it was another exciting, fast-paced tune, he pulled her in as if it were slow and lilting. They swayed, so close together Tessa swore she could feel him breathing.

In that moment, everything seemed to fall away and it was just the two of them on that dance floor under the stars.

Then, quite suddenly, Tessa felt tears stinging the back of her eyes. Did this have to end? She willed herself not to cry over what was obviously a one-night experience.

She was a city girl and he belonged here, in the country. In three short months, she would return to her normal city life, covering city things like council meetings and budgets. If it were possible, that thought made her even more sad.

After what felt like a snap of the fingers, the last song ended. A pair of floodlights in each of the corners flicked on. This should have immediately zapped the romance out of the moment, but he was looking at her again, sadness mixed with the tenderness she’d seen before.

Suddenly, Tessa remembered Montana — it was time to go, and she hadn’t seen her since the waving. Now, the dance floor was almost empty, and there was no sign of her.

“Your friend?” The cowboy said. Tessa nodded. “I’ve seen her off and on throughout the night but I don’t know where she ended up. And we didn’t exchange numbers.”

“You came with your friend but you don’t have her phone number?”

“Well, really, we just met. I didn’t expect for us to get separated. And it’s been a whirlwind of a day. I don’t think either one of us even thought about it, since we were attached at the hip all afternoon.”

“What’s your friend’s name?”

“Montana,” Tessa said. “I forget her last name.”

“Hart,” the cowboy said.

“Right,” Tessa said. “That’s it.”

“I’ll bet I know where she’s gotten to.”

“You know Montana?”

“Sweetheart, in a town like Prescott, everybody knows everybody. Nobody’s a stranger. Which means,” he added, tapping his temple as if she should remember this, “no privacy, either. I’ll bet you a hundred bucks Montana’s run off with my man Sawyer.”

The infamous Sawyer. That made sense, based on the way Montana was looking at him earlier, like being near him was equally torturous and rapturous.

“Where are you staying? I’ll see you home, and I’ll call Sawyer to check on Montana.”

Again, Tessa stalled, uncertain about whether she should reveal where she was staying. He didn’t seem like a serial killer … but they rarely did … What if he sneaked into her hotel room in the middle of the night —

His laugh, loud and deep, interrupted her thoughts. “I’m not going to follow you up to your hotel room and pull out a knife, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’ll drop you off at the door, make sure you get safely inside. My offer to see you home is pure chivalry.”

This had her laughing, too. “Okay. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d just make sure Montana is okay.”

He pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed. When he didn’t get an answer, he said, “That son of a gun. Glutton for punishment, that one.”

“What you mean?”

But he didn’t answer. He was too busy typing what Tessa assumed was a text message.

“We’ll give him two minutes and then I’ll call him again. You drive here?”

“Montana and I walked. I’m staying over at the Saint Michael.”

It was an old brick hotel on one corner of the downtown plaza.

The cowboy nodded. “I know the place. Shall we?” He offered his arm and Tessa put hers through, noticing the way his bicep felt: warm and hard and — she had to stop thinking this way, immediately.

The feed store was two blocks from the downtown plaza, and Tessa wished it were farther. She wished they could walk all night.

“So what was it like to grow up here?” she asked as they started off.

“Quiet, mostly. I had the best childhood. Riding, frog catching, fishing. Like I said, everybody knows everybody, so there’s no privacy. My mom knew everything before I had the chance to tell her any of it. She knew when Sawyer and I got in a fist fight in sixth grade and I broke his nose. She knew when we got in a fist fight in eighth grade and he broke mine. I loved it, though. Still do. I guess that’s why I’ve stuck around all this time.”

Tessa wanted to ask him if he’d like to raise his own family here, but she thought that might seem too forward. So she said, “You and Sawyer are brothers then?”

“Practically. For all intents and purposes, yes. We grew up on the ranch together. Our parents’ properties are adjacent. His parents owned a farm and our parents did lots of trading. Including the kids.” Now he chuckled. “Growing up, that was just the status quo. But now I realize it was a special, special thing. And then there’s the other guy you saw tonight. His parents had the property on the other side of Sawyer’s. So the three of us, plus my sister Annie, were constantly running around Prescott like a bunch of ruffians.”

By now, they were back at the square, and they stopped at the corner across from Tessa’s hotel. They turned to face each other. Tessa could picture him as a little kid, a dusting of freckles across his sunburned nose, mischief just behind his smile at every turn.

“I’ve never had a night like this, though,” he said.

“I haven’t either.”

She wanted to tell him so many things: that she’d never danced with anyone like that before. That she never imagined tearing off all her clothes in public, just to get closer to him. That she doubted she’d ever experience something like this again. In his eyes, she could see the reflection of the crosswalk signal turning to illuminate that it was their turn to cross. But he didn’t say anything, just kept looking at her.

“Do you think you’ll ever come back to Prescott?” he asked.

She nodded. The streets around them were deserted. This scene was so picturesque.

“It’s a really cute town,” she said. “Plus, maybe I’d run into you.”

He smiled. “I sure hope so.”

They walked across the street. The lights were on in the hotel lobby, and Tessa could see the receptionist behind the desk.

“Well, I guess this is good night,” he said.

