Her Strong Force (Jordan Brothers) by Megan Slayer #Mafia #ContemporaryRomance @MeganSlayer

Her Strong Force (Jordan Brothers 8)

Heather McGraw doesn’t want to strip forever. She has plans for her life and stripping seems like the right choice to make enough money to pay off her debts. She’s not looking for love, but what if love finds her?

Mario Black can’t take his eyes off Heather. The young woman isn’t a natural on the stage, but she’s got a certain innocence and she captivates him. He wants her. When he’s given the chance to protect her while she moves from the stage to the Jordan family inner circle, he’s thrilled.

A demon from her past wants to ruin her future. Can Mario give her the protection, devotion and love she wants while protecting her heart?

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

https://bit.ly/32uTmto

Preorder for July 31st at retailers…

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

Apple Books: https://apple.co/397jZWC

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

B&N Nook: https://bit.ly/3fIv3fk

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Megan Slayer

“Positive. I want you to design other costumes for the girls. Your design is better than anything they’re coming up with, and if you’re the creator, then the outfits will be exclusive to this club,” Christy said. “I saw your sketches and suggestions. You’re good, and I want your exclusive stuff.”

“If they hate me for being new and pushy, then they won’t allow me to design for them. I’m the butt of jokes,” Heather said.

“I know, and I’ve got a plan. You don’t deserve to be the butt any longer.” Christy chuckled. “I’m assigning you a bodyguard and a better wage. You should be designing, not dancing.”

“A raise?” She sighed and shook her head. “Are you sure?” A job and a bodyguard? “Why do I need protecting? So the bodyguard can ward off insults?”

“Not exactly, but I like your style. I want him to keep the girls away so you can create, and when it’s time to dole out your costumes, then they won’t turn them down,” Christy said. “Plus, when the girls see what you can do, they’ll all want your attention. Promise.”

“They aren’t exactly my fans,” Heather said. “They’re more likely to kick my ass than like my costumes. They’ll be happy to see me go, and if they see I’ve gone with a bodyguard… it’ll get worse.”

Christy crinkled her nose. “Are you sure?”

“I am.”

“Why don’t you take the night and think about it?” Christy patted the table. “While you’re thinking, I want you to meet Mario. I’m telling you, you’ll want him around. Tall, dark, handsome, muscles… he’s sin on legs.”

A man, the one Heather supposed was Mario, joined them in the box. He said nothing and folded his hands.

Heather fought the urge to squirm under Mario’s inspection. She wished she weren’t wearing a corset with her chest spilling out of the cups. She felt so revealed. He looked a bit familiar, but not much. Had he been working there the whole time?

Christy stood. “Mario, take Heather to the dressing room and help her collect her things. Once you’re done, take her to the house. Get her whatever art supplies she requires.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Mario held his hand out to Heather. “Let’s go.”

“Yeah,” she said and allowed him to direct her through the club. “Sorry.”

Mario rested his hand at the small of her back. A couple of the dancers waited backstage. Heather swore she heard one of them say she was being escorted out. Embarrassment swept over Heather. The dancer wasn’t wrong.

“Ignore them,” Mario said. “They don’t know.”

She stopped at her makeup table. “They do.” She shoved her things into her bag, then cleaned out the drawers. Instead of dressing, she donned a long coat. Tears burned at the corners of her eyes, but she swore she wouldn’t crack. No way. The girls had seen enough.

Mario helped her into the coat. As she bent into him, he murmured, “Play along.”

She wasn’t sure what he meant, but she’d trust him. She wasn’t sure why she should, since she didn’t know him, but whatever. She’d have to trust him if he was going to guard her.

Mario tucked her to his side and carried her bag. “Got everything, babe?”

Babe? She fought the urge to roll her eyes. She had to trust him. “One more thing.” She pulled her nametag off the mirror. The poor thing looked so barren and sad. “Yeah.”

Carla, one of the popular dancers, a tall, raven-haired beauty, sauntered up to Mario. “I haven’t seen you here in forever, baby.” She nudged Heather aside and embraced Mario. “Want a private dance?”

“I can’t.” He smiled, then disengaged from her. “I’m escorting my girlfriend out. I decided I don’t want to share her.”

Carla narrowed her eyes. “Her?”

“Yes.” He threaded his arm around Heather. “Is that an issue?”

“Duh. You can do better,” Carla snapped. “I did you better. All she’s got are big boobs.”

Heather’s ears burned and her cheeks heated. She wanted to leave. “Mario?”

“Yes.” He sighed and smiled. “We need to get home. I’m tired and want to relax.” He nodded. “Good night, Carla. Heather?” He nudged her forward to the door.

Heather didn’t look back. She had to act confident. She tucked into Mario and basked in the sweetness of being held. She liked the way he smelled and the strength in his body. If nothing else, he gave the impression she was someone special. She hadn’t been that in a long time.

Mario directed her out to the parking garage to a black car. “Here we go.”

“You don’t have to take me home.” Heather pulled her car keys out. “I have my own ride.”

“I wasn’t aware,” Mario said. “Then let me drive.”

“Uh, no.” She shook her head. “You don’t have to do this. I’m fine.”

“Why don’t you let me drive? I’ll explain Christy’s decision and take you to the compound.” Mario widened his stance. “It’ll make more sense if we talk.”

“I have an apartment and my cat. I won’t relinquish them.” She shook her head. “It’s fine. I’ll just go home.”

“You can’t.”

