Internationally published bestselling author Jon Smith makes his adult
debut with The Fifth Horseman, a modern comic fantasy that rides roughshod
over established mythology and the rules of life… and death.
The Fifth Horseman is a darkly comic tale of two thirty-somethings caught
between our world and the afterlife, who must embrace their role as reapers
to prevent the End Times. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Father
Ted, perfect for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Terry Pratchett, and Neil
Death is just a day job you can’t quit…
Emma and Mark had a bad day. The worst part of it was dying. But, according
to Death, the Rider on the Pale Horse and first horseman of the apocalypse,
things aren’t that simple. Turns out the sand in their hourglass is
stuck in place. Somewhere between life and death, they’re put to work
as Death’s assistants, reaping the souls of the living until
it’s time for their final clock out…
To compound matters, despite their omnipotence, the four horsemen are
facing an existential threat – one they’re ill-equipped and
ill-prepared to combat.
Emma and Mark must reap like their afterlives depend on it, to help prevent
the End Times – even if it means scuppering the one opportunity they
have at being granted a second chance at life.
Filled with humour, romantic tension, and suspense, Jon Smith utilises a
witty, lightly sarcastic ensemble of flawed but loveable characters. It will
appeal to mainstream fantasy readers and hopeless romantics, as well as
those who enjoy a good story and a good laugh.
About the Author
Jon Smith is the bestselling author of 14 books for children, teens, and
adults. His books have sold more than 500,000 copies and are published in
In addition to writing books, Jon is an award-winning screenwriter and
musical theatre lyricist and librettist with productions at the Birmingham
Hippodrome, Belfast Waterfront and London’s Park & Waterloo East
Jon enjoyed a happy childhood—making daisy chains, holidays in the
sun and an obsessive interest in all things fantasy. No brace, few spots and
only one broken bone and one broken heart (not his). It all went
Father of four, he lives near Liverpool with his wife, Mrs. Smith, and
their two school-age children. When he grows up he’d like to be a
These words were uttered just after the creation of the planet that would
be called Flatrock, and from there, things only got worse.
All Milo wants is a life full to the brim with peace and quiet, though his
new work associate, Heidi, is a little more adventurous, wishing to see
everything the wide world has to offer. These unlikely friends see the
planet at its best and worst, from ancient wonders, to repulsive paperwork,
and everything in between, learning all the while just how astounding the
world can be.
The Highs & Lows Of Flatrock is a cosy comedy following Milo, Heidi,
and the people that surround them on this weird planet as they fumble
through the complete catastrophe of life and humanity left in God’s
Welcome, everyone, to Flatrock!
About the Author
Luke Harrower is a new author from the UK who enjoys comedy and fantasy
writing, ranging from light-hearted sitcoms to dark and twisted horror. Luke
has spent much of his adult life writing, watching, and performing comedy in
some form. After finding out he had a speech impediment called “Being
Scottish,” he decided to focus on the written word rather than
Sarah has a secret. She’s on the run from some very nasty men. Can she find love—and herself—before her past catches up with her?
Sarah has recently bought a home in Winchester Drive. As is customary for the widows on the street, she has been invited to join The Winchester Widows Sex Club. Beautiful and seductive, she is a popular new addition.
But Sarah has a secret. Her name’s actually Beth, she’s in hiding—with some not-very-nice people on her tail—and she’s not even a widow.
Her estranged husband Marco is an undercover FBI agent, and when he turns up on her doorstep, that can only mean one thing…danger.
Beth is tired of running. She longs to make friends and find love again, which she does when she makes Paul’s acquaintance and finds herself smitten with him. Bonding over romantic TV shows and jigsaw puzzles, they fall deeply for each other.
But the hitman is still out there, and Paul, a law student of a nervous disposition, is not exactly ready for a life on the run.
Beth has to work out what she really wants from the men in her life, move on from her past and allow herself to finally be true to who she is.
Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence. It is best read in order as part of the Mended Hearts series.
At the scent of his skin, I released the hilt of the knife that was under my pillow.
