Book Tour: Dark Ride Deception by Mark S. Bacon #suspense #thriller @BaconAuthor

Dark Ride Deception

Nostalgia City Mysteries Book 4

by Mark S. Bacon

Genre: Mystery

Is Tom Wyrick Dead? The computer genius is missing. So are his priceless tech secrets. Time for Lyle to go undercover again.

Tom Wryick’s mind-bending technology will rocket Nostalgia City theme park decades ahead of the competition. But the computer genius is missing. So are his secrets. Is he dead? On the run? His billion-dollar, breathtaking discovery is the Perception Deception Effect.

An FBI agent theorizes the People’s Republic of China is responsible for the disappearance.The Nostalgia City CEO, however, is convinced a rival theme park is behind the theft. He drafts ex-cop turned theme park cab driver Lyle Deming to fly to Florida to find the missing computer scientist and recover his secrets.

Does this have anything to do with the severed human finger Lyle finds in his cab?

Back in Nostalgia City, park executive, 6’ 2” Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is persuaded to investigate the death of an actor starring in a Vietnam-era crime movie being filmed at the Arizona park. Nostalgia City is a meticulous re-creation of a 1970s small town.

Shrugging off jet lag, anxiety, and oppressive Florida humidity, Lyle goes undercover using a parade of false identities to snoop behind the scenes at another theme park’s engineering and computer offices. He’s forced to jump from one covert scheme to another as his identity is exposed, his safety jeopardized.

In the meantime, Kate confronts a mentally unstable actor—fresh out of rehab. But she may be forced to give up the murder case—Lyle needs help.

Kate and Lyle have little time to explore their nascent romantic relationship as both their investigations turn deadly, threatening them and the future of Nostalgia City.

* * *
“Mark S. Bacon’s well-told mystery is clever, smooth, and intriguing, with a reluctant detective who has just the right touch of self-deprecating humor. The author’s wry wit and engaging voice will keep you turning the pages of Dark Ride Deception until the very last satisfying twist.”

–Mary Adler, author of the Oliver Wright WWII mystery series

***Recommended: Death in Nostalgia City, the first book in this series, was recommended for book clubs by the American Library Association.

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darkridedeception -- excerpt

Lyle felt like he was back in an interrogation room at the Phoenix PD only he was on the wrong side of the table. He sat in front of Galvan’s desk and eyed the beefy guy with a crew cut who was not introduced. Yoo sat next to Lyle.

“So as you now know, I work at—or maybe I used to work—at Nostalgia City. In any event, I’m a cab driver.”

Galvan chuckled.

“I can show you my ID and commercial license.”

“This is not the time for your name, rank, and serial number,” Yoo said. “Tell us what you were doing here.”

Yoo still prodded, Galvan had large dark eyes, and the crew cut looked at him like he was a suspect in a one-man lineup. “Okay, I’m just looking for a Nostalgia City employee. What’s the harm?”

“And you thought he might be working here?” Galvan said.

“Possibly.”

“And what does he do at Nostalgia City?”

“I’m not sure.”

“I believe Tom Wyrick is a programmer for you,” Galvan said, her voice light and conversational as if she were asking if he enjoyed his flight to Florida.

Hell, how do they know he was a programmer? Amber, the receptionist. My mistake. She was the only one I told who Wyrick was. But how did they know I talked to her? I never mentioned her name to anyone. Surveillance cameras. They went back and looked at video of the time before I showed up in HR. Damn these guys are good. Least I know what they know about me, which is pretty much everything.

“Wyrick is a programmer and he disappeared. The park is worried about him so they asked me to look around.”

“And you were chosen, not because you drive a cab, but because of your previous occupation.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I was a sergeant. Phoenix police, homicide.” Did the crew cut’s gargoyle expression soften slightly?

“Actually, Mr. Deming,” Galvan said, “the only thing we don’t know for sure is what Wyrick was working on when he disappeared. But I can guess. There’ve been stories. And you were asking around in our attractions development building next door.”

This lady has a complete picture of my actions and motives. As complete as I would have liked for any perp I detained as a cop. He gave a shrug of surrender and leaned back in his chair.

Galvan turned to the thickset guy next to her. “Thanks for coming over Bill. It’s like we thought. I just have a few more questions for our cab driver. I’ll give you a call later.”

Bill got up slowly, pushed his chair out of the way, and came around the desk. He looked at Yoo and made a slight motion to the door. When they left, Galvan got up and took Yoo’s seat opposite Lyle.

“Are you working for Maxwell? Hiring an ex-police detective sounds like something he’d do.”

Lyle couldn’t read Galvan’s body language. She sat back in the chair, put a hand on the arm, and crossed her legs. Relaxed maybe, but her brown-eyed stare held his attention.

“Yes and no. I am working for Max, but he didn’t hire me. I went to work at the park because it was a break from police work. It takes it out of you. I like driving my taxi.”

“You’re not driving it now.”

“I sometimes do special assignments for Max.”

“So one of your programmers has gone rogue and you want to find him before he sells your secrets.”

Lyle could play the game, too. His noncommittal expression was as good as anyone’s.

“Does it have to do with your perception deception effect?”

Why don’t I just call Joseph Arena and have him explain the technical details to you?

“You don’t have to worry. That term was in one of the trade mags recently. No one knows what it means.” She shifted in her chair and leaned forward. “I sympathize with you. We all want the latest and the best, and we all try to protect our own proprietary ideas.”

“Which is why Yoo followed me.”

“That’s right,” she said. “I’m sorry if he got too rough. He’s young. It didn’t sound like you were looking to steal anything. I despise anyone who would steal secrets for profit. Your secrets, our secrets, anyone’s. Our engineering team is inspired, and like Edison said, it’s ninety-nine percent perspiration. Is this Wyrick going to sell your secrets to the highest bidder or what?”

Mark S. Bacon began his career as a Southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.
After working for two newspapers, he moved to advertising and marketing and became a copywriter for Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park down the freeway from Disneyland. Experience working at Knott’s formed part of the inspiration for his creation of Nostalgia City theme park.
Before turning to fiction, Bacon wrote business books including “Do-It-Yourself Direct Marketing,” printed in four languages and three editions, named best business book of the year by the Library Journal, and selected by the Book of the Month Club and two other book clubs. His freelance feature articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News, Orange County (Calif.) Register, Denver Post and many other publications. Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Dark Ride Deception” is the fourth book in the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with”Death in Nostalgia City”. The first book introduced ex-cop turned cab driver Lyle Deming and PR executive Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star. “Death in Nostalgia City” was recommended for book clubs by the American Library Association.
Bacon is the author of flash fiction mystery books including, “Cops, Crooks and Other Stories in 100 Words – Revised Edition”.
He taught journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Cal Poly University – Pomona, the University of Nevada – Reno, and the University of Redlands. He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State.

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Book Tour & Giveaway: Strangers’ Kingdom by Brandon Barrows #mystery #giveaway @BrandonBarrows

Strangers’ Kingdom

by Brandon Barrows

Genre: Mystery

Politically blacklisted detective Luke Campbell’s last chance in law-enforcement is a job with the police department of rural Granton, Vermont. It’s a beautiful town, home to a beautiful, intriguing girl who’s caught his eye, and it’s a chance at redemption. Even if his new boss seems strange, secretive, and vaguely sinister, Campbell is willing to give this opportunity a shot. And no sooner does he make that decision than the first in a series of murders is discovered, starting a chain of events that will change the lives of everyone in this once-quiet town.

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Brandon Barrows is the award-nominated authors of the novels Burn Me Out and This Rough Old World as well as over fifty published stories, selected of which have been collected into the books The Altar in the Hills and The Castle-Town Tragedy.

He is also the writer of nearly one-hundred individual comic book issues.

He is an active member of both the Private Eye Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

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Book Blitz: Don’t Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantine #YoungAdult #mystery @cathconstantine

Don’t Forget To Breathe
Cathrina Constantine
Publication date: September 1st 2021
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind. And everything fades to black.