 

About Megan Slayer

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Megan at Changeling Press | Megan’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Data (Bones MC) by Marteeka Karland #ContemporaryRomance #marteekakarland

Data (Bones MC 8)Zora: I live a life of wealth and luxury. There isn’t anything I can’t have. Except my freedom. So I turned to the computer for friendship. And that’s where I met my match. More than my match And when my life suddenly falls apart, he’s the one to find me. But he’ll also be the one to rip my heart in two.

Data: I’m not good with people. It’s why I stick to my computers. When my online partner and friend ends up in trouble, there’s no way I’m letting her go it alone. I was expecting a mature woman when I pulled up in front of her house. But the girl is barely eighteen.

And I friggin’ want her. To make matters worse, she’s been targeted by elite members of global organized crime. I’m confident I can keep her safe from that danger. I’m less sure I can keep her safe from me. She’s already had one unwanted relationship with an older man. She doesn’t need a man like me. One who will rule her to make her mine. And kill anyone in my way to keep her safe.

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

https://bit.ly/32w6puB

Preorder for July 31st at retailers…

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CRA1I3

Apple Books: https://apple.co/396kMr0

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2DXqfVx

B&N Nook: https://bit.ly/3eHBfTq

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Marteeka Karland

One by one, the riders shut off the bikes but didn’t get off them. Only one man took off his helmet and approached the house, a horrible scowl on his bearded face. Zora quickly jumped up and went inside. She tried to close the door, but the man was on her already. He didn’t grab her but shoved his foot inside the door so she couldn’t shut it.

She squealed, shoving her weight against the door. Like that was going to help if the man really wanted in. She was so slight there wasn’t enough of her to deter him.

“Zora, stop,” he barked.

She was so shocked he knew her name, she obeyed. Then she blinked several times. “D?”

“Data,” he corrected. “And you are in so much trouble, you can’t even conceive.” As angry as he sounded, Zora thought he’d pull her outside, but he didn’t. He held open the screen door and stepped back so she could come back outside the house. When she didn’t readily comply, he raised an eyebrow. “I will carry you if you don’t come out on your own.”

She swallowed but did as he said. Why, she had no idea. Of all the ways she’d envisioned meeting her online friend, this wasn’t it. And what was with all the bikes? She’d also thought he was closer to her age. Sure, the remark about spending time with his daughter had registered, but she’d just assumed his daughter was a child. She hadn’t asked and he hadn’t volunteered, but when she’d imagined what he might look like, it was as a college guy. Maybe slightly older. The reality couldn’t have been further from the truth.

This man — Data — was in his forties, bearded, and heavily muscled. He towered over her. She was only five foot three, so she guessed he was at least six-three or -four. Looking at the men behind him on their bikes, talking amongst themselves, she noticed they glanced toward Zora and Data occasionally. They were all just as big and just as strong. Just as intimidating.

Date gestured for her to go back to her perch on the swing where she’d been before, and he took one of the chairs next to her. For long, long moments, he sat looking at her, his forearms resting on his thighs, fingers laced together.

“Um,” she cleared her throat. “You, uh, want some tea? I’ve got soda, too.”

Nothing.

“I’d offer beer, but I don’t –”

“Why the fuck didn’t you do what I told you to?” He didn’t raise his voice, but the message was the same. Data wasn’t happy with her. At fucking all. “Where’s your phone?”

“I left it at back at Gordon’s house,” she squeaked.

“And the burner I told you to buy? You know, the one you were supposed to use to text me with your location so I knew where you were and had a way to contact you?”

“I forgot it, OK?” Her voice was firm and a little irritated. There. She’d found her spine. Finally. Mostly.

“Do you have your computer?”

“Yeah. But I’ve been so busy trying to get myself set up here, I haven’t been online.”

“Believe me, I’m fully aware. I’ve had our private chat open for days. I had the program set to notify my cell if you came online. My phone has been by my side or in my fuckin’ pocket constantly.” The more he talked, the louder he got, his anger obviously building. He didn’t shout at her, but his frustration with her was more than obvious. Finally, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath before continuing. “I was fuckin’ worried sick.”

She blinked several times. “What? Why would you worry about me? I can take care of myself.”

“I’m aware. Doesn’t change the fact I like knowin’ you’re good.” There was silence between them. An uncomfortable one where she fidgeted and he just stared at her, his expression unreadable but intense. “Did it ever occur to you I might care about your wellbeing?”

Of course. She got it now. Just like everyone else in her life, he worried about her abilities being taken away from him. And be Goddamned, it hurt. “I’m sure you could find any number of hackers willing and able to help when you need it,” she said, unable to keep the pain from her voice no matter how much she wanted to act like it didn’t bother her. “Hell, you’re much better than I ever thought about being. It’s not like I put you in a bind.”

He sat up straight. “What the fuck did you just say to me?”

She shrank back. This wasn’t her D. This man was scary. And an asshole, but she wasn’t saying that out loud. “I said it wasn’t like I put you in a bind.”

“Data!” One of the men called warningly from his bike in her driveway. “Simmer the fuck down, brother.” That was surprising, but not unwelcome.

Data scrubbed a hand over his face before stroking the front of his beard-covered chin with a couple of fingers. “Look,” he said. “Did it ever occur to you I might be worried about more than your abilities with a computer? Maybe I was concerned about my friend. Ever fuckin’ think of that?”

“I… Your… friend?”

“Yeah. My friend.” Data shoved himself out of the chair and held out his hand for her. “Come here, cutie.”

It was that nickname that made her stupid hand land in his and her body allow him to pull her to her feet. The next thing she knew, he’d wrapped her up in those strong arms and hugged her tightly. She was so much shorter than him, he just picked her straight up, her legs dangling in the air.