He’d snuck into my bedroom first thing in the morning, stripped off and gotten under the sheets with me. The man had a death wish.
Marco was a passionate man. Our marriage—short though it had been—had been a never-ending festival of love. When he hadn’t been in bed with me, he’d been by my side, never far away. In retrospect, he’d feared the worst. My background and his were such that eventually, something was going to have to give.
Thus I knew his scent, intimately. It triggered a sensation of tranquility, something I didn’t experience very often while alone in my bed. Just for a second, we were home again, before it had all happened—the calm before the storm.
His breath hitched as he snuggled in closer to me. “I don’t have much time.”
Can’t we pretend, just for five minutes, that we are simply husband and wife? A little hot and heavy lovemaking before popping to the shops then spending the afternoon in front of the TV or gardening—or anything that doesn’t involve murderous gangs and guns? That everything was as it had been before I’d come here. “It’s seven a.m. No bad guys are going to drag us screaming from my home during the peak morning rush hour, with school buses and people leaving for work.”
“I have twenty minutes tops.”
Pushing my butt up against his rock-hard dick, I shimmied a little. “Twenty minutes should be enough.” The tiny moan that emanated from his lips was all I needed to know that he agreed.
Despite his brutish appearance, Marco was a sensual lover—Italian. There was nothing like that fiery Latin blood to get me hot, even at this time in the morning.
“Your body haunts my dreams. The thought of holding you once again is the only thing that keeps me going in this stupid life.” He explored every inch of my skin with his warm hands, entering and caressing me with his fingers. It took little action on his part to get me wet for him. Just his presence in my bed was enough to make me need him inside me.
He brushed the back of my neck with his lips, his rough, unshaven skin sending a frisson down my spine.
Parting my legs, he entered me, filling me entirely and reminding me of why I’d married this man. I arched against his body with my head tilted back onto his shoulder. He moved his hand to my chest, holding me tenderly as he fucked me from behind—every stroke, every movement more exciting than the last.
“Il mio amore.” The accent was more Long Island than Lake Garda, but he knew what those words did to me.
“More,” I whispered.
He circled my hardened clit with his fingers, clasping my body to his as the rhythm of his thrusts increased. “Mia cara, ti desidero,” he growled.
I gasped as the orgasm rocked me, and Marco still held me to him. Can he feel every beat of my heart, every flicker of my body?
His thrusts were ferocious, animalistic, and he pounded into me as he came, obviously releasing a need that he’d had for so long.
While I had moved on from our marriage, Marco had never let go of the idea that one day we would be together again. He respected the vows that I had long since chosen to ignore. There was only one woman in his life, and he intended to keep it that way.
But I had had enough.
“I’m not going with you.”
“What?” He pulled out of me then rolled onto his back.
“I have a life here, just like everywhere else. You take me somewhere, leave me to pick up the pieces, make new friends, then just when I get comfortable, you swoop back in and make me leave again.”
“They will kill you.”
“They were your problem, not mine.”
He rolled me around to face him. “Beth, we both know that they will find you. I can’t let that happen.”
Marco. Sweet Marco. A teddy bear wrapped in the body of a heavyweight boxer—big, tough and strong, filled with cotton candy.
“I can handle myself. You know that. In fact, I was doing pretty well before you came along. Why are you here? What have you heard?”
“Enough to know that you’re in danger.” He scratched his ear. The man had a tell. He could convince the entire criminal underworld that he was part of their gang, but I knew when he was lying at twenty paces.
“You’re working for them again.” He fidgeted, looking away. “Fucking hell, Marco, why? After everything that happened.”
“They sent someone here to kill you, Beth. I don’t know who. Someone here is not who they seem.”
I’d met an awful lot of people recently. None of them had struck me as the contract-killer type. Then again, when I’d met Marco, he’d turned out to not be everything he’d purported to be, either. I would have noticed a cold-hearted killer, though. Won’t I?
“This is just another ploy.” I got up from the bed and turned away from him. I didn’t need to look to know that he was checking out my body, probably memorizing every dimple and curve. “We made a choice, Marco. You said you would honor my decision to stop running. You were the one who wanted to give us up. You were the one who left.”