Leo has been battling personal demons after a year of retrograde amnesia. She’s been having vivid dreams of that day. And her dreams are getting worse—she’s starting to remember. Two more bodies are discovered and they are oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

Leo befriends her new neighbor. He’s eager to visit Star Hallow’s notorious haunted mansion. It’s located on a deserted cul-de-sac where she once lived and where her mom was murdered. But it’s the Lucien Estate, the mansion next door to her old home, where they happen upon misty ghosts, ghosts that just might help to unravel the homicides.

Will Leo’s memories send her reeling into a relapse, or will she be able to overcome her demons to find her mother’s killer – only to become the next victim?

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EXCERPT:

The black corners of my room softened into a silvery gray. I turned my head to check the alarm clock, 4:45. I begged the heavens, “Please, let me sleep,” and smothered my head underneath my downy pillow.

A nanosecond after slamming my eyelids closed, I was immediately transported to a year ago…”

My walk down the hallway to my parents’ bedroom became sluggish. She’d been complaining of not feeling well and had stayed home from work today. Was she sick and needed to rest and forgot about the boiling water? The door was shut. I knuckled the frame softly. “Mom?”

My hand twisted the knob and inched it open. I gagged on the smell.

An awkward, half-naked body draped the mattress—porcelain skin sliced apart, and silky blonde hair fanned the floor. Dripping red blood—gobs of blood. Eyes filled with terror watched me. Dead eyes. My jaw moved. Mommm—but no sound. I shuffled a foot forward and doubled over, spewing lunch. That was when I noticed a bloody dagger next to her fingers. Forged in a peculiar camber design like something I’d see in a museum.

Arms swallowed me from behind, “I’m not going to kill you. Not yet.” Then everything faded to black.

I woke with a start and gasped. My heart ached. Struggling upright I crisscrossed my arms over my chest and gripped my shoulders. Tears sprinkled my face—sorry for my loss, sorry for myself.

Author Bio:

Cathrina Constantine is an International Best Selling and Award Winning Author. Her books have won Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards. New Apple Medalist Award. Literary Classics Gold and Silver Award. Literary Classics Seal of Approval. And recently 1st Place Top Shelf Award for YA/Mystery.

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

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New Release Blitz: Red Rock Romance by Jane Colt #eroticromance #paranormal #mystery @totally_bound @firstforromance

Red Rock Romance by Jane Colt

Word Count: 78,512
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 292

GENRES:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CRIME
CRIME AND MYSTERY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MULTICULTURAL
MYSTERY
PARANORMAL

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Book Description

A brilliant Native American archaeology student and her Brit ‘bad boy’ professor find the key to love, hot sex and…what? A lost civilization?

Cocheta ‘Cat’ White Eagle is a Native American archaeology grad student on a mission to prove the existence of her ancestral Lost Tribe. A vision tells her it’s somewhere high in the treacherous mountains of Sedona. The only problem is she’s afraid of heights! Trying to conquer her fear through pole dancing—of course—she attracts the attention of a bad boy Brit. He’s exciting, brilliant and sexy but totally off-limits. He’s her new professor, a hound, and if he recognizes her as the girl behind the mask of ‘The Contessa’, her career will be over before it begins.

Colin Tucker is a drop-dead-gorgeous Londoner who is rocketing to the top of his field. Alas, the sandy-haired, blue-eyed wunderkind has a weakness for sexy women—including the French Ambassador’s daughter, no less. Banished to the Colonies, he finds himself torn between the exotic stripper and his brilliant student. After being put to a sexy test, he gives his heart to Cat, his student. He pledges to help her in her search, they join forces and live hap—

But wait! Smugglers, deception and danger… Oh my! Colin breaks up with Cat to keep her safe, gets arrested for stealing artifacts and helps the thieves trying to thwart her quest.

Is that really how to win the girl?

Reader advisory: This book contains explosions, death threats, outdoor sex and minor instances of racism from a secondary character.

Nick and Rebecca are madly in love, kinky as hell and ready to push the boundaries a little. As her Dom and her Daddy, fulfilling all her desires is both Nick’s responsibility and his privilege, but while Rebecca loves the idea of Nick sharing her with another Dom, she’s not sure if she’s ready to turn her fantasy into reality.

Nick is eager to facilitate the threesome of her dreams, but it’s no hardship to wait until she’s ready…and, in the meantime, maybe give her a hint of just what two Doms can do for her.

With a small taste of the very sexy possibilities, it doesn’t take long for Rebecca to get on board, especially since she’s developed a small, harmless crush on Nick’s preferred co-Top, his good friend and fellow Dom, Cade.

Nick and Cade have teamed up before, so he knows they can deliver on the promises Nick has made. Together, they’ll be sure to give Rebecca a scene—and a night—none of them will ever forget…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of erotic humiliation and multiple partner sex.

Excerpt

The tremor in her arm was the first sign Cat was reaching her limit. Her labored breathing was the second. She’d pushed so hard during this climb that every bit of clothing she wore—her long-sleeved gray jersey, her sports bra underneath, her long black climbing tights—was soaked. Sweat ran down from her sopping bandana into her eyes. The salt stung. She clenched her jaw.

I can do this.

The fear she’d fought so hard to ignore disagreed. ‘No, you can’t,’ cackled the demon within.

She fought back.

Hang in there. Stay here for a minute and rest. We’ll be okay. Relax. Just don’t look down.

She took a deep breath and gripped the red-hued rock tighter. Her gloves weren’t thick enough to protect her from its knife-like edge. It bit back. “Ow!” The burn spread through her arms. She kept shifting her right foot to find a more secure foothold.

Better. Worse. Better. Worse. Damn!

The struggle only added to the strain on her upper body. Now both her arms were shaking. Stop! she commanded. They ignored her. She took a series of deep, hard breaths, hoping to get oxygen to her muscles. Her throat burned from the effort.

Put the weight on your left foot to get a better grip.

The black rubber sole slipped off the rock and shot into mid-air. She grunted and instinctively tightened her grip even more, which only increased the pain.

Defying the agony, she pulled herself up a few more inches. Her heart thundered against her chest. Straining, she gasped for air. Safety was within sight. If she could just grab the next handhold, she could regain her balance and give herself a chance. She gritted her teeth and stretched—but it was just out of reach.

She put all her weight on one leg and explored the rough surface with her free foot. Miraculously, she found a foothold that would let her lift herself.

I can do this!

She shifted her weight onto that side.

Stretch! Push! Pull! Fight! Just two more inches.

But the pressure on her leg was too much. The pain in her calf was instant and searing.

Fuck! A cramp!

The muscle tightened with a mind of its own, oblivious to the fact that it was bringing about its own destruction. With her legs now useless, she shifted back to her arms. Drained, they shook. Even her hands had nothing left.

No! No!

She gulped as dread washed over her. But she still struggled.

It will be okay, she lied.

Her heart pounded as her fate became undeniable. Her throat tightened and her face flushed. She didn’t know which felt worse—the pain in her hands from gripping so hard? The searing burn in her muscles? The terror at being so high? Shame at having overreached and being the author of her demise? Swallowing hard, she knew that, given what was about to happen, the question was academic.

Her trembling arms told her that she had only seconds before her body betrayed her. She closed her eyes tight, clenched her jaw, kept fighting and prayed for a miracle. But her final bit of energy evaporated.

Even as the cold, merciless hand of Death pried her fingers from the rock and pulled her to her tragic destiny, she refused to surrender.

No! No!

But gravity pulled her backward like a rag doll.

No! No! Please, God! No!” she screamed into the void.

She plummeted.

Three feet.

The sturdy black safety harness snapped sharply around her. She grunted in reply, and her friend slowly lowered her to the gym floor.

Lauren greeted her with a big smile and a warm hug. “Twenty feet. That’s a new personal best, Cat. Congratulations. Of course”—she laughed—“it doesn’t change that you just died again. What is that…five times today? But it’s still an accomplishment. High five!”

Cat’s arms were so spent that she couldn’t raise either one in response. As her friend helped her out of the harness, she hung her head and wiped her face. “I know you’re trying to be encouraging, but being so weak and terrified only twenty feet off the ground is humiliating. I’m such a failure!” She began to cry.

Her friend covered her in an oversized pink towel to sop up the perspiration. “They’ve got the AC blasting, sweetie. You’re drenched from going all out. You don’t want to catch cold.” She put her arm around her as they walked to the locker room.