Again, they stood facing each other, holding hands. Tessa let her eyes roam over his face, doing everything she could to ensure she would remember the precise color of his eyes, the exact shape of his chin.

“May I kiss you?”

Tessa glanced toward the hotel lobby, and Cody laughed. “I know. I said there are no secrets in Prescott. But don’t worry. That’s old Mrs. Meyer. She’s about as old as they come, and blind as a bat.”

“Then I would love for you to kiss me.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.”

He turned, rotating their bodies so Tessa was against the brick wall. He brushed her lips with his, gently at first. Tessa’s body responded. She grabbed his waist, pulling his hips against hers. She swore she could feel him through the denim. Her nipples hardened and she felt a rush of heat in her lower belly. A moan—completely involuntary—slipped out as she wrapped her hands around the back of his neck and deepened the kiss. His tongue slipped between her lips, tasting, teasing, and the kissing became even more passionate.

If they didn’t stop this now, she’d be inviting him up to her room. And if it were true that everyone knew everyone else’s business, word would get out. That would put her new assignment, and maybe even her whole career, at risk. Then, she’d be saying goodbye to all that money.

She ended the kiss, but her body wanted more. Her heart pounded and her lips felt swollen. She put her forehead against his chest and said, “I think I’d better go.”

He tilted her chin up, so they were eye to eye and said, “This has been a really special night.”

She couldn’t bring herself to respond. If she did, she might cry. So she nodded, and as soon as he gave her the space, she ducked under his arm and through the doors of the hotel lobby.

About the Author:

Hilary Dartt
Hilary Dartt loves great adventures, whether she’s writing, reading, or living them. The author of nine women’s fiction novels, Hilary lives in Arizona’s high desert with her husband, their three children, her Weimaraner and running partner, Leia, a failed barn cat, and a flock of chickens. She loves camping, exploring in the Jeep, and dance parties with her kids.

Author links:
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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of My Favorite Story. One winner wins ecopies of all three books in the Mint Creek Ranch series.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Surge (Hades Abyss MC) by Harley Wylde #bisexual #mcromance #MMF @HarleyW_Writer

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Release Date: May 20, 2022

Colette’s a sweet angel in need of saving, and like it or not, I have a hero complex. Marrying her seems like the right thing to do. Then my sometimes lover, Aidan, finds us together. The hurt in his eyes nearly guts me.

My club knows I’m bisexual. I’ve not hidden it from them. Doesn’t mean I’ve flaunted it in their faces either. So when I decided to claim Aidan and Colette, I’m not sure how it’s going to end. All I know is they both need me, and I need them too.

With human traffickers after Colette, a possible traitor in the club, and more chaos than I can handle, I do the only thing I can… I run with my new wife and husband. Once I figure out who wants Colette, I’ll do whatever it takes to destroy them. Until then, I’ll keep her safe, and Aidan too. Because they both mean more to me than I realized.

WARNING: Surge is part of the Hades Abyss MC series and contains bad language, violence, and content some readers may find difficult to read. Yes, Surge is bisexual, and therefore there are sexual situations involving Male-Female, Male-Male, Male-Female-Male, and Male-Male-Female sex.

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or Preorder for May 20th at your favorite retailers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Harley Wylde

I gripped Jacques’ hand as we slipped through the alley. The dumpster at the other end usually had something somewhat edible. I’d never lived on the streets before, but Jacques kept me safe. Or as safe as he could. We’d been strangers until a few months ago.

Jacques approached the other end of the alley, tensing as he listened to booted steps draw closer. When no one passed by, he eased forward and peered into the dumpster. I gasped as a shadow drew closer and my hold on Jacques tightened. More than once we’d been cornered. It had taught us to be overly cautious. My heart pounded as I stared at the man coming toward us.

“If you’re up for a party, you can stop by the Hades Abyss clubhouse. There should be food and drinks. No charge,” the man said. As he came even closer, I saw he had on jeans, a T-shirt, and a black leather vest that said Prospect on it. “No strings attached. You’re both welcome.”

Clubhouse? Party? I didn’t understand. Why would he invite homeless people to a party unless he had something nefarious planned? I didn’t trust him. I edged a little behind Jacques, even though the man had barely spared me a glance. Something about him set me on edge.

“Where is the clubhouse?” Jacques asked, his accent thicker than usual. It was a sure sign he didn’t trust this man either. I eyed the guy from around Jacques, prepared to run if this was a trap. Each time we moved to a new town, Jacques made sure to scout a safe place for us to meet up if we ever became separated. Would I need that space now?

“Edge of town. Just ask around. Anyone can point the way. Party usually starts close to sundown but come by anytime you want. I’m sure you’ve had some unsavory offers, living on the streets. That’s not what this is. Ask around about us.” He left as quickly as he’d arrived, and I leaned into Jacques.

He’d told us to check up on the Hades Abyss before going to the party. Did that mean it was a legitimate offer? Could we trust him? My stomach cramped painfully. It had been more than a day since I’d eaten, and the last meal had been a discarded sandwich I’d shared with Jacques.

“Food, Colette. We can eat something that didn’t come from the trash,” Jacques said.

“You trust him?”

Non. But what other options do we have?”