“Beth, I can’t live without you. I thought I could move on, but it’s impossible.”
“You know that I can’t do that. It kills me, but I have to bring these guys down.”
“You can’t live without me, but you can’t stay. If it’s so difficult for you to make up your mind, Marco, then you know where the door is.” I left the room. My heart broke a little bit more every time he did this. I’d conceded too many times, agreed to let go of another life and another name—sometimes even a chance at love.
This time it was different. This time I was finally settling in somewhere, making friends. I wasn’t giving up any of this because of another of Marco’s stupid whims.
Fight for me, Marco. Show me I mean more to you than the life you lead, the job you have to do. I went into the bathroom, shut the door and clicked the lock—then I waited for him. Kick the door down. Show me how much you love me. Tell me you’re staying.
I held my hand up to the door, lowered my forehead onto the cold white wood and waited for signs of life. It juddered as he slumped against the other side. Sinking to the floor, I sat in silence…waiting.
I unclicked the lock. There, now it’s even easier for you to come charging in on your white horse. Nothing.
He wasn’t even going to say goodbye. We’d said it a million times before, but this time was definitive. After a while, I could no longer hear him on the other side.
His heart would always beat for me, but for now, it would beat elsewhere.
I lifted my hand instinctively to my mouth as I started to cry, as if to silence myself. I traced my lips. Not even a kiss. My husband had come to me for the very last time, and he hadn’t even kissed me goodbye.
I lifted a loose tile and removed a large box. Marco might be gone, but I had another fight to contend with. The battle was over, but the war was not won, not by a long shot.
Katherine E Hunt ran off with a Frenchman twenty years ago. She now lives on a French mountain with three children and two dogs. When she isn’t writing contemporary romance she can be found huddled up in front of a roaring fire, with a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and a book in the other.
You can find out more about Katherine on her website.
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Meeting an old flame is about to tie her in knots…
Most first kisses don’t end in stitches.
True, kissing in high school can be far from perfect, but when Annie Carver is finally courageous enough to make out with Nicholas Liu, there should have been stars and trumpets, not broken glasses and a collapsed closet.
Ten years later, Annie still thinks about Nick. Although she’s been through her share of difficult relationships and sexual awakenings, she can’t help but wonder about the sweet boy who blushed as she helped him with homework assignments and whose name she wrote in her notebooks.
A concert is the last place she expects to run into him. It’s easy for them to connect…and even easier for her infatuation to return. In the last ten years, Annie’s changed—she’s discovered how much she enjoys bondage. Her ex saw her kinks as a flaw, but will Nick be willing to push his limits, or is this one relationship that’s bound to remain a memory?
Tonight was a perfect night.
Most summer evenings were so humid that they left a layer of tacky sweat on already heated skin, and mosquitoes targeted any exposed limbs with all the determination of a pack of war generals. Any movement other than a slow walk made sweat bead along temples and armpits, which, of course, further attracted said mosquitoes.
Not this night, though.
There was a crisp chill in the air, just sharp enough to hint at approaching autumn, and a lazy breeze cooled damp skin. Couples milled about under warm streetlamps and shared bites of ice cream. Fireflies dodged frantic children with Mason jars, and the sound of laughter bonded with the smell of tart beer from bars that had opened their doors to let the evening inside.
It was, without a doubt, a perfect night.
Annie Carver couldn’t have cared less about any of it.
A herd of screaming, gyrating people surrounded Annie in a venue where saxophones blared loud enough to destroy the eardrums of the uninitiated.
And she absolutely fucking adored it.
Annie had always loved ska music. She loved the lyrics, the thud of bass, the wild scream of the trumpets, the peppy riffs that—even if the singer belted about the injustices inherent in the political landscape—were done alongside a beat that didn’t so much encourage dancing as mandate it.
Okay—Annie hadn’t always loved ska. That might have been a lie. There had been a time, a good solid thirteen years or so, where she had gone about thinking the best music was the kind in which someone wailed into a microphone about the unfairness of life and the inhumanity of humanity. There had been mention of souls in there, somewhere. Vampires might have made an appearance, too.
