Release Blitz: Sticks and Stones by Steve Burford #thriller #LGBTQ @GoIndiMarketing @ninestarpress

Title: Sticks and Stones

Series: Summerskill and Lyon, Book Three

Author: Steve Burford

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 02/08/2021

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 69600

Genre: Contemporary Police Procedural, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, crime/thriller, family-drama, murder, drug dealer, school, politician

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Description

“He’s a thug… a really nasty piece of work.”

When young Clayton Kerry, member of a notorious Worcester family, is found dead on an abandoned factory site, it looks like an accident. Some even say it was what he deserved. But headteacher Alun Blake’s refusal to sugarcoat the truth about the pupil he excluded causes outrage in the local community and sparks a vendetta against him that rapidly spirals out of control threatening both his life and that of his daughter.

When Detective Inspector Summerskill and Detective Sergeant Lyon investigate, they find Clayton’s death was by no means as clear cut as it had seemed and that they are at the start of a trail that will take them into the heart of a school and far beyond the boundaries of their city, to crime on a national scale.

As they uncover what really happened, Summerskill and Lyon are brought face-to-face with uncomfortable truths about their own lives and relationships. Personal loyalties are tested, and before the case is through, at least one more person will die.

Sticks and Stones is the third in the Summerskill and Lyon series of police procedural novels.

Excerpt

Sticks and Stones
Steve Burford © 2021
All Rights Reserved

“And some sad news just in. A tragic accident today on the site of one of the county’s oldest landmarks has resulted in the death of a Worcestershire schoolboy. Fifteen-year-old Clayton Kerry was killed when one of the walls of a building on the site of the old William Fitzmaurice brewery collapsed.

“The Fitzmaurice brewery, once the producer of some of the county’s most prestigious beers and ciders, has been a familiar site on the banks of the River Severn for as long as anyone in the county can remember. For decades, however, it has been closed and deserted, its buildings neglected and crumbling. All attempts over the years to procure the site for redevelopment have been blocked by legal wranglings within the Fitzmaurice family.

“James Fitzmaurice, oldest surviving member of the brewing family, today said that he and his family were deeply saddened by the death but that they could take no responsibility.

“We’ll have more on that story in our local news bulletin later this evening. And now, over to Duncan Lewis with today’s weather…”

The picture on the screen changed to an earnest young weather forecaster in glasses, smiling in front of a map of the country even as a mass of CGI storm clouds crept in from the west.

“Tragic accident.” The man in the bed yawned, muted the television, and carelessly tossed the remote control to one side. “It was hardly going to be an amusing accident or a laughable misadventure, was it?”

Sitting on the other side of the bed, Dave Lyon paused in the act of pulling on his trousers. “And is that all you’ve got to say about it?”

The man he’d addressed gave one of his typical crooked smiles, laced his hands behind his head, and lay back against the large pillows. The sheets were pulled down low over his stomach, and Dave didn’t doubt that their position and the pose had both been deliberately chosen to afford him a good view of the body he was getting ready to leave. It was a great body. “What do you want me to say?” Sean Cullen asked. “That I’m heartbroken over the death of some kid I’ve never even met? Touch hypocritical don’t you think?”

“You’re an MP. I thought that was part of the job description.”

Cullen smiled again. Dave’s barb hadn’t pierced his thick politician’s skin at all. But then Dave hadn’t thought for a second it would. “And you’re a detective sergeant. Didn’t you detect anything about that report?”

“What do you mean? It was an accident. The report didn’t say anything about suspicious circumstances.”

Cullen tutted slowly, clearly enjoying himself. “You heard them say the old Fitzmaurice brewery has been closed for years, and I mean years. Even I used to slip through its fences and hide in the buildings when I was a kid.”

“Bunking off from your posh public school for a crafty fag with the lads?”

“I was never one of the lads, David, and even if I had been, I wouldn’t have wanted them with me while I was enjoying my cigarette and a copy of Zipper or Vulcan or whatever I’d managed to get my hands on. Anyway, these days the old Fitzmaurice brewery has got more barbed wire around it than the nearest HMP but it’s still notorious as a hangout for kids drinking and taking God knows what. Which means, the victim of our tragic accident would have had to walk through several very obstructive fences and have failed to notice several very prominent warning signs before he made it to the buildings where he was no doubt in the act of doing something very naughty before a ton of bricks fell on his trespassing little head.” Cullen assumed an expression of mock surprise. “I know my constituency, sergeant. Don’t you know your beat?”