 

About Marteeka Karland

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

Marteeka at Changeling Press | Marteeka’s Website | Facebook | BookBub

 

 

 

 

Book Tour: Vork by Ava Ross #SciFiRomance #Aliens

It isn’t every day an Earth woman is chosen to be a mail-order bride for a hulking hero of an extraterrestrial race.

Can an alien military commander and a human woman find true love together?

Burned by an ex, the last thing Evie wants is a husband, especially a seven-foot tall, green-skinned alien. But when she applies to the Extraterrestrial Matchmaking Service on a whim, she’s paired with Vork. He’s big and dangerous and he hits all her buttons. Passion sparks between, but does she dare trust this sexy alien with her heart?

As a career spacefleet commander, the last thing Vork has time for is a mate. But after a mix-up, he’s matched with a human female. He decides he’ll produce a child with her, then get back to his life in the stars. Until he touches Evie and a matebond flares on his palm.

When a rival warlord challenges Vork and Evie is the prize, Vork will have to decide. Give Evie up or battle to the death to claim her as his bride.

Vork is book 1 in the Mail-Order Brides of Crakair Series. This standalone, full-length story has plenty of on-the-page heat, hot aliens who look and act alien, a guaranteed happily ever after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger. Look for Bryk, book 2, and Jorg, book 3, on Amazon.

 

 

About the Book

Vork
by Ava Ross

Series
Mail Order Brides of Crakair

Genre
Adult
SciFi Romance
Alien Romance

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
July 17, 2020

Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon

Add It To Your Bookshelf!
Goodreads  |  BookBub

 

 

Free Prequel Ebook!

Sign up for Ava Ross’s newsletter and receive a FREE copy of AXIL, a novella-length story in the series to give you a taste of her steamy alien world. Download your FREE copy today!

 

 

About the Author

AVA ROSS fell for men with unusual features when she first watched Star Wars, where alien creatures have gone mainstream. She lives in New England with her husband (who is sadly not an alien, though he is still cute in his own way), her kids, and assorted pets, including a yorkie pup and three cats.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon

 

 

 

BOOK BLOGGERS: Join the BookMojo Tour Host List Today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Release Tour: Inherent Fate by Alicia Anthony #thriller #suspense

A discarded asset stripped of her identity…

An emotionally scarred ex-agent…

An innocent life hanging in the balance…

Who would you trust if the world was out to get you?

Losing Liv Sullivan in a Bureau operation gone bad turned ex-agent Ridge McCaffrey into a broken man. So when fate reunites him with the woman he thought was dead, he’ll risk anything to make her part of his life again.

Liv Sullivan returned to the States with two goals: end the FBI’s corrupt GenLink psychic intelligence program and reclaim the life it stole from her. But when the case against GenLink exposes a threat against Ridge’s son, the cost becomes too great. Refusing to destroy more lives, she leaves Ridge, and the chance to reclaim her identity, behind.

But as a new generation of GenL/ink closes in, once-trusted allies become enemies, and long-buried secrets threaten.

Can Liv and Ridge end GenLink before echoes of the past destroy their future?

Inherent Fate is the compelling third installment in the Blood Secrets psychological suspense series. For fast-paced, emotionally intense story lines that keep you up past your bedtime, and intricate plots laced with romance, this award-winning series is for you.

About the Book

Inherent Fate
by Alicia Anthony

Series
Blood Secrets

Genre
Adult Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense

Publisher
Drury Lane Books

Publication Date
July 21, 2020

Purchase Your Copy Today!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Add It To Your Bookshelf!
Goodreads | BookBub

 

 

INHERENT FATE
A Blood Secrets Novel

© 2020 Alicia Anthony

EXCERPT

Ridge pulled my hands into his, his voice softening. “Colton is my son. And I will protect him with my life. But he needs a father who’s whole.” Ridge’s gaze held mine. “Don’t sign those papers. Don’t throw away what we have together.”

His skin sparked hope into me, the gentle pulses sending a throb of need through my core. He was right. Regardless of the secrets, the lies, there was a connection between us that I’d never understand. I swallowed. The anticipation in my lungs heavy and thick. I broke eye contact with Ridge as he made one final attempt.

“Please.” It was more breath than word, overpowered by the nervous shifts and quiet comments of Michelle and Lombardi as they whispered to each other in the background. Ridge skimmed his thumbs over the backs of my hands, his voice a quiet whisper. “I know you can feel this, Liv. Don’t give up on us. Don’t walk away.”

I closed my eyes. I couldn’t let my own personal desires get in the way of this decision. I couldn’t risk a little boy’s life for a relationship that any outsider would claim had been doomed from the start.

“This can’t be about us,” I said. 

“It already is about us,” Ridge said. “It always has been. You fought your way back here. You came to my hotel room. I don’t give a shit about Sowards’ last ditch effort or his threats. This is about you and me and building a life for ourselves without GenLink ruling our every decision. This is your chance to choose your own path, Liv. You came back here to be free. And you’re so close. Don’t let fear stop you now.”

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of INHERENT FATE by Alicia Anthony, we’re giving away a paperback set of Inherent Truth and Inherent Lies, the first two books in the Blood Secrets series, to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of Inherent Truth and Inherent Lies by Alicia Anthony. This giveaway is administered by BookMojo on behalf of Alicia Anthony. Giveaway ends 8/31/2020 @ 11:59pm EST.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

About the Author

ALICIA ANTHONY‘s first novels were illegible scribbles on the back of her truck driver father’s logbook trip tickets. Having graduated from scribbles to laptop, she now pens novels of psychological suspense in the quiet of the wee morning hours. A full-time elementary school Literacy Specialist, Alicia hopes to pass on her passion for books and writing to the students she teaches.

