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Monday, October 23, 2017

Secrets at Seaside by Addison Cole πŸ’— Book Tour & Prize Pack Giveaway πŸ’— (Contemporary Romance)



In SECRETS at SEASIDE…
Tony Black is the hottest surfer on the planet. He travels the world throughout the year and spends his summers on Cape Cod with his friends, at the Seaside cottages in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. He’s got his choice of women, but Amy Maples is the one he wants. Fourteen years ago she was his for an entire summer, until a devastating accident changed everything, and what they had seemed like it had never existed–at least for her.

Amy Maples is as consistent as the day is long. She’s spent summers on Cape Cod forever, she always does the right thing, and she’s spent years trying to reclaim the heart of Tony Black, the only man she’s ever loved. She’s back for a summer of fun with her friends at Seaside, only this year she’s been offered the opportunity of a lifetime thousands of miles away, and she’s decided to try one last time to reconnect with Tony. But having a relationship with Tony means dealing with her past–and dealing with her past may knock her to her knees.

Secrets at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Seaside Secrets. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.


She was always the good girl who did the right thing, the only exception being the occasional extra drink or two when she was with her Seaside friends. At least that’s what she led everyone to believe. Only she and Tony knew that wasn’t the only exception—and she made sure that was a taboo subject between them. He wouldn’t dare bring it up. She might not survive if he did. She sobered a little with the memory and shifted it back into the it-never-happened place she buried deep inside her. Her secret was lonely in that hollow place, being the only one kept under lock and key.
She met Tony’s denim-blue eyes and felt a familiar rush of anticipation in her belly. Maybe tonight she wouldn’t be the good girl.
“Um, actually, I think I want another drink.”
Tony arched a brow in that sexy way that made his eyes look even more intense. He pressed his cheek to hers and whispered, “Ames, you can’t show up for the wedding tomorrow with a hangover.”
No, she certainly couldn’t. But she’d like him to stay right where he was for a while longer, thank you very much. Since she had a life-changing job offer in hand—a dream job worthy of closing down the business she’d spent seven years building and keeping only a handful of clients—she and her girlfriends had decided it was time for Amy to take a chance and lay her feelings on the line with Tony. She picked up her glass and ran her finger around the rim, hoping she looked sexy doing it. Then she sucked that finger into her mouth, feeling a little silly.
I suck at this whole seduction thing.
“I’m a big girl, Tony. I think I know what I can handle.” And I don’t want to handle my liquor tonight. I have plans. Big plans.
Tony rose to his feet with a perturbed look on his face and rubbed his stubbly jaw. “You sure?”
“Mm-hmm.” Even as she said it, she considered saying, Water’s good. Just get me water. She watched him walk up to the bar. At heart, Amy was a good girl. Her courage faltered and she tried to hang on to a shred of it. She needed to know if there was even the slightest chance that she and Tony might end up together. The problem was, she wasn’t a seductress. She didn’t even know where to begin. That was Jenna’s forte, with her hourglass figure and sassy personality. Even Bella, who was as brash as she was loving, had pulled off being seductive with Caden. The sexy-kitten pictures on Amy’s pajamas were more seductive than she was.
“Oh my gosh. I thought he’d never leave.” Jenna glanced at Caden, Kurt, and Jamie, still enthralled with their fiancΓ©es at the other end of the table. She pulled Amy across the table and whispered, “This is your night. I can feel it!” She sat back and swayed to the music in her tight green spaghetti-strap dress with a neckline cut so low Pete could probably get lost in there.
Amy looked down at the slinky black dress the girls had put her in earlier that evening. They were always trying to tart her up. One look at you in this dress with these sky-high heels and Tony’s gonna be all over you, Jenna had said while Jessica and Bella shimmied the dress down Amy’s pin-thin body. Fits like a glove. A sexy, slither-me-out-of-this glove, Leanna had added. They’d pushed her into a chair, plied her with wine, and sometime later—Amy had no idea how long, because the alcohol had not only made her body go all loose and soft, but it had turned her brain to mush—they were in the bar with the men, and with her friends’ confidence, she’d actually begun to believe that she might be able to pull off being ΓΌbersexy for a night. Her mind might be foggy, but she’d caught a few words while the girls primped her into a hot, racy woman she didn’t recognize. Her friends had thrown out words like sexy, hot, take him as if they were handing out doses of confidence.
Now she tugged at the hemline of the dress that barely covered the thong they’d also bought for her and insisted she wear. She wiggled in her seat, uncomfortable in the lacy butt floss. She should probably give up even trying and just let the new job change her life. Move to Australia, where she’d be too far for any relationship with Tony, and be done with it, but every time she looked at Tony, her stomach got all fluttery. It had done that since she was six years old, so she was pretty sure it wasn’t going to change.