Then ska had come along, swooping in and carrying her out of that meaningless pit like any good storybook hero would do, except it hadn’t done so with a sword and a noble steed, but with syncopated guitar riffs and checkered high-top sneakers.
In the tiny venue, buffeted by stale air and the blast of brass, Annie tightened her grip on her plastic cup of cheap beer and raised it above her head as she shouted the lyrics to the song’s whirlwind finale.
One of her friends elbowed her in the side, and Annie started. She had been so involved in the music that she’d forgotten for a moment they were with her tonight.
Lee nudged her again and pointed at the mosh pit. “That looks scary,” he shouted over the riotous cheering. “Who goes in there? Masochists?”
“Sometimes,” she shouted back.
Charlie appeared at her side. “What are we talking about?”
“Mosh pit.” Annie pointed at the swirling flow of thrashing people.
“More spit? Who has more spit??” Lee shouted.
“Mosh pit,” Annie said again, and jabbed her finger in emphasis.
Charlie blinked as someone in the pit shrieked. “What?”
It took a full second, but she managed not to drag her hand down her face in exasperation. She tried to keep in mind that this was her friends’ first show. They hadn’t needed to figure out the technicalities of being in a mosh pit with orthodontia or lie to their parents about where they’d gotten their split lip. Neither Lee nor Charlie had spent enough money on tickets that, if combined, could be a down payment on a comfortable home.
And really, it was quite sweet that they’d wanted to come tonight. This wasn’t exactly a good time for Annie, what with the bad breakup memories of last year, so when she’d mentioned this show, they’d jumped at the chance to join her.
“We’ll keep you company!” Lee, the man who did not appreciate large crowds, had said.
“How different could it be?” Charlie, the man who frequented opera and baroque ensembles, had said.
They seemed to be doing fine, though Lee jumped whenever someone screamed, and Charlie covered his ears with his hands at every opportunity.
Annie leaned in and shouted a few words into Lee’s ear.
“Oooh,” he said in response. “So you just run around and punch people?”
It was too loud for anyone to hear her scandalized gasp, because that was like simplifying all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica into the phrase “Robots doing stuff.”
Annie made a tight spinning motion with her beer cup. “You don’t run in the pit. You skank around violently and with great enthusiasm.”
Lee blinked at her in an unsyncopated way that spoke of the two beers he’d already had tonight, then asked Charlie, “Did you get any of that?”
Charlie turned to Lee. “What?”
The band kicked off another song, the mosh pit roiled once more, and Annie had to hold a hand around her ear so that she could listen to Lee.
“She says they’re not running, they’re being angry sluts,” he said with a drunken giggle.
The yelp he made when Annie elbowed him was loud enough to hear over the blasting notes of the saxophone.
She rolled her eyes and returned her attention to the pit. Everyone there was having so much fun. Limbs flailed, heads thrashed, faces turned up to the stage in something nearing rapture. There was one tall dark-haired someone, catching her eye only because of the height of his jumps, who danced as if he were summoning demons of joy with his body. He looked like he was having so much fun.
Annie wanted to have that much fun, and she couldn’t see it happening if she stayed all the way over by the grungy, beer-stained wall.
When they’d arrived, she’d felt obligated to keep away from the most dangerous part of the venue, thinking that if she returned with a black eye, the sight would frighten Charlie and Lee away from ska shows for the rest of eternity.
Despite Charlie’s improvised ear protection and Lee’s general confusion, they were starting to nod in rhythmic appreciation of the band. Lee was even making a minimal effort to dance.
Annie didn’t want to ruin this for them. She watched as Lee pulled one of Charlie’s hands away from his ears and held it tight, then gave his boyfriend a warm smile. It’s good to try new things in a relationship. Wasn’t that what she’d read in a magazine somewhere?
Her stomach flipped in the disappointed, leaden sort of way she’d grown used to whenever she thought about how things had ended a year ago.