Annoyed with himself and with Cullen, Dave was damned if he’d show it. Now he thought about it, he did remember some talk back at the Foregate Street station about the brewery, but he was still comparatively new to the area, and neither the name nor the reputation of the place had struck a chord when he’d heard that television report.

Cullen, of course, made no allowances. The product of an Oxford education, where he had been on a winning Boat Race team, and of an adversarial parliamentary system where he had been, when elected to the House of Commons over a decade previously, one of the youngest MPs in the house, Sean Cullen was an extremely competitive man. And that competitiveness, Dave was discovering, extended all the way into his personal life.

Dave took some comfort from the image of the young public school boy Cullen had been, sneaking off to abandoned warehouses to smoke and enjoy gay wank mags. It was good to remember he hadn’t always been the high-profile, smug arse he was now. “Well, whatever he was doing, I doubt it was going through his collection of gay porn.”

“You think kids have changed so much?”

“No. But they do have the internet. Any young lad these days can pleasure himself blind in the comfort of his own home. Straight or gay.”

Cullen reluctantly conceded the point. “Mind you, it wasn’t all just about the fags and mags.” He yawned lazily, like a self-satisfied cat recalling an empty carton of cream.

Dave buttoned up his shirt, began the search for his shoes, and refused to give Cullen the satisfaction of asking what he meant by that. How was it you could only ever find one shoe when you were trying to leave a guy’s bedroom? “Why’d you even want the television on anyway?” he asked as he searched. “You trying to impress me with the size of your screen?”

“I thought I already had impressed you. And I was hoping,” Cullen went on, before Dave could reply, “to catch something about my Fitness First initiative. I did an interview about it yesterday for the local news. They said it might be on today. We’ve probably missed it. Or it’s been dropped in favour of the tragic accident. I’ll check again later.”

“Want to see how good your profile looks on the television?”

Cullen smiled, the sheet over his body slipping down another inch, almost accidentally. “I know how good it looks on television.”

Yeah, I’ll bet you do. Like the body, Sean’s was a great profile. With those cheekbones, there had to be aristocracy somewhere in his family bloodline. “I’m only surprised you haven’t got a mirror over the bed.”

Cullen yawned. “Too seventies. And it would get in the way of the cameras.”

Missing shoe found, Dave stood, reached for his jacket, and forced himself not to look up at the ceiling over the bed. A joke. Just a joke. Don’t give him the reaction he wants. “I’ll see myself out, shall I?”

“I think you know the way by now.”

At the bedroom door Dave stopped, hand on the handle, and looked back. Cullen’s eyes were closed as if he was already drifting into sleep. “You never ask me to stay.” It was a simple fact, calmly stated.

Cullen didn’t open his eyes. “Would you?”

Dave considered. “No. See you later.”

“I look forward to it.”

Neither man suggested when or where that might be.

This had been their third hookup at Cullen’s house since that night they had walked out of Gallery 48 together, and this was pretty much the way it had ended the previous two times. Dave couldn’t see that changing any time soon.

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Meet the Author

Steve Burford lives close to Worcester but rarely risks walking its streets. He has loaded conveyor belts in a factory, disassembled aeroplane seats, picked fruit on farms, and taught drama to teenagers but now spends his time writing in a variety of genres under a variety of names. He finds poverty an effective muse, and since his last book has once again been in trouble with the police. (He would like to thank the inventor of the speed camera.)

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Release Blitz: Birthday Presents by Dianne Hartsock #LGBTQ #thriller @diannehartsock @GoIndiMarketing

Title: Birthday Presents

Author: Dianne Hartsock

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 02/08/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 47500

Genre: Horror/Thriller, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, suspense, crime, serial killer, law enforcement, kidnapping

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Description

Crimson loves to dance. He adores watching the pretty boys grind to the frantic beat of the music and picking out his lover for the evening. But more than that, he lives for his birthday, that one day a year he gives into his darker impulses: choosing a young man to lure into the alleyway with promises of sex, then slitting his throat in the midst of their passion and reveling in the hot blood on his hands.