   



When the Black Roses Grow by Angela Christina Archer πŸ’— FREE eBook Spotlight πŸ’— (Historical Romance with Paranormal Elements)




Twenty-five men and women were accused.
Nineteen hung to their death on Gallow Hills.
One suffocated under bone-crushing stones.
All believed to possess the power of witchcraft.

In 1692 the fear of witchcraft is spreading around Salem Village. While those who are accused and sentenced face death, everyone else faces the risk of accusations placed upon them.

As Emmalynn Hawthorne, the daughter of a woman hung for witchcraft, places a bouquet of flowers upon her mother’s grave, a circle of black roses sprouts out of thin air. Dark magic, the roses strike fear through her heart when Mary Pruett and the handsome newcomer, James DeKane, spy upon her as they pass along the traveling road. Emmalynn flees and her panic soon turns into terror as another vine of black roses sprouts and grows throughout the inside of her home. Is she a witch? Will she be the next accused?

James DeKane has secrets of his own—ones that could prove deadly for him and anyone he holds dear. At fault for the untimely death of his parents, he must protect his hidden brother and dying sister, all while fearing that the haunting prophecy bestowed upon him at birth will come to pass. Desperate and fighting the monster deep inside of him, he’s searching for the one love who can alter his destiny.

One

A gentle spring breeze blew the soft flower petals of the bouquet lying against my chest. They fluttered against my black, cotton dress as my feet crunched through the twigs and rocks along the dirt path.

The flowers were nothing more than the wild vegetation that bloomed around my home. Not akin to the pretty sprays of flora most set upon the crosses of their departed loved ones. Flowers of worth were not allowed in this part of the graveyard.

I tiptoed down the path past the only other mourners imploring the free-grace of God as they cried and prayed, their whispered prayers the same pleas bespoken before countless times.

One of the mourners watched me as I passed her with a look of judgment in her eyes. The brewing disdain spread through her rigid shoulders.

“I know where thou travel.” Her eyes narrowed as her words quivered from her lips. “Disgrace upon thou for thy betrayal to God, the Church, and to the honored Reverend.”

“My apologies for thy erroneous belief.” Trapped between my fear and her hatred, my teeth clenched.

The woman gasped, covering her mouth at my curt dismissal, but I ignored her and continued through the graveyard.

Leaves rustle from the tall trees as beams of sunlight danced around me. My grip upon the bouquet tightened, bending the stems and tugging at the petals. I tucked my chin deeper toward my chest then lifted my hand unto my face sheltering my eyes. I continued down through the maze of overgrown weeds and through the broken rotten wood gate.

I cared not for the mourner’s ill-placed belief, for my soul mourned the loss of my mother–the falsely condemned witch.

Along the meadow in the outskirts of town near the peddler’s road, the damned and cursed lay in shallow graves, devoid of headstones, unless a family member willing to bear the burden of shame bestowed them with one.

While not a conviction sin, the mere act of visiting this cursed part of the graveyard caused whispers–a scary thought in times of preternatural torment. One never wishes for another to speak about their actions, and my audacious defiance toyed with betrayal toward all held sacred.

As I scurried down the path littered with old refuse, my body collided with another. Outweighing the fragile old woman, I knocked Adalene McCarven off her feet. She grunted in pain for a moment before rising from her knees.

“My apologies, Miss McCarven,” I whispered.

Age showed through her wrinkled hands that trembled as she regained her balance. Her gray hair, woven in a tight bun under her bonnet, barely moved in the commotion, except for a few loose strands that fell in front of her ice blue eyes.

An acquaintance of my mother’s, she had just sneaked from the fated depth of the graveyard that I traveled toward. Both of us caught visiting the condemned. Our plight of doubtless innocence was an unavoidable truth.

Her eyes shifted to the ground as she bit her lip. “No need for apologies, or such formality, dear. Are you visiting thy mother’s grave this afternoon?”

I nodded.

“I am certain she smiles down upon you from Heaven. She was such a good, honorable woman of God. You must miss her deeply.”

“She has been gone nearly five months now, and I miss her every second of every day. I would give the world to speak to her just one more time.”

“She is with God. Certainly, you can speak with her in thy prayers.”

I ducked my chin to study the pathway rather than face the old woman. Tears blinded my eyes. I rubbed the back of my neck, pressing my fingers callously into my skin, hoping the pain would dull the heartbreak bleeding from my soul. Surely, Adalene did not mean harm with her words. Softly spoken, she only meant to convey some sort of empathy that she believed would calm the hurt in my heart.

It did not work.

“I do not wish to speak to her in prayer. I wish to speak to her, here, upon this earth.”