A two time Golden Heart® finalist and Silver Quill Award winner, Alicia finds her inspiration in exploring the dark, dusty corners of the human experience. Alicia is a graduate of Spalding University’s School of Creative & Professional Writing (MFA), Ashland University (M.Ed.) and THE Ohio State University (BA). Go Bucks! She lives in rural south-central Ohio with her amazingly patient and supportive husband, incredibly understanding teenage daughter, two dogs, three horses, a plethora of both visiting and resident barn cats, and some feral raccoons who have worn out their welcome.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Alicia loves to travel and experience new places. Connect with her online at http://www.AliciaAnthonyBooks.com. She’d love to hear from you!

Newsletter  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Facebook Reader Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon

 

 

BOOK BLOGGERS: Join the BookMojo Tour Host List Today!

 

 

 

 

Book Blitz: Cocky Catcher by Chiquita Dennie #contemporaryromance

Cocky Catcher
Chiquita Dennie
(Cocky Hero Club)
Publication date: July 19th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Gage Young is the hottest baseball player in the league. This billionaire catcher can lead the team to the World Series and win Daddy of the Year—but he can’t capture the heart, mind, and body of softball coach Nina Mitchell.

Nina’s dealing with more than an arrogant baseball player who’s used to running the show. Her family’s business is under pressure to sell out and make room for another mall. Come to find out, Gage Young has a stake in the deal.

Can these two headstrong players let regulations slide? Or will rules and regulations get in the way of new love?

This is based in the world of New York Times Bestselling Authors Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland Cocky bastard series.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I continued walking down the street, as suddenly another paparazzi jumped out of the alleyway and we both jerked back, completely shocked at the lengths they would go to just to get the so called perfect shot. We suddenly bumped into another person attempting to juggle a small bag of groceries, her cell phone, and I watched as a drink fell on the ground.

“Oh shit!” the young lady screamed. Right as she bent down I followed suit to help clean up the mess. Her features were intoxicating, even with the light glare of the camera flash, and seeing spots from the flash. She couldn’t have been over 5’6” or 5’7”. Our hands grazed over picking up her keys; just then an electric pulse thrummed through my body and caused us both to pull back. She was smiling and thanking me profusely until she looked up and met my gaze.

“Wait, it’s you!” she replied, jumping back in shock.

“Yeah, I get fans at random times recognizing me and wanting an autograph and a picture, but I’m on a date, so I’ll have to decline, I hope you can understand.”

“Trust me, the last thing I want from you is an autograph,” she scoffed, rolling her eyes. “Oh, my God! You ruined my dress!” Elizabeth shouted, wiping her hands down her dress to try to slough off the frozen concoction that had spilled all down her front.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked.

“My cell phone might be broken,” the young lady replied, bending down and cursing under her breath. I reached over and picked up her torn grocery bag to put her things on the ground that scattered away when I suddenly noticed a vibrator sitting next to her pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream.

“Looks like you’re planning on having an eventful night tonight,” I said, not bothering to

hide my smirk.

“Give me that back,” she spat as she grabbed the vibrator from me and threw it back in her bag. I could see the flush climbing up her neck, making me wonder what she looked like when she climaxed during sex.

“What’s the rush?”

“If you focused more on your posture, and listening to your coach, rather than being selfish and doing your own thing, and less on what I have in my bag, you’d be hitting your stats,” the sassy woman snapped, giving me a rundown on what I needed to

improve on.

“Oh, you’re one of those.” She reached out and grabbed her keys, picking up the torn bag.

“One of what?”

“A baseball fanatic that thinks they know the game better than the professionals. It’s cute, babydoll, but I’m good over here.” She chortled in laughter.

“The last World Series the Washington Nationals won, Stephen Strasberg was named MVP. The Nationals extended their lead to 6–2 in the ninth inning, with two runs scoring on a one-out single by Eaton with the bases loaded. And my girl, Simone Biles, a Houston native and Olympic gold medalist, threw out the first pitch in the second game. You know that black girl magic reigns supreme.” She spoke eagerly, with a sarcastic undertone. I could only smile.

“So you do know a little something about baseball,” I said stepping in further to close the gap between us.

“Gage!”


Author Bio:

Chiquita Dennie is an Author, Filmmaker, Podcast host, and Entrepreneur. Born in Memphis, TN, and currently a Los Angeles CA native. Her background in film/tv has taught and shaped her passion for writing with her debut romance novel Antonio and Sabrina Struck In Love. Since its debut, fans have embraced the unconventional love story of Sabrina Washington and Antonio De Luca an Amazon Best Seller series.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Bookbub

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

 

Release Blitz: The Painted Phoenix by Sarah Kay Moll #GayRomance #Thriller

Title: The Painted Phoenix

Author: Sarah Kay Moll

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 20, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 75200

Genre: Contemporary thriller, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, literary/genre fiction, criminals, crime syndicate, children, family drama, pansexual, polyamorous, open relationship, mental illness, artist, lawyer, tattoos, dark, depression, PTSD, HEA

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

With paintbrush in hand, Nate Redfield takes a city full of ugliness and makes it beautiful. His quiet, empty life is a refuge from a harrowing past, and although he has nothing to love, he also has nothing to lose. Standing up to the syndicate is a good way to end up with a hole in his head, but Nate is not afraid to die.

For once in his life, he’s going to do the right thing, even if it kills him. And it probably will.

But the most dangerous criminal in the city—a man whose sadism and ruthlessness have become local legend—decides to spare Nate’s life. On the streets, Ras is a cold-blooded syndicate enforcer, and makes no apologies for it. But he pursues Nate with a tenderness like nothing Nate has ever known. While no amount of violence could compel Nate to betray his moral compass, love leaves him defenseless.