I nodded, knowing he was right. We’d made it so far, and yet we still weren’t safe. There were times I wondered if we’d ever live normal lives again. Even though I’d not known Jacques before coming to America, he’d been my lifeline the last few months. I knew he’d do what he could to keep me safe, just as he had every time someone had offered to help us.

“We survived this long,” Jacques said, kissing my forehead. “We’ll make it a while longer, Colette. You saw that man. Someone like that could protect you.”

My breath caught and I hoped he didn’t mean what I thought he did. Why would I need someone other than Jacques to protect me? We’d done okay so far. Maybe we were living on the streets, and I could admit I hadn’t slept well in months. But still…

“What are you saying, Jacques?”

He tipped my chin up and gave me a sad smile. “It’s time, ma belle. You knew we would part ways eventually. This is your chance.”

Je ne comprends pas.” What was he saying? Part ways? Did that mean he planned to leave me with the man who’d invited us to the party? A stranger? How did Jacques know I’d be safe with him?

“I’ve seen those bikers around town. That one isn’t part of the club yet. You need to find someone who is, and they’ll protect you.”

Pourquoi?”

“English, ma belle. You need to use your English more if you’re going to have a chance. As to why… I’ve seen the ones who have women. They’re considerate, caring, and shield them from harm. That’s what you need. I can’t keep you safe forever, and you know it.” He sighed. “We’ve been in this town a few weeks now. I’ve been watching and waiting, hoping to find someone worthy to keep you safe. Those men are your best bet.”

“You’re giving me to them?” I asked softly. Was he no different from the men we’d escaped from? Had I been wrong all this time?

Non. You’re going to choose to stay with one. Make him want to keep you. It might mean putting on another show.” He winced. “I hate doing that to you.”

I knew there was more than one reason he disliked it. Jacques had made it clear from the beginning he preferred men. It was the main reason I’d trusted him so easily. He’d never once been interested in me sexually, even if we’d had to fake it sometimes.

“If it will ease your mind, I’ll do it,” I said. “But, Jacques, what’s going to happen to you?”

“I have a contact farther north. I’ll go there, but it’s a hard trip and not safe for you.”

I bit my lip. It hurt, knowing I’d been holding him back. He’d had a place to go and had stayed for me. How long? How many days or weeks had he suffered when he could have made a run for it? Why hadn’t he said something sooner? I knew we’d been in this town longer than the others. Now I understood why. He’d been hoping one of those men would take me in.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.

When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.

The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.

You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!

Rock the Shores by Whitley Cox #ContemporyarRomance #SmallTown #Rockstar @WhitleyCoxBooks

Title: Rock the Shores
Series: A Cinnamon Bay Romance
Author: Whitley Cox
Genre: Small Town, Brother’s Best Friend, Single Dad, RockStar, Summer, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 10, 2022

𝙃𝙚’𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙢. 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙛 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙣𝙚?
A successful musician in an indie rock band, Evan Spencer takes the summer off and returns home to Cinnamon Bay, hoping the R&R will inspire him to write some new songs. He never expected to run into Juliet Clarkson on his first day back in The Bay. The Juliet he remembers was a paint-and-clay-covered kid with braces and frizzy hair. Now she’s a successful potter, and the most compelling woman he’s ever seen.
Juliet Clarkson has been in love with Evan … well, forever. She pined for years over the soulful-voiced best friend of her older brother. Swooned when she heard his guitar. Dreamed of him noticing her one day. And when that day happens, Juliet doesn’t know if she’s still dreaming, or if all her dreams are finally coming true.
But when tragedy strikes close to both their families, Evan is forced to give up his carefree summer in Cinnamon Bay and be the stand-up guy that an orphaned baby needs. Good thing Juliet is there to help. Sparks fly instantly, and soon their romance is real, all-consuming—and people are talking wedding bells.
But when the opportunity of a lifetime comes knocking, offering him and his band the fame they’d always dreamed of, he has to make a decision. Which is the dream come true—the life onstage he and his band know best? Or the unexpected new life he’s building in Cinnamon Bay with Juliet?

“This was an engaging story with characters that were perfect in their imperfections.” -Yvonne Cruz ( 5 Star Goodreads Reviewer)

“5 stars are not enough. WARNING – you are going to need chocolate and Kleenex to read this book. Yes – it is that emotional.”  – Nicki The Overflowing Bookcase (5 Star Review)

“Can’t be easy writing in someone else’s world, but Whitley Cox smashes it!!
This is a great romance which kept me reading to see if they could make the hard choices faced by many couples. Well worth a read, definitely recommend.” – Sue Hancock (5 Star Goodreads Reviewer)

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After the shock wore off and the electricity in her limbs started to settle, along with her rapidly beating heart, she lifted her head to find the rock star of her dreams standing there behind the counter with a very cocky grin on his face.

She rolled her eyes, but her heart rate only picked up again. “You’re on my playlist.”

“I feel like the innuendo is just right there, but I can’t figure out how to spin it.” He stepped closer, his eyes taking in every inch of her. Every clay-covered inch of her.

“I’m too tired to think of one.” She already knew that her hair was coming out of the pencil she held it up with. She’d been tucking and blowing the strands off her face since they weren’t quite long enough to stay tucked behind her ears.

She hadn’t bothered with makeup besides a little mascara, and that was probably falling under her eyes by now since she’d been wearing it for nearly fourteen hours.