Before I could step away from her, Adalene clutched my shoulders. Her hands squeezed tight against my skin–an offering of comfort that brought no comfort, and never would.

“Do you believe she would want her beloved daughter to live with such grief?”

Reluctantly, I shook my head.

“No. She would not, dear. She would not want such fret for you.”

I inhaled a deep breath. “I hold no concern for my fret. I hold concern for not except the agony of a loss so great I doubt I will ever recover. She was taken from me, taken because of the accusations of two young girls whose reckless greed grievously torments me.”

Adalene glared as she stepped closer to me. Her body trembled as she squeezed my shoulders tighter. “Thou hast better bite thy tongue and beseech upon deaf ears to thy words. Only peril awaits those who speak ill of the persuasive in this town.”

I shrugged off her warning. “I care not for the judgments of anyone in Salem. Not but antipathy has risen with my bereavement for the wrongful accusations charged against an innocent woman.”

“However, you still should keep thy thoughts to thyself.” She nodded toward the mourners glancing in our direction. Their staring eyes pierced through my sorrow and loathing, stirring those emotions into my blood.

“I care not for whoever hears or their foolish whispered prayers and belief in their superiority over me through hushed tones. They feared the wicked, and yet, they are wicked in their own right.”

Adalene opened her mouth to argue, but I continued before she spoke a word.

“I am plagued by the daily burden of living amongst the accusers in Salem–the men and women who judged and taunted my mother. Screaming vile words at her as the magistrates sought their proceedings of justice. Why should I hold concern for what they think of me?”

“You should not mean such malicious words, however warranted.” Adalene’s voice hardened into a sharp tone. “No one defies the authority in this town as you do now, speaking such spite with their tongue. You might find thyself condemned as she.”

I retreated away from her. Her fingers slipped from my shoulders and she heaved a troubled breath as she clutched her throat.

Did she think me a fool for not entertaining the same thought?

“I hold no regard for my malice, Miss McCarven.”

“And, why not?”

“Why not? Ha. Forced to oblige a life with evils and duties, I nearly call upon death myself.” My eyes traced a headstone in the distance. A simple block of stone, etched with a name of someone no longer suffering, a lucky one who I now envied.

“Sickness,” I continued. “Old age, the warrants of some unforeseen event in one’s life, each breath inhaled and exhaled was one breath closer toward our death bed, and yet, not drawing near close enough.”

“Thy mother would perish all over again, hearing you speak of death as you are. You need to pray, Miss Hawthorne, pray for strength and courage, pray for thy mother, and for happiness to rise through thy sadness.”

“Do you not understand? Not even comforting prayer bestows me reprieve from my sorrow and anger.”

“Then those who accused her hath prevailed.”

Her words gutted me more than the blade of a knife ever could. To give power to the one in the wrong was never right.

“Good day, Miss McCarven.”

I stepped around her, but she grasped my arm.

“Miss Hawthorne, wait.” She cocked her head to the side. Sadness pierced through the blue hue of her eyes as she exhaled a deep breath. “I shall leave you to thy thoughts and I shall keep you in my prayers.”

With her final words, she lowered her gaze and scurried away down the pathway with her face concealed behind a traveling cloak.

“I do not need prayers from another,” I whispered after her. “I do not need anything from anyone.”

Nestled in the furthest corner, near the peddler road, lay the remains of my mother. Set against her headstone, a tiny wooden cross rested behind a rock, hidden from view–its existence only known by me, well, God, and me. I suppose He knew.

I desired to believe that the notion of a cross on such a woman’s grave was not a sin. That He would not hold my mother’s damned fate against her as Reverend Perris preached He would. No, surely God knew my mother. Knew her mind, heart, and soul for who she really was, a mere mortal daughter of Eve, not what the warrant of a man claimed her to be.

My mother, Gladys, was not what they accused–a witch.

Kneeling in the dirt next to the headstone, I laid the flowers upon the earth and wiped away the tears that streamed down my cheeks. Surrounded by the graves of the cursed, my guilt over my honest words toward the old woman stung. She knew not of my anguish or the unrelenting memories that haunted me.

Perhaps to speak the truth in my heart had been shameful.

Overgrown grass sprouted all around. I shook my thoughts away as I ripped the blades from the roots, tossed them aside, and brushed my mud caked hands on my apron. Tiny pebbles burrowed deep into my legs through my stockings, impressions that would undoubtedly leave bruises upon my shins–bruises that I would gladly take over the burdens of my sorrow.

Bruises healed over time, gone in a few days, they vanish, and their color fades until one forgets they even existed. Unlike the bruises, however, the mourning, the heartbreak–all I would never forget. Today was just today. Today was just another tortured day. Today was just another day I wished would end.

Renounce thy negative thoughts, Emmalynn, renounce them.