The vibrant portraits Nate paints tell every story but his own: a lost little girl who thinks of him as a father, a lawyer who tempers justice with compassion, a crime boss and an art thief, and the killer who stole his heart. Ras offers him the love he’s yearned for all his life, if only he is willing to close his eyes to the violent truth. But his story is not one of compromise. It is the story of an indomitable spirit, rising like fire from the ashes of his past.

Excerpt

The Painted Phoenix
Sarah Kay Moll © 2020
All Rights Reserved

The Cat Scratch Club. 2005
Ink on paper

Nate Redfield knows he’s going to die. He’s known it for a while now—woken up with it, gone to sleep with it, held it near to his heart. It’s not suicide, not exactly, but it might as well be. He might as well be putting a gun in his own mouth when he pushes open the doors to the Cat Scratch, the seedy strip club where Alan DiCiccio conducts his business.

He walks past the stage, strippers swaying, sliding their G-strings down their long, supple legs so a handful of men can spend their Friday afternoon appreciating the view. The bouncer at the back of the room gives him a nod and steps aside so he can push open an unlabeled black door and walk into what serves as DiCiccio’s office. Behind him, the bouncer’s heavy footsteps follow, and then the door clicks shut.

“You’re late,” DiCiccio says. “I hope you’s got some extra cash to make up for it.”

DiCiccio looks Mafia, through and through, with a New York accent and an unnecessarily formal black suit. But he’s not Mafia. There is no Mafia in this city, only the syndicate with a monopoly on crime and the muscle to keep it that way. DiCiccio works for them, so Nate does too. Or he did, anyway. Until today.

“I quit,” he says, and with those two words, his heart begins thumping, fast and heavy like someone’s banging the hell out of a snare drum in his chest.

“You quit?” DiCiccio leans forward over the scattered cash and bags of white powder on his desk to stare at Nate. “You fucking quit?” He looks up at the bouncer. “Bobby, am I hearing this shit right?”

“He said he quit,” Bobby responds. He’s a tall, beefy guy with stubble and a couple of big gold rings Nate imagines he wears just for the scars they leave on his victims. “You heard him right.”

“Okay…” DiCiccio draws the word out. “I’ll humor you, Nate. Why the fuck do you think you’re going to quit sellin‘ for me?”

Nate is silent for a moment, gathering his courage. “’Cause it’s wrong,” he says, standing still to give away no hint of the fear scrabbling inside him like some desperate animal.

“Oh, it’s wrong, is it?” DiCiccio puts his hands behind his head, leaning back in his chair. “You think it’s wrong, Bobby?”

“No, boss. I think it’s his fucking job.”

“That’s right. It’s your fuckin’ job. Which I gave to you as an especial favor to my friend Troy. And now you come and you throw it in my face.”

“You told me the pills wouldn’t hurt anybody,” Nate says. “You said they’re not real drugs, and it’s not gonna hurt anybody that bad. But that’s not true. And I’m not gonna do it anymore.”

He thinks of the girl who used to buy from him every Tuesday, dark eyes, a bitter laugh. She was found dead from an overdose just a few days ago, and since then, Nate has been building his courage for this confrontation. He’s not going to walk away alive. But better him than another person like her.

“Nate, look. I like you; I really do. You’re a nice guy. But you come here and you tell me you’re not gonna do your job, and you really leave me no choice. You get what I’m sayin’?”

“Yeah.” Nate’s high voice comes out rough and raspy.

“No.” DiCiccio shakes his head. “I don’t think you do. What I’m sayin’ is that you get out there and you do your fuckin’ job, or Bobby here’s gonna have to fuck you up.” He puts his elbows on the desk and leans forward. “You understand that?”

Nate looks at the glinting rings on Bobby’s right hand, so thick and heavy he might as well be wearing a pair of brass knuckles. Nate’s not afraid to die, but he wishes it wasn’t going to hurt so much.

“I get it,” he says.

DiCiccio shakes his head sadly and glances at Bobby, jerking his head at Nate.

Bobby nods, solemnly, like they’re making a bank transaction—not playing around with someone’s life—and that just pisses Nate off.

A hot wave of anger crashes over him, and as Bobby approaches, he lunges forward, driving his fist into Bobby’s gut and then bringing a knee up hard between the hitman’s legs. Bobby makes a sharp, wounded noise, going to his knees, and Nate drives a hard kick to his ribs. He’s been in enough fights to know how to move and how to make sure the other guy isn’t getting back up anytime soon.

“That’s enough.”

It’s not DiCiccio speaking, but a low melodic voice Nate’s never heard before. He steps back from the groaning thug on the floor and looks up. A man stands in the doorway, his messy dark hair falling over his forehead, and he smiles at Nate. It’s the damnedest thing, this smile. It doesn’t fit the situation at all. It’s the kind of friendly, amused smile he might give Nate if they were walking their dogs in the park and the leashes got tangled together. It’s strange and surreal and almost familiar. And the adrenaline is stretching seconds into minutes into hours and highlighting every detail of this man who—Nate somehow just knows, from his arrogant stance and the tilt of his chin—now controls every aspect of the situation.

“Who would like to explain to me what’s going on?” the man asks.

“Jesus fuckin’ Christ, Ras,” DiCiccio says. “Make a little noise next time you walk in a room, you sneaky bastard.”