She’d tried. Really. She and Trevor had been stagnant for several months, and when Annie had taken the magazine’s advice—try something new, talk about your fantasies, change up the bedroom routine—Trevor had become a lot less stagnant. Really mobile, actually. He’d practically flown out of both her apartment and her life.
Her sigh was lost in the din. She turned to the stage and watched the brass musicians aggressively try to out-blow one another for only a few seconds before Lee tugged at the sleeve of her shirt.
“That girl is wearing the same pants as you!” he shouted, pointing at a woman twenty feet away. “You should sue!”
Alexandra lives in Colorado with her partner and two very strange cats. Her nerdiest experience was when she had a heated discussion about Star Wars during a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Though she’s always on the lookout for more hobbies, some of her favorites are drawing, knitting, archery, rock climbing, brewing mead, and scrimshaw. The most badass she has ever felt was when she took jousting lessons for a year. She has never met a bad pun she hasn’t adored, and loves to read books that make her heart race. Follow Alexandra on Twitter.
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Catnapped R.J. Blain
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #14)
Publication date: May 11th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Urban Fantasy
When someone steals Diana’s cat, a former lab animal rescued from death’s door, she calls on one of the most dangerous beings in the universe for help. Cutting a deal with the devil isn’t the smartest move, but there’s no way in hell she’ll abandon Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent to his fate.
Teaming up with the son of a demon, an angel, and one hell of a woman might push Diana to the limits of her courage and sanity. Unless she wants to sell her soul to the devil, she must cope with her new partner, make the most of a bad situation, and find out who stole her cat and why.
What she learns will forever change humanity–and lead to a battle destined to forever change the heavens and the devil’s many hells.
What would you do for your beloved kitty? Diana is willing to do anything, even if it means making a deal with the devil. The story builds with one earth shattering revelation after another. By the end, Diana—and the world— will never be the same. The characters were colorful and well-written. Even though I haven’t been reading this series, I didn’t feel lost. Overall, it was an entertaining read and I enjoyed every minute of it.
*Dislcaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
A rookie cop. A team of supernatural misfits. Recalcitrant baby vampires on the loose.
My name is Cat McKenzie, and I’ve been a very bad girl…
No, not in the I-need-a-spanking way…pervert.
Nope, my kind of bad got my partner killed on my first day of the job. And now I’m getting punished by being thrown in as human liaison to PIG — the Paranormal Investigative Group.
Seriously, what were my superiors thinking?
I’m not going to lie: I hate all supernatural beings, but especially those cocky ones like my new partner happens to be. Between baby vampires terrorizing school events, my truck getting totalled and demon sex clubs, I wonder who the hell I pissed off in a different life.
But when the vampire threat becomes personal, I’m hell bent on getting to the bottom of it.
What do you get when you mix a snarky human with magical objects and supernatural beings? A fast-paced, humorous, page-turning thrill you won’t be able to put down!
Cat Mackenzie is all kinds of awesome from her Jack of filter, to her obsession with unicorns, and let’s not forget the snarky attitude wrapped in a tiny human body. She’s kickass, sarcastic, and an amazing heroine.
While there are sparks between her and her supe partner, Sawyer, it’s a secondary story thread that makes for an awesome read. However, the action-packed mystery behind the baby vampires takes center stage.
If you like urban fantasy with all sorts of things that go bump in the night, Bad Vampire is a must-read! Very much looking forward to book 2!
*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.
Lucas has no intention of letting Olivia get away again – they just have to survive the dinosaurs!
Six months ago, Lucas met the woman of his dreams, but after a night of amazing sex he woke up to find himself alone. Sent to rescue the daughter of a billionaire from her own folly, he discovers her to be the same woman, and this time he intends to make sure she stays put.
When Olivia discovers a herd of live dinosaurs existing on a small island in the South Pacific, she’s ecstatic. This discovery could crown her career as a paleontologist and put to rest the rumors that her daddy bought her position for her! Of course, when her father sends someone to drag her home, she’s not willing to comply and the couple must find a way to deal with the sizzling attraction between them while running from a herd of angry prehistoric beasts.