I pinched my arm as I repeated the advice to myself–the same words Mother said to me throughout my life and especially as I cradled her hands between the two iron bars of her prison chamber. Always the delightful positive person, even when facing the malicious accusations, she held onto her faith, refusing to let it break her spirit.

I forced a smile, fluffed the flowers, and closed my eyes, listening to the unspoken words I knew she would say to me now: the sun shines high in the sky, the birds chirp loudly in the trees, the day set to be beautiful, and you, my dear, are alive to enjoy it.

Oh, how I longed to disagree with the ghost whispering in my ear and refute the truth in her words.

Sudden laughter bellowed from the road through the trees, a familiar cackle that made me recoil and dragged me down into the depths of an anger, which I held onto tighter than I should.

“I simply cannot forsake the notion that you mock me,” Mary Pruett’s voice echoed in the distance, a hint of amusement under her disdainful tone. “I only meant, oh . . . my, my, my.”

Her unexpected silence twisted in my gut as I stared at the ground.

She had seen me.

“And, who do we hath here? Emmalynn Hawthorne, the widow of my departed, beloved brother. Oh, my…what a tragedy we hath happened upon.”

I glanced up and inhaled a sharp breath.

My late husband’s family stood just feet from me in a clearing of the tree line along the peddler’s road. Three sets of eyes I wished to forget, and yet, I could not.

Along with the Pruett family, handsome James DeKane returned my gaze. His eyes lived etched into my memory for a very different reason. A deep blue pair, the deepest of blue like the color of the sea, set on his perfectly handsome face. His blond hair, short and messy, stuck straight out from under his brown brimmed hat as he stood there.

“Perhaps, Mary, you misunderstood–” James attempted to steal Mary’s attention, but she ignored him and silenced him with a severe glare.

“Father?” She shifted her focus. “Why would anyone be so foolish as to visit such a place or believe God would pardon the unjust acts of the damned?”

Deacon Pruett cocked his head then glanced up from the ever-present Bible resting in his hands. The one he read from daily, and the one I remember shoved into my face on numerous occasions when I did not act like the daughter-in-law he presumed proper. I could almost remember the foul stench of the brown leather, not like any other leather Bible.

“I do not know, Daughter. Although, why you would bother to hold concern for such a person, is beyond me.” With his chin tucked, he nearly grunted each syllable.

Mrs. Pruett’s eyes stared upon the trail ahead of them. “Evil lurks within the inside, hiding away from the known and seen.” Her lips barely moved as she spoke.

With her arm hooked through her husband’s, her oval face displayed the usual pervasive somber-dazed expression, a peculiarity to her character. It was as though she remained lost in a thought from which she could not be distracted.

An older version of Mary, the mother and daughter nearly appeared to be the same woman, which left the only difference between the two being Mary’s dark brown hair, inherited by her father instead of her mother’s reddish locks.

“Shall we continue our stroll?” James gestured to Mary. His discomfort exaggerated through his jerked movements.

“In a moment, James, I wish to speak to Miss Hawthorne for a moment.”

“Mary, I do not–”

“Silence.” She whipped her head in his direction with a fierce, sharp tone before stepping forward and raising her voice to me. “God doth not answer the prayers bestowed upon the damned.”

James groaned under his breath. His jaw clenched as he grit his teeth together, closed his eyes, and shook his head. He reached for her arm, wrapping his fingers tight around the black cotton sleeve of her dress. His muscles flexed with an authority that caught my breath.

She ignored him, wiggling from his grip. She cleared her throat and stepped forward one more step to continue with her maliciousness.

“Thy mother burns in Hell and you sit in the dirt and pray for her lost soul. You are as determined for damnation as she was.”

“Mary, please, thy reproachful attitude leaves little to be desired.”

“James, do not proceed to believe you know the torment and misery that she and her family caused my brother. You do not know what it was like, so you would do best to keep thy opinion–”

“Daughter,” Deacon Pruett warned in a gruff tone. “Be mindful of thy words bespoken upon thy courted beau.”

Mary shifted her eyes away from us, folded her arms across her chest, and growled under her breath.

James’s eyes locked upon mine with a whisper of curiosity and adoration. Fierce, and yet, kind behind the sea of deep blue that drew me like a moth to a flame. They humbled my fear with an odd sense of comfort, and although I wanted to look away from him, I could not–too overwhelmed by the notion he played not a stranger, but an old soul known to me my whole life.

I held my breath. My body inched forward, toward him–the slight movement catching not only my attention, but also his, and I straightened, withdrawing in embarrassment.

A tiny smile spread across his lips–his perfect lips–and he stepped forward a single step as if to mirror the impulse I should not hath shown.