“I’ve never seen you in action,” he said softly. “Never seen the artist at work.”

She rolled her eyes. “Well, stand back because the clay tends to fly.”

“Was there a scene about this in a movie?” he asked, not taking a step back but rather several steps forward.

She eased her foot on the pedal, and the wheel slowed down and eventually stopped.

“There is.” She jerked her head toward the bathroom. “Ghost with Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg.” Her brows pinched. “How do you not—” But she stopped herself when his expression turned coy. “You knew. You were just teasing me.”

His smile made her insides get all tingly. “I might be Oblivious Evan, but I’m not an idiot.”

Her cheeks grew warm, but that didn’t keep her from grinning at him. He was right behind her now. She had to tilt her head up to look at him. His gentle, sexy brown eyes bored right into her, turning her into a puddle.

“My mom came over to watch Hope for a bit,” he said, grabbing a stool and setting it right behind her, sitting down and leaning against her back. The heat of him and the way his legs bracketed hers was enough to make every one of her synapses fire at the same time.

This was literally her ultimate fantasy.

Not only had she watched Ghost more times than any preteen ever should, but she had fantasized about Evan Swayzeing her also probably more than she ever should have. Probably more than was healthy.

Normally, she felt really close to her mom when she was working on the wheel, but she was really hoping her mom had decided to go for a walk along the beach or The Boardwalk right about now.

He was wearing a fitted black T-shirt with a slight V-neck that had made her jaw drop and her mouth pool with saliva when he put it on this morning.

His fingers started at her elbows and slowly moved along her arms until his big hands covered her clay-caked ones. “Show me how to do it,” he said, his breath warm against her ear.

She smiled and pushed her foot down on the pedal just enough for the wheel to start spinning slowly.

Just like she’d imagined it, just like in the movie, his fingers slid through hers, both of them now covered in clay just like hers.

She’d centered the piece. Now it was time to start shaping it.

“What are you making?” he asked, kissing her neck.

“I didn’t have a plan,” she said. “Sometimes I just sit down at the wheel and let the muse find me.”

“Mmmm,” he hummed. “I’m the same way with the guitar.”

“You were working on something when I left …” She guided their hands up a little, then together they stuck two fingers each, his on top of hers, into the center of the clay and began to press out.

The eroticism, the symbolism of what they were doing with their fingers and how it all looked and felt was not lost on her in the least.

Pottery could be extremely erotic. Everything was done with the hands; everything was wet and smooth and involved pressing down with your fingers. She’d certainly found herself aroused on more than one occasion watching a pottery video, even when the view was of just the person’s hands.

A Canadian West Coast baby born and raised, Whitley is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have two beautiful daughters and a fluffy dog. She spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn’t end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes, and it’s not quite wine o’clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.

A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of everyday life into her stories. With single dads, firefighters, Navy SEALs, mommy wars, body issues, threesomes, bondage and role-playing, Whitley’s books have all the funny and fabulously filthy words you could hope for.
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Rejected Mates – multiauthor anthology #PNR #UrbanFantasy

Title: Rejected Mates

Authors: Rebecca Hamilton, Kathrin Hutson, Sofia Storm, Eliza Gayle, K.G. Reuss, Brenda Trim, Skye Alder, D.E. Chapman, Rebekah R. Ganiere, Ashley C. Harris, A.G. Harris, Brantwijn Serrah, Stephanie Mirro, Aliyah Burke, Jennifer Laslie, Julie L. Kramer, Krysta Fox, Lily Winter, Sapphire Winters, Kyrii Rayne, Dania Voss, Missy De Graff, Cassidy K. O’Connor, Candace Sams, Verika Sloane, and Elena Forest


Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy Anthology

Secrets, Lies, Betrayals.

Add a dash of danger and a pinch of sin,

Heart-pounding stories are waiting within…

What happens when fate steals their happily-ever-after? When the one person they were supposed to spend their life with rejects them? Can these shifters, vampires, demons, and fae find love again from the ashes of rejection?

Or will they be tied to the mates who rejected them, forced to find a way back to them or suffer for an eternity?  

Lose yourself in the magic of this limited edition paranormal romance and urban fantasy collection featuring 20+ rejected mate stories full of heartache, angst, second chances, frenemies, and forbidden love.

Excerpt from Treaty Born by Krysta Fox, participating author for Rejected Mates

AYSHA

The wind howled around the little car, battering it with icy shards of rain. A gust pushed it toward the right, and I fought to keep it on the winding road.

“Just get to the trees,” I muttered to myself, my knuckles white on the steering wheel. “Just get into the trees and you’ll be fine.”

The metal groaned as another blast hit us, and I bit my lip. Glancing up at the mirror, I checked the back seat for any disturbance. Everything was quiet. The car lurched to the right again and I forced my gaze forward, wrenching the vehicle back onto the road. Relief hit me as we dropped off the edge of the pavement, onto the gravel that marked the boundary I’d been searching for. Seconds later, the dark shapes of trees loomed up on either side of the narrow road. Rain still fell, but the sound of the storm faded instantly and I felt my muscles release. Safety was close now.