As she and her friend dressed in the pristine locker room after showering, Lauren pointed to the sopping mountain of heavy, colorless, sweat-soaked fabric in front of Cat’s locker. “That’s at least one problem you could solve in one stroke. You’d be cooler and more comfortable climbing in shorts and a sports bra. All that wet cloth makes you overheat and drains your energy.”

Cat winced. She was a failure as a climber. Now she couldn’t even dress right.

“I’m sorry, Cat.” Lauren hugged her. “You know I’m your biggest fan. I’m just trying to help. Let me treat you to coffee. I’ll even spring for a chocolate croissant. The good news is that since you’re now nearly a ghost, calories don’t count.”

Cat mustered a weak laugh.

“Seriously, it takes real guts to face your fears like this. You should be proud. You’re a fighter!”

“Sure, a fighter without a punch,” she replied dejectedly.

Lauren wrapped Cat in another big hug, and Cat laid her head on the comforting shoulder, took a deep breath and relaxed into her warmth.

“You’re the best, Lauren. I’d have given up weeks ago if it weren’t for you.”

As they left the gym, Cat squinted at the bright sunshine and winced at the heat then she tossed her bag into the trunk of her old canary-yellow Toyota. It was a glorious day in Sedona. The spectacular blue sky perfectly framed the red rocks glistening in the distance. Normally, Cat took comfort in the natural beauty around her—especially the rugged red mountains that reminded her of her heritage and her mission. Today, defeated by the climbing wall yet again, she barely acknowledged her surroundings. Her friend pointed to the mountains. “You have my word,” she said resolutely. “You’re going to own those rocks.” Cat shrugged. She was too tired to argue.

They walked the few blocks to the café arm in arm. Lauren wore cute pink shorts and a tight white sleeveless top. Cat had on long, loose-fitting black track pants and an oversized, long-sleeved, gray, Red Rock University T-shirt. Pressed down by the weight of her exhaustion, the best she could manage was a slow trudge.

As she reached for her coffee on the white stone counter, her arm still shook. She had to use both hands to pick up the red paper cup. She carefully placed it on the sturdy wood table so it wouldn’t spill. As she started to sit down, however, her leg began to cramp again. She lost her balance and jostled the table. The cup rocked, but Lauren grabbed the drink before it could tip over and stain the red-and-white checkerboard tablecloth. Despondent, Cat plopped into a chair and stretched out her leg to stop the cramp. Once the pain had passed, she picked up a sugar packet—but tore it so badly that it exploded over a pair of cute guys walking by. As she brushed the white powder off her gray T-shirt, she noticed that they looked her way then chuckled. She flushed hotly, put her head on the table, covered it with her arms and sighed.

“They thought it was cute,” Lauren said quietly. “Sit up. They’re hanging around. They want to come over and chat.”

Cat sat back up, shook her head and mumbled something incomprehensible.

Lauren caught the guys’ eyes and shrugged apologetically. They picked up their drinks and headed out. “Okay, the coast is clear.”

Cat shook her head in disgust. “See? I can’t even manage a cup of coffee and cute guys. I’m pitiful—a pathetic sack of fears destined for failure. I’m an aspiring archaeologist who’s afraid of heights. Even after presenting at a bunch of conferences, I’m still terrified of public speaking. I hate it when anyone even looks at me. Those guys were gawking at adorable you. They noticed me only because what I did was stupid. I have ‘career fiasco’ and ‘relationship nightmare’ written all over me. I’m hopeless.” She slumped again.

Lauren took her hand and gave her a warm smile. “Are you kidding? Bumping into the table and not being able to open the sugar are signs that you went all out on your climbs. You don’t do things halfway. I admire that about you.” She put her finger under Cat’s chin, raised it and looked directly in her eyes. “Now, tell yourself you’re a fighter…and mean it! That’s an order!”

She sighed. “Fine. I’m a fighter,” she murmured sullenly.

“Cat!” Lauren replied.

“Okay, okay. Despite my unbroken string of miserable failures and despite the obvious futility of continuing to try, I stupidly haven’t given up,” she said.

Lauren laughed. “If that’s the best you can do, I’ll take it. And also tell yourself that you’re a beautiful, sexy woman. I’ve seen you naked at the gym. Those guys were checking you out because you’re hot—even when you insist on dressing like a nun.”

Cat managed a weak smile then the tears started again.

Lauren reached into her white backpack and handed her a tissue. She stroked Cat’s arm gently. “I know it doesn’t feel like it, sweetie, but you actually had a good day. Once you get past the fear of heights, you won’t waste so much of your energy gripping so tightly. And weight work will give you the strength you need.”

Cat wiped her eyes and made a face, recalling how embarrassing her recent sessions at the gym had been. “I struggle so much, even with small dumbbells, that I get that pitiful look from everyone around me. They ask me if I’m okay, like I’m coming back from major surgery or something. I’ve even tried to go when no one else is there, but then the trainers come over. I can see it in their eyes. They’re worried I’m going to hurt myself then sue them. I’m so self-conscious that it’s humiliating.”

Her friend paused, a frown furrowing her forehead, and looked down at the table. She sat quietly for a few seconds, pursed her lips and moved the saltshaker from a red square to a white one as deliberately as if she were playing chess. She glanced back up at Cat. “Maybe…you…” She took a sip of coffee. “It’s just…”

“What?”

“Nothing.” Lauren looked down and took the pepper shaker this time. Staring in its direction but not really looking at it, she rhythmically tapped it on the table as she pursed her lips.

Cat sighed. “Come on. I can take it. You’re going to tell me I’m stupid to think I can do this. I need to face facts and give up.” She closed her eyes and covered her face with her hands as though someone was going to punch her.

Lauren gently took Cat’s hands and put them back on the table. “Look at me, Cat. I am not going to criticize you. You do that too much already. How do you forget so quickly that you graduated summa, won a great graduate fellowship and are on a fast track to your Ph.D.? Didn’t the school just send you to that conference in Greece where everyone raved over your presentation? You’re awesome! You’re the only one who doesn’t know that. I wasn’t going to criticize you. Actually”—she looked out of the window—“I might…have an idea,” she said hesitantly.

Is there hope?

Looking back at Cat, Lauren sat quietly. She leaned in, lowered her voice and spoke. “I have a thought…about a Plan B…to solve your problems. It’s unusual, but…” She left the sentence incomplete.

Cat leaned forward excitedly. “A Plan B? Really? Tell me.”

Lauren looked into her coffee and stirred. She took a deep breath and sipped. Then her face tightened and turned red. Quickly looking down at the crusty croissant in front of her, she said abruptly, “Boy, this coffee is hot.” Flustered, she tore off a piece of her pastry. “And this looks great.”

Cat was startled. She didn’t believe that hot coffee could make her friend’s face turn scarlet. What is she not saying?

Lauren looked away and pulled her long blonde hair behind her. “Um. Not weights.” She looked down and tapped her fingers on the table. Her face tensed, and—to Cat’s surprise—she bit her lip and held her breath for a few seconds. When she exhaled, she almost imperceptibly shook her head.

After a few seconds, she looked up and glanced out of the window. “I mean, let’s figure out why you’re so afraid first. If we can reduce your panic, you’ll be more relaxed and will climb better,” she said, looking back at Cat. “Then we’ll worry about body strength. So, where does the fear come from? And if you’re so terrified, why are you so committed to learning to climb?”

Everything—Lauren’s cadence, expression, posture—screamed that she’d deliberately changed the topic.

Cat frowned. If there were another way to tackle her fears, she didn’t understand why her friend wouldn’t tell her. But it was obvious that pressing for an explanation was the wrong thing to do. She’d respect Lauren’s wishes. At the same time, she wasn’t ready to confide everything to Lauren yet about her embarrassing fears and weird obsessions—at least not in a public coffee shop where she could be overheard. “I promise I’ll explain—but let’s save it for a day when I haven’t fallen to my death so many times.”

“Fair enough.” Lauren smiled. “But enough with the sad stuff.” She leaned in with a naughty smirk and lowered her voice. “Tell me all about the conference. Any cute guys?”