Mary caught his advance and she glanced at him without turning her head. Her shoulders tightened as a fierce fire ignited in her eyes. She wrapped her fingers around his arm, squeezed the wool on his jacket sleeve, and drew in a deep, warning breath.

James’s smile vanished and he obliged her unspoken command. Ever the queen of all, she demanded and everyone obeyed, like slave hands, only worse, because at least slaves had a nightly reprieve when they could think and talk for themselves.

“Daughter, ‘tis nearing upon supper time,” Deacon Pruett muttered. With his eyes still focused on the Bible in his hands, he and Mrs. Pruett strode past Mary and James. “We best conclude our stroll for the evening.”

Mary glared at her father, but did not say a word as she hesitated to follow. She looked at me and an evil smile spread across her lips as she tugged on James’s arm.

“Perhaps, you will consider staying through the night?” Her words were more of a hinted statement than a question, as though he really would not hath the ability to refuse.

My stomach churned at the thought of him snug in a bundling sack in her bed, wrapped neck to feet and sewn, so they may share a night together.

Do not look after them, Emmalynn, do not look after them.

I fought with my own counsel and wrapped my arms around my waist as I rocked my body back and forth. Unfortunately, my curiosity consumed me. All argument and reason against watching him stride away vanished.

James glanced over his shoulder and our eyes locked.

He smiled and I caught my breath, holding it while I clutched my throat with one hand and my chest with the other. Butterflies fluttered wildly in my stomach as the young girl inside danced with joy, screaming with excitement as she bounced on her toes.

He had noticed me before, but he has never smiled, not until now.

He smiled at me.

Elation burst through my veins. I covered my mouth to hide my own grin, a grin I thought not ever possible again, and I giggled a little to myself.

Suddenly, a gust of wind circled and whirled around me, blowing my cotton dress, the strings of my bonnet, and my raven curls in different directions. Like a warm blanket, it pressed upon me, wrapping in a confining embrace. As abruptly as it flurried, the burst of breeze died and vanished. An odd movement fluttered in the corner of my eye, catching my attention. A vine sprouted, then began to grow and grow, and within the wink of a bat’s eye, it circled around itself until it formed a delicate wreath.

I flung myself backwards upon my rump and kicked my feet.

The vine did not sprout from the ground, but grew out of thin air and floated over to my mother’s headstone.

From the vine, leaves sprang and bounced, followed by sharp thorns, and lastly flower buds that, within seconds of emerging, bloomed into perfect black roses. The allure of them mesmerized, and yet, terrified me.

Before me, lay an enchantment not of this earth.

No, Lord, please no. Tell me, I did not do this. Tell me I am not capable of this. Witches do not exist. They are not real. No one holds power like that. Witches do not exist.

My hand slapped across my mouth, stifling my scream as I stumbled to my feet. My knees weak, I tripped over a rock and collapsed in the dirt before catching my balance. My eyes fixed upon the roses, floating innocently in the air.

In my backwards haste, I bumped into the broken fence and the old splintered board jabbed my lower back, scratching the skin underneath my dress. Pain shot through my body and I whipped around to face the fence, nearly falling to my knees once more.

The last remaining mourner visiting her peacefully resting loved one gaped as she watched me. She could not know the hallucination I had seen, could not know what occurred with the sudden gust of wind and inconceivable ring of black roses.

Those that see hallucinations are those damned by the devil. Those that see hallucinations are witches, destined for a death sentence to rid the earth of their evil. Children of the possessed were not under suspicion, unless they showed the same behavior as their parents, so they spared my life months ago. I would not be, now, if someone had seen what I saw.

“My apologies.” I whispered. “Please forgive my interruption.”

I lowered my chin to my chest and hid my face behind my hand as I scurried passed her and fled the graveyard.

The otherwise short destination to my home seemed to extend on for miles, worsened by my emotionally driven clumsy footing and wobbly legs. With my mind nothing more than a fuzzy mess of never ending questions and terrorizing thoughts, the concept of stepping one foot in front of the other, proved almost too foreign.

Tears traced down my cheeks and stung my eyes, blurring my vision as my hand shoved against the old wooden gate. Nearly missing the board, the lumber nicked my finger as it swung on the rusted hinges.

My shoes pounded the porch before I dashed through my front door then slammed it behind me with a loud thud.

My knees hit the wooden floor and I buried my face in my hands.

I could not hath conjured those flowers. No, I refuse to believe it. I am simply me. Simply a woman. Simply a powerless woman. Witches do not exist…witches do not exist.



πŸ’— October 23-27 πŸ’—


The Billionaire’s Ex-Wife by Leslie North πŸ’— Book Blitz & eBook Giveaway πŸ’— (Contemporary Romance)



Sam Jameson always gets what he wants and what he wants is his ex-wife.