For Tracey Winston, life has become a nightmare. Kidnapped from a nightclub in Boulder, Colorado, brutalized and raped by Crimson, he’s held captive in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains along with sweet Kyle, a young man Crimson keeps chained to his bed and is slowly torturing to death. Though Tracey manages to escape with Kyle’s help, he has to leave Kyle behind in Crimson’s cruel hands.

Detective Gene Mallory has never stopped looking for his brother Kyle, kidnapped from a nightclub seven months previously. The case breaks open when Tracey Winston comes forth at the urging of his new boyfriend, claiming to have knowledge of where Crimson is hiding out. A manhunt begins with Crimson continuously slipping through their net. Lives are on the line, with both Gene and Tracey being targeted by the killer. A traitor in their midst tips Crimson off to their plans.

Crimson’s birthday has come and gone, and he will kill again.

Excerpt

Birthday Presents
Dianne Hartsock © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
Excitement plucked at Crimson’s nerves, and he licked his lips, his blood surging to the merciless drumbeat. He rolled his hips to the music, an old White Zombie album, the static only adding to the nostalgia. Raising his arms, he pictured the hot body he’d grind against at the club that night, young, slim, rounded ass snug against him. Maybe he’d get his hands under his shirt, a finger in the guy’s pants stroking the wet tip of his cock.

He imagined the breathy moans in the dark alley afterward. The scared whimpers, screams muffled by Crimson’s hand clamped over the gorgeous lips he’d ravaged of their sweetness moments before. He felt the hard knife in his hand and shuddered, envisioning the hot blood pumping over his skin when he slit the vulnerable throat. Fuck, he loved his birthday!

Tossing the comb he’d run over his long hair onto the cluttered vanity, he then trailed fine-boned fingers over his chest and flat stomach. Pert nipples ached to be teased. A secret smile slid over his black-painted lips as he cupped the bulge in his tight jeans. What boy could resist this?

After adding a black tee shirt, he searched the dark eyes in the mirror, pursed his lips. Gloss? Definitely. He knew a certain bouncer at the club who was susceptible to Cherry Kiss. Well, that and Crimson’s mouth on his dick.

He narrowed his lids at the crescent moon scar under his left eye, temper flaring through him. Though healed, the skin was still an angry red. That bitch Tracey…

Crimson willed his hands to unclench. Nothing that a little concealer couldn’t make disappear. A thump sounded on the wall, and a frown marred the perfect features in the mirror. Kyle knew better than to disturb him while he was dressing. His face softened. Kyle. His little gem. How long had they been together? Six months?

The eyes in his reflection widened. That would make Kyle twenty. He’d forgotten they shared a birthday.

“Crimson’s coming, angel,” he murmured and grinned viciously at the name, blood and pain and death. He’d used other aliases in the past, but this was by far his favorite.

With a last glance in the mirror, he left the room and crossed the hall, tapping on Kyle’s door before entering. Kyle lay in the middle of the bed, his pale skin decadent against the red silk sheets. His darling looked lonely. Of course he did, with Tracey’s side of the bed empty. How many times had he stood at the foot of the bed to watch them play together? Or join in, lost in the haze of sweat-slicked skin and hard cocks, lips and tongues and roving fingers, pain and ecstasy.

But yesterday Tracey had left them as if their time together meant nothing, betraying Crimson’s trust. He drew several deep breaths, letting the anger roll through him, then out in an exhale. Tracey was dead to him.

“Did you need me, sweetheart?” he asked as he lay down and gathered Kyle in his arms. His skin felt dry, soft, tight over a sparse skeleton. Crimson could break his bones if he held too tightly.

Kyle’s enormous light blue eyes swam with tears, bright with desperation. So lovely. “You’re leaving again?” he whispered, timid.

“We’ve discussed this. I always go out on my birthday.”

“But if something happens to you…”

“I suppose you’ll die of starvation. No, thirst.” Crimson laughed at the shiver that swept the emaciated body. “Nothing will happen to me. Promise.”

Crimson picked up Kyle’s shackled hand with its long chain bolted to the floor and kissed the palm. He stroked Kyle’s limp cock and watched with satisfaction as it thickened under his touch. “Would you like me to fuck you tonight?”