“I told you I’m not interested in anything that could distract me from my work—and certainly not a relationship until after I have my degree.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it. Did you follow my suggestion”—she nudged Cat conspiratorially—“and engage in some wanton revelry? God knows you deserve it after how hard you’ve been working.”

“Wanton revelry?” Cat looked puzzled.

“Sorry. Too much Shakespeare. When you got to the conference and unpacked, you must have found my strapless red dress I snuck into your bag. Did it work? Did you get laid? Surely there were any number of hot young studs happy to service you.”

Cat laughed. “Hot young studs? Have you ever seen what archaeologists look like?”

“Sure. Indiana Jones. The hat. The whip. The bedroom eyes. Bedroom hands. Bedroom you-know-what.” She playfully raised her eyebrows a couple of times.

“Sorry,” she chuckled. “That’s the movies. Real life archaeologists are nerd city.”

“Wait a minute. Didn’t you text me that there was some drop-dead gorgeous guy all the women were drooling over? The one who’d made some sort of amazing discovery?”

“Oh, him. The Brit who found an ancient Grecian vase that’s going to rewrite the history of the period. Because my flight got delayed, I got to the conference after his lecture, and he was nowhere to be seen. I don’t believe he was as good looking as everyone said. Nobody’s that handsome! Even so, I wouldn’t be interested. He’s not my type.”

“Not your type? Handsome and brilliant? He’s every woman’s type!”

“No, I mean he’s a hound.” She waved her hand in the air dismissively and grimaced. “He pursues women with the same vengeance he uses to look for artifacts. We’re just prizes for him. The rumor mill said he was bed-hopping the entire conference. Colin Tucker is the last man I’d ever be interested in!”

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About the Author

Jane Colt

Jane Colt began writing romances to deal with the stress of a ‘day job’ that’s mainly about examining the various ways people treat one another badly. An incurable romantic, her stories give her hope that we really can live happily ever after—even if only in our imaginations. She writes erotic romances because, having been raised in a morally rigid home, she wants to encourage in her readers a healthier, ‘sex positive’ outlook. She especially wants her heroines to be as sexy and passionate as they desire. You can count on the fact that her couples end up in love and having great sex! … OK, maybe they have the sex first!

Her stories aim to be light-hearted, fun, upbeat—and sexy! No dark, brooding, broken, tortured guys who need fixing. Just great, handsome, smart, sexy, ‘real men’ whose only weakness is being unable to resist the women she pairs them with. Think Lifetime or Hallmark movies plus hot sex!

She’s lived on both coasts of the U.S., recently leaving the beaches of Los Angeles to return home to the glorious autumn foliage of western Massachusetts. Married, she and her spouse are happy to be the devoted servants of two adorable cats. She loves traveling. Favorite cities: San Francisco, Boston, Venice, London, London, London!

By the way, anyone who knows her would be shocked to learn she writes erotic romances. “Jane Colt” is a pen name. So, shhhhhh.

Find out more about Jane at her website.

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JANE COLT IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GET GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 10th August 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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Book Blitz: Gulf of Deception by Kelly Hopkins #YoungAdult #mystery @khopkinswrites @xpressotours

Gulf of Deception
Kelly Ann Hopkins
(Gulf Shores Mysteries, #1)
Publication date: May 17th 2021
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

Beach life is killer, literally.

On the cusp of her high school graduation, Lily Harmony needs to figure out how to break it to her lawyer parents that she doesn’t want to follow in the family footsteps–especially with her band in high demand on the Fort Myers beach scene.

But when her father is killed inside his office and their mother accused of his murder, Lily and her estranged sister Annabelle are convinced the police have the wrong person. Clues are hard to come by until a mysterious man hands Lily a flash drive and warns her the information contained on it might get her killed. As Lily works to unravel what the files and pictures mean, a stunning discovery reveals the murderer might be closer than she thought.

With the help of her gamer BFF and maybe something more, Lily and her sister scour the Everglades for connections to her father’s killer. But what they find hidden in the canopy of cypress tress is more dangerous than they ever imagined—a long-lost secret worth millions—and worth killing for.

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EXCERPT:

Sunlight streamed through the windows, and pang thudded deep in my chest. Hard to believe I was leaving this stunning scene in a few short months for college. A thousand miles north in Boston, away from the sun, the sand, and the balmy breeze. At least the ocean was nearby—except it would be the lumbering, lead-colored, frigid Atlantic, and I’d be wearing an unflattering parka with boots up to my knees. Maybe when the snow melted in June, I could trick myself into believing I was standing on the Gulf.

All so I could one day add my name to the Harmony Law letterhead. Except that was the last thing I wanted.

My feet stopped short as a shock reverberated through the walls, like something heavy crashed down in another part of the building. But there were no other offices on the top floor. I pulled my headphones from my ears and turned off the music.

At the office door, I peered into the hall. A gust of humid air rushed down the narrow passage and ruffled my hair. Now where had the breeze come from?

Delicate music came from the speaker system—some unnamed melody that sounded familiar and should have vocals. Another blast of breeze hit me as if someone had forgotten to shut a window.

“Mom?” I called. The law office answered me with soft strains of piano wafting down the hall.

“Dad?” My father’s door stood ajar at the far end of the building. Next to it, my mother’s office door was shut. Maybe they were both in Dad’s office. His was the only one with a balcony. They could have gone outside and left the door open.

Another violent crash came from the direction of his office. A gunshot rang out. Then another. Followed by a blood-curdling scream.

Mom!

Dad!

Terrified, I crept down the hallway, my back pressed against the wall, my cellphone pulled from my pocket and clutched in my shaking hand. My heart pounded, making me faint. I blinked away the sensation. Sharp blasts of unintelligible conversation drew me toward the office as wind whipped down the corridor.

I hesitated at the door and gasped.

Mom knelt beside Dad, a gun in her hand. Blood colored the front of his polo shirt—a crimson stain spreading from his chest and down his left side on a backdrop of stormy blue fabric. Strangled sobs ripped from my lips. I rushed in, dropped to the floor beside my father, and took his limp hand.

Glass shards bit into my knees as a terrible gurgle erupted from his throat. Bloody froth colored his chin and lips. The room spun around me.

“Dad? Please, Dad. Can you hear me?” Spots popped in my brain, and another wave of vertigo hit as my abdomen heaved. I forgot how to inhale.

His bewildered eyes were wide, his mouth moving soundlessly, his fingers splayed against the floor. I couldn’t tear my gaze from his face as I laced his fingers in mine and squeezed. “Dad! What should I do?”

“William?” Mom whispered. She pressed a wad of orange fabric—the scarf she’d worn this morning—over the wound on his chest. Fresh terror gripped me as blood dripped down her cheek, and I couldn’t tell if it belonged to him or her.

Dad struggled to lift his other arm, but it fell back to the floor.

“He’s gone, William,” she said. “You’re going to be fine.”

Somehow, I unlocked my words. “Who’s gone?”

She ignored my question, or maybe she didn’t hear me. Tears and blood trickled off her chin, making pink spots on her white shirt. “Call for an ambulance. Oh God.” The gun slipped from her hand and landed on the carpet with a thud. “William.” Her voice broke on his name.

My heart tore from its moorings on a crash of agony. “Dad? Dad.” For a split second, his gaze fixed on mine, then he was gone as if a candle extinguished in a sudden, sharp wind.

Author Bio:

Kelly Ann Hopkins is the author of Misled (coming 2021) and Buried Beneath (coming 2022). She spends her days as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher, where she challenges her students to read with abandon. When she’s not creating perilous adventures for her characters, she is dreaming of her next trip to the Florida Gulf Coast. Kelly lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and too many books.

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Release Blitz: Ternary by Kristin L. Stamper #SciFi #LGBTQ @klsmopit @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: Ternary

Author: Kristin L. Stamper

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/31/2021

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male/Female (Male/Male interaction)

Length: 81300

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi, AI, scientists, gay, bisexual, MMF, enemies-to-lovers, established couple, reunited, aliens, alien artifact, court trial, mystery, humorous, interracial

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Description

Elora isn’t a robot, but she isn’t human either. She’s an abominable combination of the two, a cyborg. For this offense, she must face judgment in a court of law. There, it will be decided if she’s a person, owed the same rights as any other, or an object, owed no rights at all.