Sam views the world in black and white—a strong attitude that’s earned him billions in the business world and an ex-wife in the real world. Sam wants is to choose his own future, but to do this he must pass a test set out by his older brother, and CEO: onboard his wayward brother, Eddie. Sam accepts the challenge but isn’t sure what to think when he learns that the woman he’d love and left is part of the test too.

Trinity Jameson is a fixer. It doesn’t matter if it’s ugly furniture or an ornery employee, Trinity has the touch and she’s spent most of her life helping others achieve their best potential. But when her ex-husband comes back to town to prove he’s got a heart, Trinity makes a decision: She’s not going to fix his problems for him—no matter what his smoldering blue eyes ask of her, she’s going to say “No.” She’s determined that he’ll fix his own mess this time.

Before Sam landed in New York, his goal was to leave the city just as fast. But when Trinity saunters into the room looking better than ever, his desire begins to shift. He realizes that what he really wants is what he can no longer have: Trinity. Sam has no trouble stoking their physical fire, but hot sex isn’t going to be enough to heal the hurt he’d caused long ago. Sam isn’t going to be dissuaded by her new found emotional wall. He helped her build it, and now he’s going to knock it down.



His favorite suit was wrinkled. It didn't matter if there was only one: the wrinkle was there, leering up at him like a lopsided, mocking smile.
Sam Jameson shook out his sleeve, but the minor imperfection remained. Minor, he thought to himself in consolation. A wrinkle that wouldn't smooth was the least of his problems today; still, it lingered in the back of his mind as much as it lingered on the otherwise crisp fabric of his suit.
Sam distracted himself by gazing about the familiar waiting room of the New York office. He missed the East Coast more than he could express, and he wasn't an expressive man by nature—but even he could appreciate the familiar, sanitized smell of the office, the classic wooden furnishings, and the precision of the New York City skyline just outside the high window. The L.A. office always smelled like someone was secretly giving manicures in the staff kitchen, and the West Coast skyline was…quirky. Slipshod. Obscured by a permanent haze and decidedly not up to code.
L.A. was to blame for Sam's current predicament, of that he had no doubt. Who the hell lodged a complaint about "annoying perfectionism" and took their business elsewhere? Apparently L.A. clients did. Sam blamed the strange holistic culture that had seized the West Coast—the culture of "mistakes are successes that haven't happened yet", or whatever inane philosophy Californians liked to paste on the bumpers of their hybridized cars—but his older brother William didn't see things the way he did. That was partly why Willian was CEO, and Sam was COO, of Jameson Advertising Agency: it wasn't just a matter of age, but perspective…or so their father had once explained it.
If only Sam could give William a momentary demotion and make him see things from his point of view. This move to onboard Eddie was a mistake. More than that, it was far below Sam's paygrade—but even he wasn't so callous as to say as much out loud. He had learned early that when it came to family, talking in strictly business terms wasn't exactly smiled upon.
But surely even William could see, from his lofty vantage as CEO, that bringing Eddie any closer in the family business was a mistake. Their father had certainly thought so. The youngest Jameson simply wasn't cut out for more than wining and dining clients.
Inviting the family screw-up back into the fold didn't seem like a wise move to Sam—but who was he to protest it? He would get in, do the job to a more than acceptable degree, and get out, the same as he always did. William wouldn't be able to argue with the results, and then Sam could get the hell back to L.A. and move onto better things.
The door opened and Sam rose, applying one last swipe to the wrinkle. He raised his gaze, expecting to find Eddie's lopsided grin and ridiculous eyebrows waggling a greeting.
Instead, it was his own ex-wife he found staring back at him.
"Trinity." He hated how out of practice he suddenly sounded saying her name out loud. Not a day had passed since their separation that it didn't enter his head on a repeating loop, always in threes: Trinity. Trinity. Trinity. "What are you doing here?"
His ex-wife blinked her gorgeous doe eyes like he had her caught in a crosshairs. Obviously his presence in the room wasn't a surprise to her, but maybe seeing an estranged spouse in the flesh shook her as much as it shook him.



   


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Silent Fear by James & Lance Morcan πŸŽƒ Spooky Halloween Spotlight & EXCLUSIVE FREEBIE OFFER & EXCLUSIVE Giveaways πŸŽƒ (Romantic Thriller)




Just in time for Halloween!

Curl up with this thriller to get in the mood for the spooky holiday!

After all, when you can't hear, death comes silently...

πŸŽƒ πŸŽƒ πŸŽƒ


Silent Fear is dedicated to the many millions of deaf people around the world. This novel was inspired by the murders of deaf students at Gallaudet University, one of the world’s most prestigious learning institutions for the deaf, between 1980 and the early 2000’s. The investigating authorities didn’t know if the killings were ‘inside jobs’ and for a time nearly everyone connected to Gallaudet was under suspicion.