And Nate freezes, his earlier fancies iced over with fear because this is Ras, second in command to the syndicate boss and meanest motherfucker in the whole city. He’s heard a lot of talk about Ras—anyone who’s spent time in the criminal underworld has. The gossip rags love him. Their stories are sensational and exaggerated, but the rumors Nate hears on the streets—tales of sadism and deadly skill—make him think there is some truth to them.

“DiCiccio.” Ras doesn’t sound happy to see the drug dealer. “What’s all this?”

“Motherfucker attacked me,” Bobby moans as he picks himself up off the floor. “The little faggot fights dirty.”

Nate winces. He’s used to that word, but it still wounds more deeply than any other.

“He attacked you, did he?” Ras sounds unamused.

“He thinks he can quit,” DiCiccio says. “He comes in here givin’ me some bullshit story ‘bout how what we do is wrong, and he’s just not gonna do it anymore.”

The corner of Ras’s mouth twists upward, and he glances at Nate. “What we do is wrong. I can hardly fault him for being honest.”

“I’m not doin’ it anymore.” Nate’s mouth feels dry and sandpapery as he waits for Ras’s response.

“Great for you, you’re a big fuckin’ hero.” DiCiccio rolls his eyes. “You got any last words, big fuckin’ hero?”

“Fuck you,” Nate growls, anger coursing through him so hot he doesn’t feel the fear anymore—it’s burned away like a paper shell around something hard and relentless as iron.

DiCiccio raises his gun in one sallow hand. The bang of the gunshot is so loud Nate can almost feel it, a tangible burst of pressure. But nothing hurts. Nate looks down and is startled to find himself intact.

DiCiccio drops the gun and stumbles forward, collapsing on the carpet. A pool of red seeps out from under his head, a bright spatter painting the far wall.

Ras has holstered his gun, but clearly, he can draw so fast he may as well still be holding it. He turns to Bobby and raises an eyebrow.

“I swear to god I had nothing to do with it,” Bobby says, backing away as Ras approaches. “DiCiccio was the one who stole from you. I told him not to. I told him!”

Nate’s not stupid, he knows this isn’t going anywhere good. So while Ras pulls a little knife from his pocket, he darts out the door, sprinting for the parking lot. He draws in a shaky breath when the sunshine falls over him, so bright and carefree, but he can’t spare even a trembling second because he’s got to fucking run for it. He zigzags through alleyways, ducks into stores, and indiscriminately boards busses and trains, traveling across town in the wrong direction for a couple of hours before he feels safe enough to get on a train headed home.

He’s not an idiot—he knows that in this town, no one can watch a syndicate enforcer do a hit and walk away. He’s probably only delaying the inevitable, and as he watches the shining city outside the windows of the train, he wonders if he’s ever going to see it again. It seems fraught with fragile beauty, the blinding splashes of light reflected in storefront windows and the metal of the cars streaking by on the interstate.

In his entire life, he has only ever had one true love, so it makes sense that as he nears the edge of his lifetime, he has only one regret. He left her behind because he had no other choice, but he could no more stop loving her than he could stop his blood from flowing through his veins. And even when his heart has beat its final rhythm, that love will endure. He knows that much is true, even as he believes in nothing else.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon

Meet the Author

Sarah Kay Moll is a wordsmith and an amateur homemaker. She’s good with metaphors and bad with coffee stains, both of which result from a writing habit she hasn’t been able to quit. She lives a mostly solitary life, and as a result, might never say the right thing at parties. She’s passionate about books, and has about five hundred on her to-read pile. When she does go out, it’s probably to the library, the theater, or the non-profit where she volunteers.

Sarah lives in a beautiful corner of western Oregon where the trees are still changing color at the end of November and the mornings are misty and mysterious. She spends her free time playing video games and catering to her cat’s every whim.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Spotlight: Dreamland by Beth D. Carter #TimeTravel #Rockstar #RomanceBooks @BethDCarter

106400629_2053561148101951_8550493713271768250_o

What inspired you to write Dreamland?

Ever since the genre exploded in the mainstream romance world back in 1986, with the publication of Timeless Passion by Constance O’Day Flannery, I have loved time travel. It had always been my goal to write time travel in a unique way, and Dreamland certainly delivers on that! I love all the books I’ve written, but I have to admit, this one is my favorite.

Tell us something about the novel that doesn’t appear on the blurb or the excerpt.

Okay, obviously if the book is set in Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, I had to mention someone famous. So…Dicen and Juliet go to a party and he sees a man that’s slightly familiar. Juliet tells him it’s John Barrymore, and he replies now he sees the resemblance to Drew. Juliet asks who’s that, and he replies “Just a girl I know.” I think the scene is hilarious!

How much research went into Dreamland?

I wanted this to be as authentic as possible so a lot of research went into the lingo. The 1920s was a completely unique time period, rich and beautiful as well as dangerous and frivolous. We as readers know what’s right around the bend for these people, how the world descends into the  Great Depression, and we feel that live-or-die exuberance from the characters. And it’s heartbreakingly intriguing. That’s what I love about this book and these characters.

 

The Roaring Twenties lingo

Bimbo: refers to a macho man

Giggle water: liquor, alcoholic beverage

Half-seas over: shitfaced

Jake: okay, as in “Everything’s fine”

Ossified: drunk

Big six: tough, like a six-cylinder engine

Keen: appealing, good looking

Balled up: messed up

Bee’s knees: great

Rummy: drunk man       

Applesauce: ridiculous

Drugstore cowboy: man hanging around the street corners     

   

 Dreamland

 

Blurb

Dicen Burke had it all.  As lead singer in the world famous rock band, Dark Army, the world lay at his feet.  But the path to super stardom warred with a painful past and during a performance the demons haunting him finally descended.  Unable to stop the self-destructive path of alcohol and drugs, when he fell, he fell hard.