But when a last-ditch effort to demonstrate her humanity backfires, Elora is faced with an element of human nature she always hoped to avoid: love. The consciousness of a dead man is accidentally downloaded into her cybernetic brain, and she becomes infatuated with his still-living husband—whether she wants to or not.

For Elora, making her way in a solar system that fears and hates her has been hard enough. Now, she must do it as an intermediary between lovers while keeping her own heart in check. With the trial fast approaching, and anti-robot protesters demanding her head, Elora can’t afford to get swept up in someone else’s love story.

Excerpt

Ternary
Kristin L. Stamper © 2021
All Rights Reserved

It’s the first taste of freedom I’ve had in weeks. It could also be my last. I march handcuffed down the labyrinthian corridors of the Aidos to be ejected out of an airlock, or have my metal components melted down and recycled into engine parts, or be squashed in a giant garbage disposal. No one’s actually told me where I’m going, but it can’t be anywhere good.

An armored squad of meatheads forced me from my cell without a word. They press the barrels of their rifles into my back to keep me walking. The Aidos was assigned to deliver me to the Minos Justice Station for my trial, but we should have arrived three days ago. Plenty of time to find a dark corner of empty space where they could ditch my body without being noticed. I’d been told my confinement was for my safety as well as everyone else’s but always suspected the scale tipped slightly in favor of everyone else’s. Looks like I was right.

We finally arrive at our destination. The door hisses open…and it isn’t an airlock. It’s a conference room. A massive blank viewscreen hangs behind a shiny circular table. Paul Margot, my lawyer, sits beside it, balancing his chair on its back legs and playing a handheld video game. Not a care in the world. As usual, an expensive suit and tie drape his gangly old body, and he’s combed his scarce hair to the side to hide the bald patches. The smell of peppermint wafts from him, the odor so strong I swear I see a green menthol cloud looming in the air.

A Japanese man stands with his arms crossed on the other side of the screen. He isn’t wearing the black-armored uniform of the guards but rather the stark white with gold trim of the Aidos crew. He has a dashing gentleman sort of look about him, and the decorations on his shoulder suggest he’s high in rank. But despite whatever power he might have, he’s hesitant to approach me—like I’m a live bomb. And it’s not an unfair comparison. During the Great Human-AI War, many robots were exactly that. Humankind nearly went extinct in that war, so I don’t blame him for handling me with caution.

A million questions pop into my mind at once, but I settle for the most pertinent: “What the hell?”

“Well, hello to you too,” Paul says.

“See?” the Japanese officer says to him instead of me. “She made it just fine. Now, I’m going to have to ask you to step out.”

“Actually, I think I’ll stay. No one talks to my client without me present.”

“I’m not interested in the legal matters concerning your client, Mr. Margot.”

“And I’m not interested in whatever secret sciency things you have onboard this ship.” Paul laughs. “But I stay. Go right ahead. She can be a little snippy though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

I’m so grateful for Paul. I know the things he does are because he wants to win his case, but sometimes I feel like he actually cares about me.

Still. “Is someone going to tell me what’s going on?” I say, louder this time.

“I apologize, Ms. Cussons.” The Japanese officer stares at me with the same stupefied ogle everyone gives me the first time. There’s been a great deal of discussion over what exactly I am—ranging from papers published in scientific journals to angry rants on internet forums—but the term “half-robotic abomination” would seem to apply. I prefer Metal-American. Either way, most people know about Elora Cussons, the illegal cyborg in the news, and when they hear my story, they think of a half-robotic, hideous monster. When they actually see me, it’s never quite what they were picturing. On the outside, I’m a perfectly ordinary, unspoiled, twenty-two-year-old woman from Kauai. My tan skin and long, mud-brown hair are indistinguishable from any of my neighbors’. Although, the red prison jumpsuit isn’t in fashion.

“Do you know who I am?” the man asks after a moment.

“That’s a negative.” I mock his uptight military bearing.

“My name is Hamasaki. I’m captain of the Aidos. I hope you’ve been treated well.”

“Mm-hm, the brig is simply lovely.”

He clears his throat and straightens his blouse. “I’ll get right to the point, Ms. Cussons. Do you know where we are?”

“You should probably assume I don’t know anything. It’ll be easier.”

“Right. Sorry. This is an unusual situation for me too. We’re parked outside of the Great Compass. A member of our crew is head of research here, and he’s gotten himself into some trouble.”

“Wait, the Great Compass?” Paul cuts in. “I thought research on the Compass was shut down. Some guy died or something last year?”

“Yes, someone did. That’s why our people don’t interact with the technology here anymore. It’s observational study only. At least, it’s supposed to be. Turns out, our guy bit off more than he could chew and was injured a few days ago. We were on our way to pick him up and transport him to the medical facilities on the Minos, which is how we got tagged with giving you a lift. Come to find out, it’s a little more complicated than we thought. He’s inside the core of the Compass itself, which is deadly to biological lifeforms. Going in there was how we lost our crewmember last year, and we can’t risk any more losses by sending in a rescue team. We’ve been scratching our heads since we got here, trying to think up solutions, and one of our people thinks she might have something.”

“You want me to do it,” I conclude. It was easy to follow his story to its inevitable end.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Paul practically bellows. “If you’re trying to force my client—”

“No, nothing like that.” Hamasaki reclaims the reins of the conversation. “No one is forcing Ms. Cussons into anything. But with robotic machines being illegal, she’s our best chance. We’ve had experts in medicine, biology, cybernetics, the whole bit reviewing her files, and everyone agrees. Because she’s more mechanical than biological, if there’s ever been a candidate for safe exposure to the Great Compass, it’s her.” He returns his attention to me. “We wouldn’t ask this of you if we didn’t think there was a high chance of success. We’ve already gotten permission from the council handling your case, and they’ve agreed to push your trial back. But of course, you’re free to refuse. What do you say? Want out of your box? Want to be a hero?”

It’s obvious why he’s asking me himself rather than send a lackey. He’s a salesman. He’s charismatic and energetic, and his good looks don’t hurt either. An excited gleam twinkles in his eye, and I can tell he thinks I’m sold.

I can’t wait to disappoint him.

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Meet the Author

Kristin L. Stamper is a writer of YA and adult science fiction. Her interest in storytelling dates back to her childhood when she brought her ideas to life through play-pretend. Once society had successfully pressured her into knocking that off, writing became her new creative outlet. After high school, she spent seven years as an Information Systems Technician in the US Navy, gaining experience in computers and robotics. Currently, she is the mother of a toddler whose favorite pastime is banging on the keyboard while mommy tries to write.

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Audio Blitz: Stylite – Mystery by Tag Gregory and Lily Marie #historicalromance #LGBTQ @GoIndiMarketing @TagWritesBooks

Title: Stylite: Mystery

Series: The Stylite Chronicles – Book One

Author: Tag Gregory & Lily Marie

Narrator: William Pierre

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: 5/1/21

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 05 Hours 48 Minutes

Genre: Romance, Mystery, History, LGBTQ, Contemporary Gay Literature

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Synopsis

Book One of the Stylite Chronicles. A curious art history student disturbs a lonely recluse holed up in an historic building in downtown Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle”. Together, they investigate the mystery behind the building and in the process unearth evidence of a long-dead, illicit love affair. Will that ancient romance help kindle a modern one for our history sleuths at the same time?

It’s a Mystery, History, Romance.

Excerpt

Egbert seemed quite taken by the end result and my ego swelled several sizes as he looked at the pictures, even asking me to make them bigger at times so he could see certain details better. I started to explain some of the various techniques I’d employed and why I’d added some of the different elements.

“I like this part,” he said, his finger shaking slightly as he pointed towards a particularly detailed part of my painting that incorporated some of the details from the cornice work of the building.

I beamed once again. Having him like my work meant a lot to me; which was odd, because usually, as long as I liked my work I didn’t care so much what others thought. But all of a sudden it mattered what THIS guy thought. That was different. It made me uncomfortable, but uncomfortable in a good way maybe. I’d have to think on why, exactly, that was. Later, though, because I was too busy bragging to my man to worry on it right then.