The small car chugged along. It wasn’t fast, but it doggedly handled every dip and twist in the road as we climbed toward our destination. I could feel the sting of tears in the back of my eyes, a lump forming in my throat, but I refused to give in to them. Until I had found the Safe House, I wasn’t going to give in to the emotions swirling through me.

After two switchbacks and a sharp turn to keep the wheels on the road, the cabin appeared before me, the promise of safety burning from the candle in the front window. A sound strangely like a sob escaped me at the sight. I coasted to a stop and took a moment to collect myself, pulling my hood up before daring to open my door. I shivered as the rain hit, stinging my exposed hands with the chill, but pulled open the back door, lifting out the blanket draped shape before running to the porch.

Excerpt from Graveyard Shift, The Grave Warden Saga, by K.G. Reuss, participating author for Rejected Mates  

Sophira

          “Sophira. Zander is here.”

          “I’d hope so,” I said, looking around the room. I had to keep an eye out for the jerk in case he tried to light my dress on fire or something. Tonight was the choosing. His perfect mate would be picked from hundreds of names by the cauldron. I knew my name was going into the depths, but I wasn’t worried. Our hatred for one another ran far too deep for the fates to lump us together for eternity.

          “There he is. Ugh. He looks amazing.”

          “Where?” I didn’t really care how he looked, but I did want to keep an eye on him in case he really did try to cast on me and send me squealing straight to the beyond in a blaze of glory.

          I didn’t have to wait long to find him.

          “Well, if it isn’t Sucky Von Morris.” His voice rang out behind me, using the nickname he’d given me when we were kids. I let out a groan, drawing in a deep breath and counting to three before I turned around to greet him.

          “Zander,” I said tightly, taking in his slicked back black hair and dark suit that had obviously been tailored to hug every muscle he’d sprouted over the years we’d know one another.

          “Wow, Sophira?” His green eyes widened as they raked over me. A blush, something very unlike him, clouded his handsome features before he cleared his throat, averting his eyes. Inside, I smiled smugly. I’d never made Zander blush before. Mom and her friends had done a great job on my attire tonight.

          “How are you doing, Zander?” Hazel chuckled as Zander ran his fingers through his black hair.

          “Uh, good.” Zander glanced at me quickly. “I, uh, almost didn’t recognize your face there for a second.”

          “Well, I’d never forget your face,” I shot back. A grin spread over his features, reaching his sparkling green eyes. He visibly relaxed.

Buy Links:  

Pre-order today for only 99 cents, then request your free gifts at: https://tinyurl.com/RejectedMatesGifts

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HFFDT5J

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rejected-mates-cassidy-k-oconnor/1140215805?ean=2940162266822&st=AFF&2sid=Draft2Digital_7968444_NA&sourceId=AFFDraft2Digital

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/rejected-mates-a-paranormal-romance-and-urban/id1587915904

Release Blitz: Rule Breaker by Stacey Lynn #sportsromance @staceylynnbooks

 

Rule Breaker by Stacey Lynn is now live!

 

Spending the night in jail isn’t exactly how I planned to spend Christmas, but I’ve had worse holidays…

Now that I’m out, it’s time to accept my real punishment. Coaching ten-year-old terrors on the ice, in my non-existent free time. My Coach thinks it’d be good for me. Remind me where I came from. He should know I’ve tried every day of my life for the last ten years to forget.

The youth hockey league is a hell I didn’t plan on and the worst penalty possible…

Until the day a sweet, single mom cracks a joke about her kid, and then all bets are off.

I’m the best defenseman in professional hockey, but I didn’t see her coming… now what in the hell do I do? I’m not equipped for a relationship. I’m definitely not ready to have a kid depending on me, but I can’t deny she makes me feel things— want things I never imagined I could have.

I should save us both the trouble and stay far away from her. But rules were made to be broken, and I was never good at following them anyway.

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Gs0J6f

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3IAHUyd

Nook: https://bit.ly/3qTIRf7

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3fQrtBF

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3tUlAeZ

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fiuF8L

 

Meet Stacey

Stacey Lynn likes her coffee with a dash of sugar, her heroes with a side of bossy, and her wine a deep shade of red.

The author of over thirty romance novels, many of which have been best-selling titles on Amazon, AppleBooks, and Barnes & Noble, she loves being able to turn her vivid imagination into a career that brings entertainment and joy to her readers. Focused on sports romance and emotional, small-town romance, she also loves stretching herself in different genres.

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, she now makes her home in North Carolina and loves all things Southern. Together with her ultimate tall, dark, and handsome hero, she has four children. Her life is a chaotic mess that fights with her Type-A, list-making, neurotically organized preferences and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Connect with Stacey

Website: www.staceylynnbooks.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6995826.Stacey_Lynn

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stacey-Lynn/e/B00CD6VVQG/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/staceylynnbooks

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/staceyssultryreaders/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/staceylynn.author

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/staceylynnbooks

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@staceylynnbooks

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stacey-lynn

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/staceylynnbooks/_created/

BOOK TOUR: A Scot is Not Enough by Gina Conkle #HistoricalRomance #ScottishRomance

A Scot Is Not Enough

Scottish Treasures Book 2

by Gina Conkle

Genre: Historical Scottish Romance

Gina Conkle’s newest stunning romance in her Scottish Treasures series features a fierce Scotswoman eager to break the rules and the man who vows to stop her.