Kyle nodded, despair in his eyes. Crimson kissed his sweet lips, his heart moved. Kyle had been a wild thing during their first months together. Running his hands over the thin chest, he regretted the scars he’d had to put on the pale flesh before Kyle had broken. He twisted a pale nipple and grew hard at the gasp and shudder from his lover.

He leaned up on an elbow. There was no reason he couldn’t stay and play with Kyle before he left. His cock ached with the thought. No. Denied lust would add a delicious edge to the evening. But still…

Leaning across Kyle to the bedside table, he fingered the silver nipple clamps. His baby loved those. The plug? No, he wanted Kyle nice and tight when he got home. Cursing the time, he gave Kyle a last passionate kiss. “I’ll be home soon.”

Kyle rolled against him, wrapping him in skinny arms. “Don’t go. Stay with me. I’m afraid when you go.”

“Hush, baby. You won’t even know I’m gone.” He kissed Kyle’s damp eyes and licked his tears.

Crimson reluctantly left the bed. Kyle’s pleas tempted him, but he had something to take care of before he could wring pain and pleasure from his lover’s body. He whistled on the way downstairs, pulling on thin black gloves. Grabbing up his keys from the hook by the door, he then stepped into the afternoon sunshine and drew a deep breath of the warm, pine-scented air. It was a twenty-minute drive into town, which left plenty of time for shopping and a meal before the clubs opened. Perfect.

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Meet the Author

Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. She lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

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New Release Blitz: Retrograde by Desiree Holt #eroticromance #suspense @desireeholt

Retrograde by Desiree Holt

General Release Date: 22nd December 2020

Heat Rating: Burning
Format: EBOOK
ISBN: 978-1-83943-470-9
Sexometer: 2
Word Count: 80,672
Language: English
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 297
Genres: CONTEMPORARY, EROTIC ROMANCE, THRILLERS AND SUSPENSE

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Book Description

Hot ex-military, desperate woman, tight conspiracy…wait for the explosion!

Peyton West is desperate. Her brother-in-law is dead, her sister is in a coma and no one seems interested in finding any answers. With every door slammed in her face, she’s referred to Scott “Blaze” Hamilton and the men from super-secret Galaxy.

Conducting meetings on a plane and digging into the underbelly of Tampa politics, she sees a ray of hope…and discovers Blaze lives up to his name in more ways than one. She crosses her fingers that the scorching sex will continue to blaze once the killer is found.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder and attempted murder.

Excerpt

Well, didn’t this just turn out to be a clusterfuck.

“They’re gaining on us,” John ‘Rocket’ Hardin called from the rear of the van.

“I’m pushing this baby as hard as it will go,” Matt ‘Viper’ Roman ground out.

The tension inside the van was so thick they could almost see it. Disaster was always waiting for them around the corner, but Scott ‘Blaze’ Hamilton knew if anyone could get them to the exfil point, it was Viper. No one could outdrive him.

“Damn it,” Blaze swore under his breath.

A previous rescue attempt by another group had failed and put the hostages in jeopardy. That was always when Galaxy was called. When Blaze had done his research, he’d learned that the only reason the hostages were still alive was because the kidnappers needed them to make sure the ransom was paid. At first, it had sounded like a by-the-book rescue. Jim and Nita Rosen, one of America’s one-percenter couples with money to burn, had been kidnapped for ransom. Their daughter, Angela, afraid her parents would be killed if she called in the FBI, had paid it, but the jerkoffs had come back and asked for more.

When the first people she’d hired had botched the job, that was when she’d turned to Galaxy.

For the four highly trained former SEALs, this should have been a simple retrieval. Tapping into every source, they were unhappy to learn that the kidnappers were less than sophisticated. They were offshoots of a cartel whose leader was barely second tier and had big ideas about establishing himself. Kidnapping was his prime source of income while he built up enough of a bank to take on the big cartel chiefs. These people were the most dangerous kind, since they had oversized egos and small brains. The crew who worked for him came from the dregs, which meant things could easily go wrong.

Reaching out to all their contacts, they’d gotten the location where the Rosens were being held—an old warehouse just outside the little town of San Felipe. Only two guards were on duty at any one time, an indication of the kidnappers’ stupidity and arrogance. The one good thing was that the so-called brains behind this kidnapping only showed up once a day, about midday, to check on their victims. It certainly sounded like amateur hour to Galaxy, but sometimes those were the ones that went sideways.