“. . . Yeah. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and all,” I summarized when it seemed like we’d talked the painting to death finally. “Now I just have to hope that my professor agrees when I turn it in tomorrow.”

“So, as of tomorrow, you’re done with the project?” Egbert asked, sounding a little disappointed by that prospect.

“Yeah. Which is good, too, because I have to get started on studying for finals for my other classes, all of which I put off while I was working on this monster.” When Mystery Man looked away, seeming to hesitate about whatever it was he’d been about to say, I felt like I’d said something wrong. To backtrack I asked, “why? Was there something else? Something you think I missed?”

“No. No, nothing like that,” he stumbled over whatever it was he meant to say for a moment or two until it seemed like he just decided to blurt it out. “It’s just that, when you seemed interested in that old letter and the drawing, I remembered that my grandfather had a file of old records he kept that he’d found when he bought the building, and I thought you might be interested in looking through them. But, if you’re done with the project, I guess you wouldn’t be interested . . .”

“No! I mean, yeah, I’m finished with the project, but I would definitely love to take a look at whatever you’ve found. Really. If you’re okay with that?”

He looked relieved when I insisted I was still interested and I watched as he unlocked one of the drawers of his desk and pulled out a huge leather binder, filled to the brim with ageing papers. I was surprised that the file was one of the least clean things in the entire building. There might have even been some dust on the jacket of the folder. But, since it was dust that had been in the building for a while, as opposed to dust that came from some stranger outside, maybe it was safe enough, because my man just swiped at it perfunctorily with one of his wipes and then seemed good.

He placed the folder on the desk and pushed it towards me. “Here, knock yourself out.”

I paused briefly before making my way over and running my hand along the smooth leather surface of the file folder; it was so soft. “Wow.”

“You can . . .” He cleared his throat once again. “You can take it home with you to have a look through if you’d like. I just . . . I need it back.”

I couldn’t seem to control my face around this man, I don’t think I’d smiled this much in years. He was basically inviting me back! Well, that’s what I was taking from it anyway. “You know, I might have questions while I’m looking through this stuff. If I can’t figure it out, maybe I could come back and you could go over it with me? You might know more about the history, after all,” I suggested.

He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, like it didn’t bother him either way, but I knew that he liked my suggestion. “Sure. I could make time,” he replied, trying to sound all cool and unconcerned even though I could detect a smile hiding in that beard of his. “I’m . . . I’m not busy tomorrow afternoon.”

I wondered when he was ever busy, seeing as he didn’t seem to ever leave the building, but I didn’t think our relationship was ready for that line of questioning yet. “Sounds great. I should be done with classes by around three tomorrow. How about I come back after that?”

“Okay,” he agreed readily enough. “Although, I suspect this is probably the first time in history someone invited their burglar to come back for more.”

“I’m not a burglar. Just . . .”

“Just a brat. I know,” he teased me with that glint of humor in his eyes that I was starting to get to like.

“Good thing you like brats, huh?” I replied, because, yeah, I WAS a brat and, as a brat, I wasn’t about to let him get the last word like that. Then I picked up the binder full of documents and my bag and started for the door before he could say anything more. “See you tomorrow, Egbert.

“Later, Brat.”

In my head I was already planning out what I’d say when I saw my Mystery Man the following day as I galloped down the stairs and out the lobby doors. I felt a little giddy – which was a word you really don’t understand until it happens to you, but which I now totally GOT, because I felt giddy as a fucking school girl and that was really pathetic, I know, but it was how I felt so deal with it, okay…

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Meet the Author

Tag Gregory and Lily Marie are the co-authors of several exciting romance series, including the Time Adventures Series and The Stylite Chronicles. Tag has been writing for almost a decade, bringing an eclectic background as a lawyer, microbiologist, all-around nerd, and adventurer. Lily has also been writing for several years, is a resident of the UK, and is the more visually creative of the two. Together they bring an off-kilter sense of humor, unbounded curiosity, a love of details, and astonishing powers of research to all their writing. If you are looking for a gripping story, with compelling characters that deal with real world issues, then you’re in the right place.

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Book Tour: Bovine Tricks by Seelie Kay #mystery #romanticsuspense @SeelieKay @BookReviewTours

About the Book:

Lady Annabelle Trask is missing. Unfortunately, MISix doesn’t know if they’re looking for a woman, a cow, or something in between!

Is it real or is it fantasy? That’s the question MISix Agent Mathilda Honoria Spencer struggles with on her latest assignment. Tasked with discovering the whereabouts of Lady Annabelle Trask, Tillie is thrust into the world of Hucows and other human animals. It’s a world that raises serious questions about sexual fetishes, intentional physical enhancements, and even pornography, but in the end, Tillie has only one mission—to rescue and return Lady Annabelle to the Queen. However, as she and her partner, Agent Abdul Ali, attempt to find Lady Annabelle and keep her out of the clutches of terrorists bent on destroying the monarchy, they must also wrestle with their feelings for each other. Can they draw the line between their duty to the Crown and their relationship with one another? Or must they embark on separate paths to continue to serve the Queen?

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Read an Excerpt from Bovine Tricks

Harun stood and hugged his brother. Then he turned to Tillie. His gaze was steady, but his eyes were cold. “Forgive me if I cannot give you a similarly warm welcome, but my wife and I have not yet recovered from the brutal attack on our daughter.”
“Harun.” Marianne Benson spoke softly, but her gaze was fierce. “I believe Hope and the Agency have settled the matter. You don’t need to pursue it further.” She turned to Abdul and smiled. “I am pleased to see you, Abdul.” She cocked an eyebrow. “Though for a while there, the rumor was that you had gone rogue and were dancing with the devil.”
Abdul laughed. “I may dance with the devil occasionally, but that does not mean he owns my soul. I am still slaving away for the Queen.” He smiled at Mari. “Thank you for coming so quickly.”
“Well, it’s hard to ignore a summons from the Queen, and when your husband has a plane, it is much easier to respond quickly.” Mari motioned to the chairs at the table. “Please sit. Let’s get down to business. It was made clear that time was of the essence.”
Everyone sat, and Mari walked over to a control panel set into a console. She pushed a button, and a whiteboard lit up. “As you know, after we rescued the people off Flight Eight Seven Zero and The Mars were prosecuted, Dianna and Anders interviewed them extensively at Guantanamo Bay. We were able to collect a considerable amount of information on the organization, its members, and its financing.”
Twelve photos appeared on the screen. “These are the current members of Marwolaeth I’r Frenhines. Six are incarcerated at Guantanamo, three have been released, and three are recruits.”
Tillie leaned forward and studied the faces. It always amazed her how normal terrorists appeared. There was nothing in their faces to indicate that they were evil. Most were smiling in their photos. However, the tell was in the eyes. They were stone cold.
Mari pointed at the photos of those recently released. “These three have been fairly quiet. We could not detect any significant communication or contact between them and the new members, which makes me think this may be a new group that merely adopted the name.” She brought up a few more photos. “These gentlemen are believed to be the financiers of the new order.”
Tillie studied the group and gasped. “But that’s a former member of Parliament.”
Harun nodded. “And someone who wishes to dissolve the Monarchy. Apparently, he has put his money where his mouth is.” Another screen popped up. A bank statement.
Abdul cleared his throat. “Fifty million pounds? That’s pretty significant. Has this been verified?”
Harun gazed at Abdul. “I’m afraid so. We have transfers to the account, bank acknowledgments, and proof the newest members of The Mars have been drawing on these funds.”
Mari pulled up another screen. “Though we were a little puzzled by their purchases until now. We thought they had gone into farming.” She pointed at an invoice. “Everything you need to raise a cow, or in this case, a human cow.”
Tillie hugged herself and shuddered. “Lady Annabelle is most certainly in their sights.”
Mari gazed at her husband and nodded. Harun opened a file he had set in front of him. “Apparently, it is much worse. There were also several purchases for the care of an infant. Either Lady Annabelle is pregnant, or they intend to impregnate her.”
Abdul slammed his fist on the table. “Bloody hell. A royal baby? The Queen would move heaven and earth to protect her own blood. What a crafty way to manipulate her for their own purposes. She would be damned no matter how she responded. That could end the monarchy.”
Tillie stood. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

About Seelie Kay:

Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie on the Web:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Author’s Amazon Page

Giveaway:
– 2 eBook Copies of Martimus (Feisty Lawyers Book 5)
– eBook Copy of Bovine Tricks (Royals Gone Rogue #1)

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Release Blitz: Moonshine, Magic, and Murder by January Bain #paranormalromance #mystery @JanuaryBain @Totally_Bound

Moonshine, Magic & Murder by January Bain

Book 3 in the Manitoba Tea & Tarot Mysteries series

Word Count: 63,850
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 245

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
MYSTERY
PARANORMAL
ROMANCE

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Book Description

Charm McCall has a gift for solving small-town murders, but can she stop something threatening the entire McCall clan?