The voyage had been rougher than Lucas had expected. The fishing trawler he’d rented to get himself from the mainland over to the small island where the target was located had bucked and heaved on the choppy waters, at times threatening to turn itself upside down. Not an ideal ride, but it did the job. He was on the island. Now all he needed to do was locate his employer’s daughter and convince her to leave with him. Grabbing his packsack of supplies he set out to find her.
Good thing the island was so small. As it was, it was past noon before he caught sight of a battered old canvas tent on the east side of a grassy meadow at the foot of a small hill. He made his way down to the bottom of the hill, cursing the lack of any kind of trail to follow. The low scrub bush that blanketed the area made foot travel slow going. Once he made it to the edge of the flat meadow, he paused to scout out the lay of the land. He wasn’t sure of the best way to approach the woman. She had no idea who he was, and she just might be armed. She would be perfectly justified in defending herself against an unknown male who suddenly showed up unannounced. The last thing he wanted was to engage in a shootout with his employer’s daughter. .
Lucas pulled his field glasses out of his backpack and studied the base camp. Two facts immediately slammed into his disbelieving brain. Hard to tell which was more astounding. Firstly, those four-legged creatures stretching up to munch on the tops of the trees definitely did look like dinosaurs.
And secondly, Mr. Billionaire’s daughter was none other than the woman he’d spent one unbelievably fabulous night with almost half a year ago. The woman who’d seduced him, fucked him gloriously senseless and then disappeared before he managed to regain consciousness the following morning.
Hell, he’d started to think he’d dreamed the whole thing. No woman could be that gorgeously curvy, that amazingly good in bed, and then just leave without expecting anything at all from him. He hadn’t even taken her out for dinner. Or breakfast. Not that he was cynical or anything but women were expensive. They didn’t do anything without expecting some kind of payback, and they sure as hell didn’t do all the things she’d done for him and with him and to him without very high expectations.
So when she’d disappeared without a trace, he’d been speechless. Speechless and, if he were honest with himself, just a tiny bit bereft.
He’d wanted more. More of her. More of them together. Taking a deep breath, he strode across the field toward the woman who’d starred in all of his X-rated dreams for the past six months.
He could tell the exact moment she became aware of his presence. Her head came up like a deer who’d suddenly scented a predator. She turned in his direction, and her lips formed a surprised “o.”
Yeah. She remembered him all right. It was in her eyes, in the way the pink tip of her tongue darted out to wet her lips, in the way her nostrils flared as if breathing itself had become an issue.
Her lips curved upward in that slow, sexy smile he remembered so well, and it sent a bolt of heat straight to his groin. Instant hard-on. Yeah. That was her, all right. Olivia. New-age hippie. The first woman to ever love him all night and leave him wanting more the next morning.
He was close enough now to look right into her eyes, to see the warmth there, the genuine happiness at seeing him again. He didn’t get it. She looked thrilled to see him now, so why had she left that morning without so much as a fleeting message, or a goodbye kiss?
Then it didn’t matter. He reached her side and pulled her into his arms to devour her lips. They were every bit as sweet as he remembered, and just as blindingly hot.
She didn’t protest his rough handling. On the contrary, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. Opening her lips, she gave as good as she got, her tongue exploring every crevice of his mouth, every inch of his tongue.
He let out a low groan and let himself be carried away on a wave of pure, unadulterated lust. He’d missed her so much, wanted her for so long, that it didn’t really matter why she’d left that day, or why she’d never attempted to contact him again.
She was here now, her luscious body wrapped around his.
Anne Kane lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with a bouncy little rescue dog who’s breed defies description, a cantankerous Himalayan cat, and too many fish to count. She spent many years trying to fit in and act normal, but finally gave up the effort. She started writing romance in 2008, and her fate was sealed when she won a publishing contract with Red Sage Publishing and just a month later Changeling Press accepted her first submission. Since then she had published more than thirty stories in a variety of sub-genres, all with a happily ever after.
Her hobbies, when she’s not playing with the characters in her head, include kayaking, hiking, swimming, playing guitar, singing and of course, reading.