A Gentleman of Virtue

Decent and ambitious, Alexander Sloane is finally a finger’s breadth from achieving the government post he’s worked towards for years. A minor task monitoring Bow Street funds for the Crown is his final hurdle. But he discovers more than he bargains for when his assignment leads him to the most captivating woman in London.

A Woman of Questionable Repute

Cecelia MacDonald has one mission: find and steal the sgian duhb, the ceremonial dagger taken from her clan by British soldiers during the Uprising of 1745. The coy and clever Scotswoman has never had any trouble using men to do her bidding and she’s enjoying the cat and mouse game she’s playing with the delectable Alexander. But when a mutual enemy proves deadly, she must rely on him for more than flirtation to gain the dagger.

An Explosive Partnership

As Alexander and Cecilia become unlikely allies, their desire for each other overwhelms them. When shocking secrets come to light, will Alexander realize loving the wrong woman is the right thing to do?

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Gina’s fate was sealed when her mom read aloud the poem, The Highwayman—the perfect historical romance hook. But, Gina grew up in California where no dukes or Vikings live. She always did prefer stone castles over sand castles and books over beaches.

Years ago, she fell in love with her favorite hero, Brian, and they eloped to Vegas at midnight. Together, they raised two sons who like history almost as much as their mom.

Nowadays, Gina pens sparkling Georgian romance with a dash of Scots or Viking romance with heat and adventure. When she’s not writing, you can find her wandering a museum or with her nose in a book.

Website * Facebook * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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Intergalactic Brides (Volume 4) by Jessica Coulter Smith #SciFiRomance #AlienEncounters @kitcatjms

Three young women who’ve run out of options trust their futures to aliens in search of their mates

Ella and the Alien Gamer (Intergalactic Brides 10)
Ella’s a single mom barely making ends meet, but she’s never asked for help. Until Valero barrels into her life. Valero wants a family, but he’s never thought of claiming a female with a child, but Ella and her son intrigue the video game designer. He plans to claim them as his, but convincing Ella may prove to be a problem…

Summer and the Alien Guard (Intergalactic Brides 11)
Summer would sacrifice everything to save her family. It’s time for drastic measures, even if it means tying her life to that of an alien. Vordro wants to be the answer to Summer’s prayers, even if he knows he’s too old for her. He’ll do anything to protect her and their unborn child — even if it means defending her from her own family.

Heidi and the Alien Cop (Intergalactic Brides 12)
The worst mistake pregnant Heidi ever made was moving in with her boyfriend. She doesn’t think happily-ever-after could possibly exist… The last thing Raylic expects is to end up with house guests. Heidi and her small son, Shane make him want things better left alone. Even knowing Heidi’s pregnant with another man’s child doesn’t stop him from wanting to claim her.

Get the Paperback at Amazon

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Jessica Coulter Smith
Excerpt from Ella and the Alien Gamer

Valero growled as he jabbed at the buttons on the controller. Rory and her damned dragons! When she’d said she couldn’t beat this level, he’d thought it would be a piece of cake. How hard could a game be that centered around an adolescent purple dragon? Harder than fuck, that’s how hard.

“Bust the gem, turn the wheel,” he muttered as he went through the steps. Little green things attacked him. “Argh. Die, you little bastards!”

“My mama will wash your mouth out with soap,” said a small voice.

He glanced to his right and nearly dropped the controller when he saw a small human child. Where the hell had he come from?

“You’re doing that wrong,” the boy said.

No shit. That was why he’d been trying to put out the fires for the last half hour without success. What the hell did the small child know about it though? He held out the controller.

“Since you seem to know what you’re doing, want to show me how it’s done?” Valero asked.

The boy grinned from ear to ear, snatched the controller, and started playing with the finesse of an advanced gamer.

“How the hell did you know where the buckets were?” Valero asked.

“Soap,” the boy replied in response to his bad word. Apparently hell wasn’t allowed either. “And I have this game at home. I beat it on the second day. I probably would have done it sooner, but Mama wouldn’t let me stay up playing all night.”

The boy beat the level and handed the controller back.

“What other games can you play?” Valero asked. He’d never met such a young gamer before and he had to admit he was a little fascinated. He hadn’t even known such a small human could play video games.

“I have Minecraft, Sonic, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars, and a few others.”

“What about Halo or Gears of War?” Valero asked.

“Mama says they’re too violent for me. But I wish I could play them. The kid games are too easy. I don’t see why the adults are the only ones being challenged.”

Valero’s eyebrows went up. A challenging children’s game? Was there a market for such a thing? Unless this child was a gaming prodigy, then there were probably others out there feeling his same frustration. Definitely something worth looking into.

“What types of challenges would you like to see in a game?” Valero asked.

“Well, I like the time challenges where you have to complete so many tasks in a certain amount of time. I like the fighting levels in Lego Star Wars. But collecting stuff like the rings in Sonic or the gems in Spyro can be fun. I just wish you could do more with it.”

The kid was rather insightful for someone so young. And he was giving Valero an idea. His game company was still in the fledgling stages and he needed something new and edgy to put him on the map. Or so he’d thought. Maybe he was looking at the wrong demographic. He’d been thinking of a game adults would like where you blew up stuff, but if gamers were starting out as young as this kid, children who weren’t allowed to play the more violent games, then maybe he needed to tap into that audience. The only problem was that his game testers were Rory and Zwyk, and neither would be able to give him the information he needed.