He wakes up in a world he doesn’t know.  The Twenty-first century rocker is now in the 1920’s, lost and bewildered.  He’s taken in by Juliet Fox, a beautiful woman trying to be a positive influence in her brother’s wild lifestyle among the Hollywood Motion Picture elite.

Dicen does his best to adapt, and with Juliet by his side, he discovers a world that offers him a clean slate.  But when he’s pulled back to the present, separated by time from the one person that gives him a reason to live, will he find a way to push past his demons as well as find Juliet again?

 

Excerpt

              “Hey you,” a soft voice commanded.  “Open your eyes please”

            He tried to obey, struggling to push past the lingering darkness that clung to him like a second skin.  God, he felt horrible.

            “That’s it,” she soothed.  “Open your eyes.  Look at me.”
Finally, he managed to raise his eyelids.  An angel leaned over him, staring into his eyes.  She smiled at him so he smiled back.  He had always thought it would be demons that would come collect him when he died so it amazed him that heaven was calling.

            “Ah, a set of beautiful baby blues,” she murmured, stroking his cheek.  “Hello, handsome.”

            He opened his mouth to say something but the words wouldn’t come.  His tongue felt swollen, dry.  He forced himself to swallow to try to get some saliva flowing.

            “W-what happened?”

            She cocked her head.  “Bad hooch I’m thinking.  Gotta be careful of certain juice joints.  Come,” she said, holding out her hand.  “Let’s get you sitting upright.”

            He hadn’t realized he’d been lying down but as she helped him up, he realized the halo around her head had been nothing more but the flickering of a street light accentuating the midnight hue of her hair.  When he was vertical once more, he finally saw all of the woman’s features.  Short bobbed hair held back by a headband made of crystal beads while dark eyes watched him from under thin, perfectly arched eyebrows.  Her lips were a cupid’s bow, painted a deep red.  Her skin a flawless pale shade that contrasted sharply with her heavily made up eyes.

            “Like what you see?” she asked.

            He blinked.  “I always like my fans.  Where am I?”

            One of those thin eyebrows arched.  “That hooch must’ve really made you balled up.  You’re off Hollywood Boulevard, of course, belly up in an alley.”

            He looked around, completely baffled.  How the hell did he get here?  Where was the stage?  The screaming fans?  Kieron, Van and Tony?

            “Do you have a name, handsome?”

            “Yeah, sorry.  I’m Dicen Burke.”

            He waited.  He waited for the name to sink in, for her eyes to widen, for her to begin batting her eyes in an attempt to flirt her way into his bed.

            “Juliet,” she said.  “Juliet Fox.  I was looking for my brother, Thayer, and figured I’d find him upchucking out here and instead I find a keen big six.  Say, you’re no drugstore cowboy are you?”

            “Excuse me?”  Her lack of a response to his name, along with slang he didn’t understand, threw him.

            “You know, a guy that hangs around street corners looking to pick up ladies.  Just so we’re clear on the matter, I ain’t that kind of girl,” she informed him, the smile on her face lessening the harshness of her tone.  “Have you seen another man out here, by chance, throwing up?”

            She confused him.  He shook his head and then wished he hadn’t when it throbbed.  “God, I need an aspirin.”

Where to Buy

https://www.evernightpublishing.com/dreamland-by-beth-d-carter/

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZHel9F

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Zq2uMZ

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2VDlGpo

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2Ajug54

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1030642

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreamland-beth-d-carter/1117390657?ean=2940164129965

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dreamland-67

 

pmYlPTGQ.jpeg

 

Bio & Social Media Links

I began reading my mom’s Harlequin Presents in the fifth grade, and from the first story I knew I wanted to write romance novels. I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate highrollers.  I try to write characters who aren’t cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box.  I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love. You can find me on the web at:

http://bethdcarter.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/BethDCarter
https://www.facebook.com/bethdcarterauthor

https://www.instagram.com/bethdcarter/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/beth-d-carter

Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/BethD.Carter/e/B00EOTD1T0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1385417145&sr=8-1

 

Watch the Book Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXCKdpjlb7U

 

 

Spotlight: Finding Chaos by Kate Allenton #Ghosts #RomanticSuspense @kateallenton

Finding Chaos cover

 

A paranormal journalist exposing the truth. A man with secrets best left hidden. A heat that threatens to burn them both.

Destiny Blake
Everyone has secrets, including me.
When my friend goes missing while researching a story about me, I have to stop him before it’s too late.
Only problem is the mountainous terrain is as much a mystery to me as the man who’s leading the search. Trusting each other isn’t going to be easy, especially when the ranger responsible for my safety harbors secrets of his own.

Walker Bennett
Doing my job and keeping my family’s secrets most days is easy, and as a forest ranger, isolated on the outskirts of town, tracking down poachers is my idea of a good day.
Until I met my Destiny.
I’ve been ordered to help a sexy, smart paranormal reporter search for her missing friend.
She’s inquisitive, in search of a good story, and it will take every bit of my concentration to keep my secrets off her radar.
Finding her friend isn’t my problem. The more time I spend with her, the more I hope her friend stays lost.
Exploring a relationship with the woman who sets my blood on fire will have to wait. With danger lurking around every tree and an inexperienced hiker in my care, I have to locate her friend and get them both off the mountain—story-less and alive.