After a drive-by to scope the place out and take pictures, the team planned the operation. They would breach the building, grab the Rosens and get the hell out of there in their borrowed van before the leader and the rest of the bad guys showed up for their daily visit.

‘Saint’ Francis, their official pilot, would be waiting for them at an extraction point with the helicopter.

Easy peasy, right?

Wrong.

As they’d learned in the military, if something can go wrong it will.

FUBAR.

Fucked up beyond all repair.

Especially with kidnappers like these, who were not very smart.

At first, it was smooth sailing. Only one vehicle, an old car, was parked by the warehouse. They knew from their source that this was the one driven by the two men left to guard the Rosens, so they were good to go. Using an infrared scanner, they were able to determine the location inside of the guards—away from the captives, sitting near the entrance to the warehouse. Breaching the door was kindergarten work for them, as was disposing of the guards before the two knew what was happening. They grabbed the Rosens and hustled them out to their waiting van.

Just as ‘Viper’, their designated wheelman, cranked the engine, a car drove up to the warehouse. Three well-armed and unpleasant-looking men tumbled out, even before the vehicle had come to a stop. One looked to be in charge, pointing at the Galaxy van, and at once the others began shooting at them. They pulled out onto the road before the doors were even fully shut, but the other vehicle was after them at once. Blaze thought there must be a hell of a motor in that thing, because they barely got out to the road before the other vehicle was practically on their tail.

Now they were racing down the two-lane road to the extraction spot with shots from the vehicle behind them peppering the van they were using. It pissed Blaze off that a cheap-ass operation like this one had managed to grab two high-value targets and get away with it. But even more, that best-of-the-best Galaxy was barely escaping a deadly showdown.

“Fuck it all,” Viper cursed.

“It’s true, you know,” Blaze reminded his partners. “The only easy day was yesterday.”

“And today will be our last,” Rocket snapped at him, “if we let ourselves get beaten by these pieces of shit.”

“Never fear. The Viper is here.”

Viper was swerving back and forth to avoid the bullets as they sped down the road at a speed that would dry the spit in the mouth of most people.

“Yeah?” Blaze shifted in his seat. “Well, get us the fuck out of here, then.”

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About the Author

Desiree Holt

A multi-published, award winning, Amazon and USA Today best-selling author, Desiree Holt has produced more than 200 titles and won many awards. She has received an EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and many others including Author After Dark’s Author of the Year. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail. She lives in Florida with her cats who insist they help her write her books, and is addicted to football.

You can follow Desiree on Facebook and Twitter and check out her Blog.

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Enter to win a fabulous Goody Bag and a FREE Desiree Holt romance book!

Desiree Holt’s Retrograde Giveaway

DESIREE HOLT IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GOODIE BAG AND GRAB YOUR FREE DESIREE HOLT ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 31th December 2020 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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Cover Reveal: Counterfeit Lover by J.C. Farmer #Romance #Thriller @JeromeCFarmer

Counterfeit Lover
J.C. Farmer
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: November 24th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller

Darrin Clark is an impoverished young man, madly in love with his long-time friend Janie. He is desperate for a job, and any way to win Janie’s affections. Then a Hollywood studio promises to make him a movie star—if he will submit to a face-modifying procedure they are developing.

Darrin’s love overcomes his fear, and he allows the movie studio to alter his face. Soon his dreams come true. He is extraordinarily handsome, rich, and popular, full of the confidence he needs to earn Janie’s love. Yet, changing faces doesn’t seem enough, and the studio wants him to sacrifice more of his identity than just his appearance.

His plan to win Janie’s heart becomes complicated when she unexpectedly joins the cast and changes her face too. Now a gorgeous star, she’s pursued by prominent, powerful men, and beneath the glitz and glamour, Darrin finds himself in a world of death and deceit, where anyone can have any face.

Several of his friends have been murdered by a mysterious killer, and the ability to alter appearances seems to make the criminal invincible. Soon, Darrin abandons his pursuit of Janie, simply hoping to keep her alive.The only way to outsmart the ruthless villain is to risk everything. How drastic a transformation is Darrin willing to make for love?