“He’s not bothering you, is he?” a soft voice asked.

Valero stood and faced the woman, and damn near swallowed his tongue.

“I, um… No! He’s not bothering me. He actually helped me figure out the level on the game I was playing.”

She smiled a little. “He loves video games.”

“Can I play some more, Mama?” the little boy asked.

“Connor, this man was already playing. Mind your manners.”

Valero handed the controller back to Connor. “I think you’re doing a better job than I was. Why don’t you finish playing? Or if you prefer something else, Zwyk and Rory have a ton of games. I’m sure there’s at least a few your mother would approve of.”

“Can I, Mama?” he begged.

“All right. But if someone else wants a turn, you give them the controller.”

The little boy gave a whoop and leapt onto the couch to settle in and play the game. Valero smiled at his enthusiasm before facing the mother once more. He moved a little closer and held out his hand. “I’m Valero.”

“Ella.”

His hand closed over hers and a little jolt went up his arm. Since moving to Earth, he’d never felt such an instant attraction to someone before. He’d gone on dates, but they were lacking. There was humor glinting in her eyes as she smiled a little wider and he realized he was staring at her like an idiot and hadn’t released her hand. “Do you play?” he asked.

“Me? Um, no. I’ve never understood the draw of video games. I’m more of a reader.”

He leaned against the sofa and folded his arms over his chest, feeling a bit of a thrill when her gaze was drawn to his muscles and she licked her lips. Good. The attraction wasn’t one sided. The question was, what did he want to do about it? He’d never dated a mother before. He knew others of his kind had adopted human children as their own, like Reyvor and his houseful of girls.

“What do you like to read?” he asked.

“Romances.” Her cheeks flushed. “I like the hope in them. No matter how dire the heroine’s circumstances in the beginning, she always finds her happily-ever-after. Whether it’s a knight rescuing her from a tower, a billionaire who falls for the poor waitress, or a shapeshifter who finds his mate, everyone falls in love at the end and all their dreams come true.”

He smiled. “And what’s your dream?”

PRAISE…

Praise for Summer and the Alien Guard (Intergalactic Brides 11)

“Summer and the Alien Guard was cute. It’s an easy read, had just the right amount of sexiness to get those juices flowing, and the pace was steady and solid. I just liked it. I hope other readers will give it a try too because there’s a lot to enjoy within its pages.”

— Xeranthemum, Long and Short Reviews

Praise for Ella and the Alien Gamer (Intergalactic Brides 10)

“This is a sweet, passionate, and sexy story that is well worth the read. “

— 4 Stars from Nikki, Sensuous Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and she firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world.

NEW RELEASE: Blue Rose by Lena Austin #DarkFantasy #PNR @Lena_Austin

Princess Zara knows one of royal blood is sometimes forced into political alliances, but what’s wrong with wanting a real Prince Charming? Few princes would want a wife who could best them with any weapon, still, there are more rivals for her hand — and her father’s kingdom — than she expects, but only two catch her eye. Prince Bram seems perfect, but he’s more interested in Prince Kennit than Zara. And the nearsighted Kennit isn’t perfect enough — her father will never approve the marriage.

Prince Kennit knows there’s only one woman for him, but few princesses would find a shape shifting dragon to their liking. When Zara is poisoned, Kennit’s the first to volunteer for the expedition to save the princess, though the quest will lead them deep within the ninth circle of Hell. Zara refuses to be left behind, and Bram’s along for the ride.

Things have changed a little — okay, a lot — since the days of Dante’s Inferno. This time the tourists are Zara, the poisoned princess, and her two suitors. Together they must find a single blue rose in the deepest part of Hell before the next full moon, or Zara will run out of time — and choices.

Available Today at Changeling Press

Preorder for May 13th at your favorite retailer

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Lena Austin

Zara shrieked in rage and aimed the next statue from the mantel at her father’s head. The heft of the clay dog might open up his thick skull. “I am not a fucking piece of merchandise!”

“Hang it all, Zara! I don’t like this any more than you do, but I would appreciate the courtesy of being treated like the king now and then!” King Ragnar dodged another object and winced as it shattered behind him. “Damn it! That was your mother’s favorite.”

“She’s been dead for twenty-five years. I don’t think she’ll miss it.” Zara cast about for something else to use as a weapon, but the more useful items were behind her father’s desk, putting her in reach of his burly arms. “Did you already send a herald to announce, ‘One kingdom for sale! Marry the princess and rule Powell Mountains’?”

Ragnar snorted, but kept a wary eye on her. “Thank goodness I had the sense to rule all persons must be disarmed in my presence, or you’d be hacking at me with your sword.” He drew himself up. “As a matter of fact, I did indeed issue invitations to the local princes. They should arrive in time for tonight’s feast.”

Zara swallowed another shriek and ground her teeth instead. “You mean to sell me and the kingdom into marriage quickly, don’t you?”

Ragnar’s fingers opened and closed convulsively, and Zara guessed he’d love to have them around her throat. “At least I’m giving you a choice of princes, you ungrateful wretch. I could have simply chosen one and delivered you to him trussed up like a goose.”