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the Deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world.

When more Deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.

Valerie’s best hope for survival comes from an unlikely source – her former husband, hard-nosed Chief Superintendent Mark Bennett who also happens to be her boss. Theirs is a fractious relationship, and has been ever since their messy divorce. However, the deadly situation they find themselves in brings them together again.

A stunning, claustrophobic, “whodunit” murder mystery with a poignant love story in the background, Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) is the eighth novel by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan. Included is a commentary by Deaf filmmaker Brent Macpherson on the unique aspects of Deaf culture the story covers. Together, the Morcans and Macpherson are currently developing a feature film adaptation of Silent Fear.

When you can’t hear…death comes silently.






πŸŽƒ "I found myself staying up all night just to finish the book. If possible, I would give this book ten stars. It is spellbinding." ~ Pam, Goodreads Review

πŸ‘» "Excellent book, well constructed, and with brilliant delivery...The re-romance of the central characters was engaging." ~ John, Goodreads Review

πŸŽƒ "Simply Splendid. There is so much to love about this entertaining and well written Murder Mystery." ~ Todd, Goodreads Review

πŸ‘» "This was a thrilling and captivating novel. Suspenseful, full of twists and engaging from start to finish." ~ Lisa, Goodreads Review

πŸ‘» To be released October 31 πŸ‘»
in digital and print


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Leather and Gold by Gemma Snow πŸ’— Pre-Release Spotlight & eBook Giveaway πŸ’— (Historical BDSM Romance)



Emmeline Westington Wright, widowed duchess of South Framley, sent Captain Alexandre Pierron Simonnet to the Americas eighteen months ago, presumably in search of her errant brother, the Marquis of Fulton. But when Captain Simonnet returns to South Framley and the duchess's Roseburn estate, she must admit to herself that the errand was nothing more than a way to keep the devilishly handsome and tempting captain far enough away where she will not succumb to her desires. They are the kind of desires she has only ever indulged with her late husband, William, hidden away in a darkened room, below the prim and proper halls of Roseburn.

Her lust for Captain Simonnet has not diminished in the past months, instead growing stronger and more potent until she invites him to meet her in the rose garden at midnight. There, she shows the captain all of her secrets, that hidden room, her own desire to cede control, to be taken care of--by him. As she had hoped, Alexandre is familiar with her lifestyle and sets down the rules, before laying her over his lap and giving her all that she most desperately craves--or almost all.

Because despite herself and her raging need, Emmeline knows that her want goes deeper than a salacious affair. She has known Captain Simonnet, William's best friend, some ten years now, craved him for three. Tonight, in the light of their pleasures and vulnerabilities and moments of profound trust, she might just admit to herself that she wants more than a single night or a week or a month--she might just want a life together.




She wore her riding clothes, but instead of a skirt, her long, powerful legs were clad in a pair of fitted britches. Despite himself, Alexandre gazed up the length of her body, his own surging to attention at the simple, overwhelming need to touch her, to know she was real and not another ale-soaked imagining deep in the night. He wanted to run his fingers up the length of her calf, to kiss the inside of each pale thigh, to tease and torment the duchess as her image had done to him so many nights. Then he wanted to plunder her body with his mouth and hands and rod until the sun rose.

The duchess raised an eyebrow, and Alexandre sank to one knee before pressing a kiss to her outstretched hand.

“Do rise, old friend,” she said with a small laugh. “We have much to discuss, but first, are you and your men in need of a good meal?”

Alexandre rose, finding she had stepped just an inch closer to him. The distance, small as it was, put them very nearly too close for the thin grip he kept upon his tethered desire.

“My men remained at the docks, Your Grace,” he replied. “As for myself, I should not wish to keep you. I can certainly find my way to the kitchens. As you may recall, I spent a great many summers at this house when William and I were home from Eton.”

But while William, his closest friend, had inherited a dukedom, Alexandre, the second son of a second son, had taken off for the seas to become the family explorer. No fewer than fifteen years had passed since he’d first walked through Roseburn’s grand entrance, and he was still not entirely familiar with all the nooks and crannies hidden in her glittering halls.

But when the duchess glanced at him with a sardonic light in her deep brown gaze, Alexandre wished to explore only one of those secret places—wherever the duchess went to sleep at night.

“I know better than to keep a hungry explorer waiting, Captain,” she said. She nodded to the footman, and he disappeared into the hallway, closing the door behind him. Amazing how she did that, commanding a small army of staff and a great village of farmers and weavers, often without uttering a single word. There could be no doubt in anyone’s mind that she was a leader—and a powerful one, at that.