Charm McCall is on the hunt once more—this time to figure out who the ghost is that her cat has been seeing, why she’s being shown an ancient treasure map by, gulp, a dead guy and why her Auntie T.J. has suddenly disappeared, bagpipes and all.

That would be more than enough, but with the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance and its accompanying Promise Bags to create and spell, she’s about run off her feet. Not to mention that now it’s legal to sell marijuana in Canada, orders for pot brownies are rolling in and threatening to crash her online store.

Charm needs all the help she can get to deal with the arrival of her mother and the beyond painful host of problems that creates for her family, save Auntie T.J.’s hiney and discover who the real murderer is…that is, if she wants her romance with Snowy Lake’s sexy Mountie, Ace Collins, to have any hope at all.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to drug use and parental abandonment. There are scenes involving discovery of corpses, with some description of said corpses, a scene of mild violence and some poisoning.

Excerpt

“Careful! That box is already spelled! Anything could happen if you mix them up,” I shouted at my triplet Star, who was paying me no mind, just moving things haphazardly around as she ‘dusted’ the shelves of the Tea & Tarot café.

Star twitched her whole body into a pretend robot, her blonde curls bouncing when she dime-stopped her limbs in an abrupt series of motions. It was a lightning change of mood that had become far too common of late. I gave a deep sigh of frustration I didn’t bother to hide. She’d been getting worse by the day, antsy no doubt for The Call. Darn movie people. Telling her she had a role, then delaying production.

“Oh, really.” Okay, she was good at the robot dance, I’d give her that, if a job ever asked for such a dubious ability. But that didn’t stop me from rushing forward to rescue the Promise Bags. They held the precious trinkets of all the females around town who were participating in the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance. Each midnight blue velvet bag had been magically infused with a specific wish, ranging from a marriage proposal to a spa vacation. Mix up those babies and all Hades will break loose, because this year the items had been blessed under the decade’s most awesome supermoon.

Maybe that’s a bad idea? I chewed on a fingernail while I worried about going too far in my overwhelming urge to have my fellow goddesses receive their fair due from men who did not always appreciate them. Men could be so lame sometimes, not reading the signals right under their very noses, though that did not appear to be the case with our local Mountie, Ace Collins. He could be a little too astute at times. Goddess, give me the strength…

The emotive notes of a musical instrument native to Scotland, one that defied the noise ordinance of Snowy Lake, broke through my worry fog.

Auntie T.J.

I set the rescued box safely aside on a shelf and scurried toward the huge picture window of the Tea & Tarot café to where Tulip sat perched on a stool. The third triplet of our McCall clan, she was a matching bookend to Star, which made them both polar opposites to me with my Elizabeth Taylor-esque violet-colored eyes and dark hair. Or at least according to Granny Toogood, who loved her old movies.

Tulip was keyboarding as per usual on her computer, working either on her blog posts or selling our newly rolled out ‘potcakes’ to the Canadian masses. I sent a silent prayer to the goddess that the extra revenue the items were supposed to bring in happened. We’d invested in producing cannabutter to add to our spectacular line-up of bakery goods, and to think it might go to waste if the idea didn’t catch on induced serious heart palpitations. And that just isn’t right when a gal’s only twenty-one years old.

“Shoot! What’s Auntie T.J. up to now?”

“She only brings out the big guns when she feels threatened,” Tulip said. “See, Sergei McCausland.” She pointed at the business owner our auntie was serenading with her warmongering.

The town hound dog owned the Bowl-a-ram-a, the five-pin bowling alley tucked away at the outskirts of town, which was located a hop, skip and a jump from our café, Snowy Lake being so small with only twelve hundred and fifty-nine residents, that I could run across it quicker than I could be bothered to start up my Jeep, Thor.

Though that had been changing somewhat of late with the arrival of Constable Collins and his annoying active pursuit of law and order. Sheriff Winn Duffy was more beloved of course, having turned a blind eye for decades, but the new Mountie was gaining ground. Did I share that he’s a handsome devil?

“What’s Hound Dog up to now?” Star asked, joining us behind the counter.

“Star, don’t be saying that out loud. Granny Toogood might overhear,” I chastised my sister automatically. The woman who had taken us in at eight years old had a thing about swearing and speaking ill of others, among a host of other things that she expected everyone to have learned in kindergarten. I gave a quick glance around the café, taking a second to admire the décor of midnight blue walls with enough glitter to choke a horse, thanks to Star, our resident glitter mistress. No Granny and no customers at the moment. Of course, it was an off-time, Sunday morning before church let out.

“Why is she upset with him?” Tulip asked, computer forgotten as she got to her feet to join us. The three of us stood shoulder-to-shoulder and stared at Auntie T.J. in her full Highland dress that was a touch too plaid-mad for my tastes. Her newly tinted burgundy hair with a wide pink streak down one side shone sparkly in the sun and drew attention to the bright slash of siren-red adorning her lips. She stood on the solid-yellow divided line of Main Street and blasted away in the face of the far larger Sergei, who appeared, from his wide-legged stance and wild hand gestures, to be pretty darn angry.

“I heard that he’s been manufacturing Auntie’s special elixir out at Skull Cave. Pretty much stole her recipe,” Star said, punctuating her remarks with a significant raising of her perfectly groomed eyebrows.

“No! Not Auntie T.J.’s Magic Elixir, her special apple pie moonshine?” Tulip asked, her mouth pursing into a rosebud, her eyes as wide as a snowy owl’s.

“The cure for whatever ails you.” I repeated the oft-heard company slogan. My auntie had a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, I’d give her that, though that might explain our own venture into marijuana edibles, since the Canadian laws had changed a few days ago. Can’t escape DNA. I pushed past Star to storm out through the front door into the unseasonably warm mid-October morning. The angel chimes overhead went wild with a chorus of Halleluiah as I let the door slam shut behind me.

Auntie T.J.!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, wind-milling my arms to get her attention over the caterwauling of the pipes. She either didn’t see me or was studiously ignoring me. The sound was even louder this close, and I cringed from the instant eardrum pain, clasping both hands over the sides of my head.

Sergei came right up to me, catching me before I could confront my auntie, grab hold of the ‘musical’ instrument and tear her fingers from the chanter. Actually, I loved the sound of the bagpipes…when they were located over the hill and moaning into the distance, as they were meant to be enjoyed.

“Would you talk some darn sense into that woman? She’s going to drive away all my business. I have half a mind to sue her. Did you know she was at my place this morning before following me here? Nearly drove a van-load of senior citizens away. I had to offer the first game half-price. I can’t have that.” He shook his head with vigor. “You need to talk to her, make her see sense. Daft old bird.”

“What’s got her riled? You know she only does this when she’s driving away bears or someone’s done her wrong,” I shouted back.

His expression shifted and his eyes narrowed. “I have no idea. The woman is certifiable. I’m calling the cops if she persists. We’ll see what Sheriff Winn Duffy thinks about all this. He’ll toss her in jail for disturbing the peace. Mark my words.”

I placed my hands on my hips and cocked my head at him. “That’s not what I heard. I think you know very well what’s going on here.”

He flushed darker and didn’t look me in the eyes.

“That’s what I thought. You stole her Apple Pie Moonshine recipe!” I pointed my forefinger at his broad chest. Sergei stood a full head taller than I am, with me being by far the shortest of the McCall triplets. But nature made up for that by having me born a whole day earlier than my sisters, or one minute to midnight, if I was being specific.