“I’d much rather you changed the law that demands this kingdom be ruled by a wedded pair. Just because you got lucky and found Mother while you were children doesn’t make the law right.” Zara tossed her thick black braid over her shoulder and slammed out of the door, not waiting for a dismissal. The cold fury on her face magically cleared a path through the corridors before her.

She’d known something was wrong when the guardsmen who usually gave her a sword workout were conspicuously absent from the fields. Not even the sergeant looked her in the eye when he informed her they were all out on field maneuvers for the week. She sailed through the doors leading to the back of the castle and noted the guardsmen had miraculously reappeared from their maneuvers.

Now she knew the why of the lie, and her anger soared even higher to realize her father had ordered all her “masculine” activities curtailed. Few princes would find a wife charming when she could best them with any weapon. Fewer still would find her preference for masculine clothes alluring.

Zara turned from the now forbidden joys of beer by the smith’s fire, a joint of beef in the barracks, and the clash of metals on the practice field. She knew better than to approach her old friends and cause them to lie to her further. Her eyes stung, not with pain, but more anger than she’d felt in many a year. Her shoulders slumped as she headed for the cliffs to walk as she often did when troubled. The men would read her posture and know that while she didn’t like it, she’d accepted it wasn’t their fault.

The wind and sky played a tempestuous love affair, whipping her comfortable, woven shirt until it plastered against her body, revealing too many feminine curves even in leather pants and vest. She hated her soft skin, though she’d honed fine muscles beneath the easily bruised flesh, of which there always seemed to be too much. “Can I help it if I’m as tall as a man, and nearly as broad? Certainly not. I refuse to be one of the court wenches who daintily picks at her food and then throws up what little she does eat for fear of not appearing feminine and delicate. Pahh!”

She stepped around a particularly large boulder and beheld a sight so strange it stopped her angry ruminations.

A lanky man stood at the very edge of the cliff, his black cloak seeming to hang in the air as if riding the winds, and his shoulder-length black hair escaped its silver thong to join the cloak in flight. Nothing could be seen of the man’s face, for his back was to Zara, but the whole figure was one of tranquility.

That peace alone intrigued her, for so few could bear the fearful heights, and fewer still dared walk the edge on a day when the winds could yank a full-grown man over the precipice. Either this one was very brave or very crazed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Someone cursed Lena Austin with “may you have a life so full you’ll have many tales to tell your grandchildren.” Lena’s a “fallen” society wench with a checkered past. She’s been a licensed minister, hairdresser, Realtor, radio DJ, exotic dancer, telephone service tech, live-steel medievalist swordswoman, BDSM Mistress, and investment property manager. Not necessarily in that order. She never finished that degree in marine archaeology, but did learn to scuba — she’s got a lifetime of “Research material!”

Hey, why waste these stories on kids who won’t listen anyway? Writing them down is a nice way to spend her retirement. What? You expected an ex-BDSM Mistress to take up crocheting or something?

BOOK BLITZ: The Omen of Crows Nest by Cathrina Constantine #Fantasy #YoungAdult @cathconstantine @XpressoTours

The Omen of Crows Nest
Cathrina Constantine
Publication date: May 4th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

No blood. No body. No murder.

That’s what the police found after Penelope spun her bizarre tale. In a hysterical state, she said her father was butchered and eaten by a mob of birds ~ in her bedroom.

They claim she’s crazy.
That she suffers from delusions.
Penelope is dead set on proving them wrong.

After being institutionalized for eight months, Penelope is out and more determined than ever to find answers to her so-called hallucinations. With her father’s untimely disappearance, she’s convinced her family is hiding something sinister.

THE OMEN OF CROWS NEST is the latest masterpiece by the award-winning author Cathrina Constantine, and is sure to leave fans of fantasy gasping!

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The electrodes in my brain were like a loop recorder, continuously dredging up the past. And problematic for the psychiatrist at Green Fields Sanitarium, who was in the process of rewiring me.

Bear with me as I digress: I witnessed the gruesome death of my father by a mob of birds. I know what you’re picturing: A scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movie The Birds. Not exactly like the movie, it happened in my bedroom. An aberration that my brain conjured, so they say.

Gramma had reinforced Dad’s untimely disappearance to the police. After the thunderstorm he’d raced to catch a late flight. An overseas business trip. Lacking evidence of any misdeeds, no mutilations as I’d described, the police had nothing to go on besides a batshit crazy kid. I experienced a daymare, a delusion, and it hadn’t been the first time, so said Gramma.

Afterward, Mom spent a week in bed, purporting she had a bug. She couldn’t keep anything down and stopped eating. I noticed her yellowy sick skin and hair matted as if a brush hadn’t made contact in weeks.

Thirteen days passed at a snail’s pace since that night. I was in the library’s alcove, my daily vigil, half-expecting Dad to come strolling up the cobbled walkway. My fretfulness heightening because I’d spilled my guts to my best friend, Hillary, telling her everything. If she repeated it to anyone, the repercussions would come back to bite me.

Author Bio:

I am blessed with a loving family and forever friends. My world revolves around them.

I grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where I married my sweetheart. I’m devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now my grandchildren.

I love to immerse myself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps me to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at my computer you can find me in the woods taking long walks with my dog.

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