 

Get it Today

 

Finding Chaos Live

 

bOOKS 1-3 GRAPHIC- with Coming Soon

 

 

Spear’s Search by N. J. Walters #SciFiRomance #RomanticSuspense @njwaltersauthor

Spear’s Search by N.J. Walters

Assassins of Gravas, Book 1

Release Date: July 13th

Spear's Search 500X750

 

About the book:

Spear’s Search

Assassins of Gravas, Book 1

 

Spear el Gravaso—prince of Gravas and assassin—is on a mission to find his brother. His hunt had led him to an auction of Gravasian weapons that can only belong to the missing man. He needs to secure the items, get any information he can, and kill all those involved. Nothing and no one will stop him.

Sass was taken from a harsh life on the streets as a child and trained to be an assassin by the powerful Artemis. The lives of those she loves is on the line if she fails her mission—to win the auction of Gravasian tech. Only one problem—Spear is in her way.

Their battle escalates, as does the explosive heat between them. When it comes down to it, they can fight each other and one of them will die or they can join forces. But can they trust each other?

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CD7GNTQ/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1031385

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1137303521

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/spear-s-search

 

Spear's Search Promo #1

 

TEASER:

He’s going to kill me.

Not this exact moment, but eventually.

There was nothing hiding him—no disguise, no mask. She knew what he really looked like.

And holy Vusarian cave snake! The man was a work of art.

Breathe, Sass. Just breathe.

There wasn’t an inch of fat on the man. His shoulders and arms were massive, his pectoral muscles perfectly defined, and his abs ripples of strength. His skin was slightly darker than hers, not hard considering she was pretty pale.

Those amazing eyes of his never stopped assessing, trying to figure a way to turn the situation to his advantage. He wasn’t just gorgeous but intelligent and skilled.

Yup, he’s definitely going to kill me.

 There was no other explanation for him allowing her to see him in all his primal glory. Not when he took such pains to hide his identity.

 

About N.J. Walters:

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

 

Visit me at:

Website: http://www.njwalters.com

Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gdblg5

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

 

 

 

New Today at Changeling Press #NewReleases #RomanceBooks @willaokati @prowlingpiper @isyjordanauthor

It Takes Three (Doctor, Doctor 2)

Geoff’s a medical student. Hardworking, driven, tightly wound as an entire mattress factory’s worth of bedsprings. Ross is a med student too, but unless it’s got to do with math or science he has no idea what’s going on. He kind of likes it that way. It’s peaceful. Aurélien’s a med student as well. Uber-calm, uber-zen, uber-practical.

The three don’t know each other, but with study burnout and big exams coming up fast, they’re all in desperate need of some R & R. And what better way, proposes Aurélien, than getting a little action? Together. Multiple times, and in multiple ways. Sounds a little nuts to Geoff, but he’d rather his head not explode before he’s licensed. And Ross, well, he’s up for anything if it sounds like fun.

To their surprise and pleasure, once they get started these guys “work” well together. Very much so. Maybe a little too much so. Aren’t things like this supposed to be hard? Sometimes, sure. But in this case, the answer to all their questions is three.

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Get it Today

#LGBT #MedicalRomance #ContemporaryRomance

 

 

The Hunting Party (Dusk & Dawn 2)

Maxim would love nothing more than to marry the woman he loves, in peace and without distractions, but a series of uncanny murders in the hunter’s city demands his attention.

Meanwhile, Heath is excited to plan Maxim’s and Robyn’s wedding. While he does that, he will have to learn to make time for his own budding relationship with Brian.

When Robyn’s bachelorette party ends in more murder, no one is happy. Yet all are willing to combine their efforts to end the bloodshed for good, so the wedding can be had, along with a happily-ever-after.

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Get it Today

#DarkFantasy #RomCom #LGBTQ

 

Dusty Mile (Duet) (Dusty Mile 3)

In a world where humans are prey, new rules for love are still evolving…

Charmer: Caroline McGrath is thrilled to find another survivor of the zombie apocalypse — until she realizes he’s Robbie Huston, the only guy she ever had a one-night stand with. Now they’re depending on each other for their very survival. When they find Tyler, another survivor, everything gets more complicated. Now Caroline’s now got twice as much to lose… Will she be able to hold on to both her men once they reach Robbie’s uncle at Dusty Mile?

Dusty Mile Survival Guide: Against all odds, Caroline and Robbie have made it safely to Uncle Larry’s Dusty Mile Camp. Uncle Larry wants his new camp members to start a garden in an effort to reestablish a food supply, but Caroline can kill a plant by looking at it. Robbie decides Caroline’s just not properly motivated. Some plowing of a different kind might be just the thing to get this project growing!

Publisher’s Note: Charmer and Dusty Mile Survivor Guide were previously published individually by Changeling Press.

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Get it Today

#Zombies #MultiplePartners #DarkFantasy

 

Silver Falls (Duet) (Silver Falls 3)

In the magical town of Silver Falls, things are never what they seem.

One Magickal Moment: Cerridwen Obrey is a witch, but that doesn’t mean she knows much about other paranormals. When a chance encounter with a handsome hunk of a werewolf leaves her pregnant, Cerri doesn’t expect to ever see the man again. Kade’s far from ready to be a father, but when a one-night stand turns into a chance at the family he’s never had, he realizes Cerri may be exactly what he needs to make his life complete. But will he be too late?

Love’s Magick Kiss: When Hadley lost her beautiful twin daughters to a drunk driver, she thought her life was over. Though she’s still haunted by their loss, Lucas has always been there for her. When her hunky neighbor finally asks her out, she knows saying yes is the right thing to do. But he’s more than just a big teddy bear. Is it safe to trust her heart to a grizzly?

Publisher’s Note: One Magickal Moment and Love’s Magick Kiss were previously published individually by Changeling Press.

Cover Art by Bryan Keller

Get it Today

#ParanormalRomance #Shifters