“You are wise beyond your years, Your Grace,” Alexandre replied, the corner of his mouth quirking up as he looked down at her. She wasn’t nearly so tall as she seemed. Not that she was a small woman, with her body rounded and curved like an hourglass, full plump breasts straining against the jacket just below his chin. Even in the formfitting riding outfit, her flesh glowed lush and generous, and Alexandre couldn’t deny how he longed for her—had longed for her for so many months.

“You have news.” The duchess sat upon a chair as if it were perfectly respectable for the highest-ranked woman in a day’s ride to wear britches and boots and share amiable conversation with a roughened sea captain.

“I do,” he replied, accepting her gestured invitation to sit across from her. “Did you wish to hear it all at once or…”

“I do. Please, share what you have learned.”

Alexandre nodded and reached into the pocket of his worn leather jacket to pull out a letter. Though frail from its many months of travel, it still bore the original, if faded, wax seal of the Marquis of Fulton’s signet ring.

The duchess accepted the missive but made no move to read the contents. Instead, she fixed her eyes upon him, her gaze intense and knowing, as if she were reading him rather than the letter. Peer into my mind, Duchess, and you’ll be sure to learn a great many things you have no wish to know.

“He is staying in the Americas,” she said. “He has settled down, forsaken the land. He loves her, of course, and wishes us all well. He is sorry, but he just can’t return. Did I get that all right?”

Alexandre didn’t quite know how to respond. She had gotten it all right, and in the face of his answering silence, steel resolve masked the sadness in her eyes. Finally, he nodded, pausing just a moment before he replied.

“The marquis was quite insistent,” he said. “The letter should explain in further depth, but he waxed until hoarse about his love for the American lass, and refused to follow us home. Short of force, we had no other way of bringing him aboard the ship.”

The duchess placed the letter down upon the table, still sealed. “Well, that is my brother, is it not? I suppose I don’t know what I should have expected.” The soft puff of a sigh escaped her lips, and she very nearly relaxed, if the straightness of her back and the sharpness of her jaw could ever be considered relaxed. But she sat just a little softer, as if she were behaving less as a duchess and more as a…friend?

Alexandre stood, and when he turned, her gaze was hot upon his back. Even the weight of her watching him turned his body molten and made him want to strip her down right there in the damn drawing room, made him want to wrap the chains he wore around her slender ankles and—

“Do forgive me for overstepping my bounds, Your Grace,” he said, walking over to the liquor cabinet William had long ago hidden in a bookshelf at the far end of the room, “but it appears you are in need of a strong drink.” He poured two glasses from the secret decanter and returned to settle once more into the seat before her.

The duchess laughed. “Ah, Captain Simonnet.” She accepted the tumbler of whiskey he offered. “It is not past six in the morning. Surely that is too early for a strong drink.” Their fingers brushed across the edge of the cut glass, and Alexandre realized that her hands were bare, that the smooth skin of her fingers pressed against his. Such a simple, small touch that feels anything but.

“Not if you are accustomed to life as a sailor,” he replied. “I have spent many months at sea, Madam, and if I know anything, it is that it is never too early for a strong drink.”

She sat forward, swirling the drink in her glass with a contemplative expression before bringing it to her lips. She didn’t react to the strong liquor, and that she could drink whiskey without flinching was yet another remarkably erotic detail in the picture of why she made him ache so desperately.

“Is life out at sea lonely?” she asked, as if her mind had gone on some adventure, returning to the moment only after several leaps of topic.

“It can be,” Alexandre answered honestly. “I have my crew, naturally, but it is easy to miss for companionship.”

Her eyes flickered at that, a sparkle of golden across deep brown. Interest, perhaps? Or maybe I’m just imagining it, hoping for it. I see signs of her returning my desires everywhere—how do I know what’s real? Only, he didn’t think he was imagining it, not this time.

“And do you find it?” she asked, and was it in his own mind or did her voice waver just an inch, as if she were well aware of the deeper implications in her words? “Companionship, I mean.” Oh, the duchess knows. She also knows that dangerous waters lie ahead, and she’d be wise to heed those old pirate warnings.

But she wouldn’t. Alexandre knew her better than that, and he swallowed the rest of his whiskey, focusing on the burning spice that lit his throat aflame, but it didn’t provide the distraction he needed. Nothing could distract him from the topic of companionship in a conversation with the duchess who haunted his dreams, as they sat alone in the pastel drawing room. Alone.

“Sailors have their reputations for good reason,” Alexandre replied at last. “I shall allow you to answer that question for yourself, Your Grace, however you believe fit.”

To his great surprise, she placed a hand upon his wrist. He clutched hard at the now empty whiskey glass at the contact, but he couldn’t possibly ignore her touch.



To be released October 24