“I didn’t steal her darn recipe. I just worked it out for myself. It’s not rocket science, you know. I just came downtown to buy some edibles from the Tea & Tarot and this is the thanks I get.” He began to pout like a five-year-old. Of course, Auntie T.J. was no better. Granny Toogood’s only sister was not only ten years younger than her, but also six decades behind her in the smarts and maturity departments.

“Let me deal with my aunt. You can leave now. I’ll have a talk with her.”

“You’d better. Just sayin’. Because I’m not putting up with this much longer, missy!”

The blast of the police sirens firing off must have been droned out by the moaning of the pipes, because suddenly there was Constable Ace Collins standing at my side. We’d even missed the flashing lights atop the Royal Canadian Mounted Police SUV.

But my oh my, he was looking handsome this morning, all six-foot-plus, broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped, Stetson-wearing Mountie that he was. He touched his large fingers to his fine hat and nodded at me before turning a steely-eyed glance on Sergei McCausland. Even the bagpipes had silenced with his arrival. Auntie T.J. stood quiet with her fingers poised over the chanter holes in case she needed to punctuate her point yet again. I shook my head at her in an exaggerated motion, a finger to my lips.

“Are you threatening Miss McCall?” he asked. He must have picked up on the recipe-stealing man’s last comment. The Bowl-a-ram-a wasn’t the sure-fire business plan that Sergei had dreamed of, I suspected, which was probably why he’d gone into manufacturing moonshine. That tempered my thoughts. Business was hard won in a small town, and it was good that he offered people entertainment during the endless months of a typical long and freezing Canadian winter. But still, using my auntie’s recipe sucked. She’d spent years fine-tuning it to what she thought her hero from the TV show Justified’s Mags Bennett’s moonshine tasted like, and she was rightly proud of it. I’d enjoyed it on a few occasions myself…when I didn’t have to work the following morning.

“No, of course not. I was just wanting a bit of peace, for heaven’s sake. That woman’s been doing this for three days running. She’s trying to ruin my business. You have to do something, Constable, or so help me I will go over your head and speak to Winn Duffy. I know you’re too fond of the McCall family by half.”

Oooh. That last comment was uncalled for. Ace Collins was a man of complete integrity. A straight shooter. A man of conviction. I backed up a couple of steps in the dead silence while the two men glared at each other, then I backed up a bit farther.

A surge of anger forced its way through me. Who did this guy think he was? Casting aspersions on Ace and my family like that? A streetlamp popped nearby, blowing up and showering sparks in the nearby vicinity, which included the three of us. We all ran for cover, well, except for the Mountie, who gave me a look, shaking his head with a steely look on his handsome mug. He flicked a smoldering spark from his sleeve and strolled over to join me standing on the sidewalk in front of the café. Auntie T.J. and Sergei had vanished like vampires at sunrise.

Behind me, I experienced the emotions of my sisters burning into my back. The town was suddenly silent, like the whole universe was holding its collective breath. Goddess, do not fail me now. I ask for your protection and understanding. I sent the prayer into the crisp morning air before turning a benevolent smile toward my favorite Mountie.

“Morning, darlin’. I trust you will be talking to your aunt for me? Sharing my concerns over her breaking the town’s sound ordinance, jaywalking and obstructing traffic on Main Street laws?”

I glanced around pointedly, about to say that no one was waiting to drive down the street that I could see, when he reached out to take my hand with his far larger and far warmer one, throwing me off-kilter in a heartbeat. I nodded mutely as a momentous electrical charge coursed through me, making me feel I could provide lighting for the entire town. I groaned, only imaging what Tulip was observing with her new-found gift of reading auras. Now she had ammunition up the yin-yang for blackmail or teasing. Had I just lost the oldest sister advantage?

Trying to tug my hand away from his without appearing too obvious about it didn’t work. He held on, then did the unexpected—leaned his head down toward me and captured my lips for a kiss. A modest one for certain, quite quick, but oh so memorable. My insides trembled at the pleasurable sensations that rippled through me.

When he pulled his head away, he gave me a certain look from under the brim of his Stetson, then let go of my hand. “Be sure to talk to your aunt or I will.”

“Are you threatening me?” Hands back on hips, I glared at him with all the emotions our impossible-to-consummate relationship produced. Until we knew for absolute, unequivocally dead certain that he was my one true love, we couldn’t do much at all as it might jeopardize my goddess-given gifts.

My searcher gift—finding lost items—wouldn’t be missed near as much as my healing gift, because the whole town counted on that. And as Granny Toogood had shared a few weeks back, if I gave myself to someone who wasn’t The One, I’d lose it all. And the town wasn’t helping us a bit on this one. Instead, it was always interrupting us. If we didn’t steal kisses on the run, there’d be none at all.

“No, Miss McCall. But consider yourself fully warned of the consequences for your aunt if you don’t fix this thing. I don’t want to hear it happens for a fourth day.” A twitch that I had observed on the odd occasion began in his cheek. He was feeling the effects of our needing to restraint ourselves to only kisses as much as me. Good. Fair play. Though, in truth, it was more a hesitation on Ace’s part than mine. I was about ninety-nine-point-nine percent certain he was my one. I just had to persuade everyone else that it was the case. That my healing gift would stay intact.

“I’ll handle it,” I said, tucking my hands behind my back while rolling on the balls of my feet. Nice to see a man sweat. Not that I didn’t want more than a few chaste kisses from Ace, but in the meantime, it was a fun if somewhat frustrating time. And I was pretty sure I knew how it would all end. Or at least I had my hopes.

Another light standard winked as if it too were going to blow. “Oh, relax already. I got this.” I turned and headed back into the café, bracing myself for my sister’s comments.

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About the Author

January Bain

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full-blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create a series that features strong women who don’t take life too seriously, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope the stories of her beloved Brass Ringers will capture your imagination as much as they did hers when she wrote them.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with two furry babies trying to prove who does a better job of guarding the doorway. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously replied to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world, she is easily found on Facebook, Twitter and writes a weekly blog about her journey on Blogger. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

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BOOK REVIEW: Wrath of the Tooth Fairy by Sarina Dorie #fairytales #fantasyromance @SarinaDorie

Mira has never understood why princesses have all the fun. Fairy godmothers deserve a taste of Prince Charming, too! Too bad that affair costs Mira her job and reputation. Cast out of the fairy realm and reduced to working as a lowly tooth fairy, she’s spent ninety-nine years waiting for her chance at redemption. So why did the bogeyman have to start haunting her life now?

Frustrated by the frequent terror of his visits, Mira takes drastic measures to save herself, including a date with a prince of darkness—yeah, she has a thing for princes. But her obsession with all things prince isn’t a coincidence, and when corruption in the fairy community is exposed, Mira comes face to face with the real reason she was demoted. Now, she wonders if she even wants to be a fairy godmother again and if the bogeyman might have been right all along.

From the award-winning author of Womby’s School for Wayward Witches comes a delightful new series. A fractured fairy tale for those who like to see the fairy godmother have a happy ending—even if it isn’t with Prince Charming!

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Fairytales meet modern days in this delightful fantasy romance.

I haven’t read anything by Ms. Dorie before, but the book description sounded interesting. While there were a lot of characters to meet, I didn’t feel lost at any point in the story. It flowed well and kept me entertained from beginning to end.

Mira has had a rough time of it since she was caught with Prince Charming. Demoted to Tooth Fairy, she works tirelessly to regain her Fairy Godmother status. It’s too big a part of who she is to give up. Mira has a big heart, always looking out for those in need, and even if it will get her in trouble and possibly cost her the future she desperately wants, she can’t help but make sure the children are taken care of. I loved her character!

The Bogeyman wasn’t at all who he seemed to be. Creepy, stalker-ish, and evil are the ways we typically view the Bogeyman, but Ms. Dorie put a different spin on this story. I won’t spoil the surprise, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you discover who he is and what he’s been doing.

The side characters made the story richer — vampires, fairies, and other creatures help round out the world Ms. Dorie has created. I wouldn’t mind reading more about the other Tooth Fairies and hope they’ll get a book in the future.

Wrath of the Tooth Fairy was an absolute delight! Mystery, romance, and the age-old tale of good vs. evil made this a page-turning, entertaining read that I couldn’t put down.

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