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Author Bio:

Jerome Connelly Farmer has had a successful career as an engineer, inventor and technology consultant. He has three engineering degrees from Stanford and an MBA from the Anderson School. He has several patents and spent many years managing engineering teams and consulting for high-tech firms, movie studios, and Fortune 500 companies.

J.C. was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. He is an airplane pilot, sailor, scuba diver and avid traveler; he has explored Tibet, camped in the Australian outback, canoed through the Amazon River, and retraced segments of Ernest Shackleton’s famous rescue in Antarctic. J. C.’s passion for wildlife photography has taken him to all seven continents, including searching for Komodo Dragons in Indonesia, wild macaws in the Peruvian jungle, endangered species in the Galapagos Islands, Duck-billed Platypus in Australia, and White Rhinoceros in Botswana.

J.C. is the author of the romantic thriller Counterfeit Lover and the children’s book Santa’s Dashboard. Writing combines his love for adventure, invention and exploration.

When he is not traveling, J.C. lives in Solana Beach, CA.

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

A discarded asset stripped of her identity…

An emotionally scarred ex-agent…

An innocent life hanging in the balance…

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Book

Inherent Fate
by Alicia Anthony

Series
Blood Secrets

Genre
Adult Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense

Publisher
Drury Lane Books

Publication Date
July 21, 2020

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INHERENT FATE
A Blood Secrets Novel

© 2020 Alicia Anthony

EXCERPT

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

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

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

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

“This can’t be about us,” I said. 

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

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

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

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

 

 

About the Author

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

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

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

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

Title: The Painted Phoenix

Author: Sarah Kay Moll

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 20, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 75200

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

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Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Excerpt

The Painted Phoenix
Sarah Kay Moll © 2020
All Rights Reserved

The Cat Scratch Club. 2005
Ink on paper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I get it,” he says.

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

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

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

“That’s enough.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Meet the Author

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

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

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Stalked Justice by Kate Allenton #suspense #thriller

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Months ago, I almost killed the man who kidnapped my sister, and now the FBI wants me to do it again.

A serial killer is striking at the height of spring break, and the FBI has only one lead—all of the dead women were left to look like me.

I’m the FBI’s last resort to track this deadly predator by using my special abilities.
Only this time, I’m tethered with a tracking device to watch my every move, and without weapons at my disposal.

Not to mention the FBI intends to use me as bait.

The only question left is whether I can outsmart the killer and survive when my name is sitting at the top of his hit list.

 

Get it on Amazon

Only $0.99 or borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 

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Cover Reveal: Wrong Turn Anthology #WrongTurn #WrongTurnAnAnthology #CoverReveal #Mystery #Thriller @johnny_heller @elenitasich @kelleyernstvo @amyjlou @offmicandi @andreweiden @baileycarrvoice @actors2la @dawnofvoice @mallonerin @gary_furlong_voice @audiobook_guy @megantusing @melissa.moran.vo @pjochlan @rechambliss @missjmckay @nordlingerromy @sarahmollo @thefreesuzanne @vikasadam


An anthology of stories to thrill and chill. Written by 22 authors.
Narrated by 22 performers. 
Coming soon in audio, ebook, and paperback. 

 

Wrong Turn: An Anthology
 
Blurb:
It’s dark…
You’re tired. Not thinking straight. It’s the worst time of all for you to make decisions, and maybe that’s why you take a…WRONG  TURN.
In this new anthology offered by Blunder Woman Productions, you’ll take a trip down twisty roads into forests, back alleys, and even across the border between life and death. Together these tales are funny, creepy, weird, contemplative, traditional, and speculative. This is a perfect collection for dark nights when the wind is howling and you’re curled up in front of a crackling fire, or listening to while you’re taking a long walk.  The characters in these stories might take a wrong turn, but it’s the right move for any fan of thrillers and mysteries.
Edited by Tanya Eby
Foreword by Bernard Schaffer
Published by Blunder Woman Productions
Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo
Anthology Includes
A RUM TURN
By Michele Reed
Performed by Megan Tusing
 A wrong turn right into the past.
ALL THAT THE CASE IS
By Jim Shaffer
Performed by Peter Berkrot
 An investigator looks into the reported suicide of his best friend, why it happened, what went wrong and if, in the end, it really was a suicide.
BEWARE THE SLUAGH
By Heidi Hunter
Performed by Sarah Mollo-Christensen
A wrong turn takes a couple to a ghost town haunted by an entity more terrifying than the resident spirits.
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
By Molly Thynes
Performed by Amy Landon
 When Jehovah’s Witnesses, Valerie and Ana, finally find someone at home, the young women tells them the reason why everything is so quiet on her street…but shouldn’t they already know this?
DETOUR
By Chris Martin
Performed by PJ Ochlan
When a daughter loses her way, a father’s worst fears are brought to light.
DOUBLE TAKE
By J.R. Hayslett
Performed by Dawn Harvey
When Greg and Janet embark on a 500-mile trip to save Janet’s recently widowed dad from making a disastrous wrong turn in his life, they find themselves in a bizarre déjà vu world that keeps them from making a fateful wrong turn in their own lives.
ENDINGS
By Laura Jennings
Performed by Andi Arndt
Finally forced to choose between obligations or obsession, Charles makes his decision.
FAIRY DUSTED
By Laird Long
Performed by Renee Chamblis and Julie McKay
Glowing bright fireflies are a delight at night; but a green and blue luminescent fairy with dragonfly wings is a sight to enrapture and capture.
GHOULS, GHOSTS, AND MURDERERS
By Rosemary Hayes
Performed by Erin Mallon
Halloween. Scary creatures, blood, and screams. Murder. Can Detective Ron Taylor and his wife Val catch the real monster?
HARPETH HOLLOW
By Kelley Ernst
Performed by Bailey Carr
A young woman, dissatisfied with love and life in modern times, comes face to face with the flesh and blood incarnation of all her romanticized notions of days gone by. But are things as they seem?
HE HAD A BAD DAY
By Elena Sichrovsky
Performed by Jeffrey Kafer
Most people just want to make it through their day, but Christopher Joseph Brent wakes up every day hoping some disaster will strike so that he won’t even have to see the sun rise tomorrow.
HOODOOS IN THE TWILIGHT
By Robb White
Performed by Tim Campbell
Four friends, recent college graduates, are traveling through Utah’s canyon country on their way to tech jobs in California when their lives are changed forever—and only one of them knows exactly what happened in those missing twenty-four hours.
HOT UNDER THE COLLAR
Written and performed by JOHNNY HELLER
A noir tale about a guy who makes a wrong turn on a hot New York day and finds some hapless thugs, a kidnapped pooch, a dame and a new purpose.
ON A DARK, RAINY NIGHT
By Sharon Hart Addy
Performed by Andrea Emmes
Picking Josh up after his mom’s car broke through the barrier and ended up in the river that dark, rainy night was natural, but what happened afterward was anything but.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
by Chris Rodriguez
performed by Chris Cuilla
Small time gambler, Lucky Loo’s luck runs out – permanently.
PACKAGE HANDED DIRECTLY TO RESIDENT
By Alexander Shearer
Performed by Suzanne Freeman
A package thief prompts a San Francisco mom to dust off some skills from her old career.
REPORT CARD
By M. Regan
Performed by Vikas Adam
It’s okay if you’ve never been in love before, because CareKeion cares about you.
THE BIG FAVOR
By Lawrence Allan Pontius
Performed by Andrew Eiden
Dumping a body in the lake was supposed to be easy, but, it turns out,  for Shane and Kevin, some favors are harder than others.
THE LOVE NEST
By Sharon L. Cook
Performed by Melissa Moran
When Arnold and his mistress sneak away to their hidden love nest, they have more to fear than an approaching blizzard . . .
TRAFFIC
By DJ Tyrer
Performed by Romy Nordlinger
Blindly following the satnav leads to more trouble than just a congestion charge when a family is caught up in a spreading wave of terror.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MATHWIG
By Tom Mead
Performed by Gary Furlong
A respectable psychiatrist finds himself roped into a murder plot, but as events spiral out of control he begins to wonder if somewhere along the line he has taken a wrong turn.
WOODLANDS
By Jacqueline Seewald
Performed by Madeline Maby
A recluse mystery writer commits suicide, but is everything as it seems?
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