Touch of Red by Laura Griffin #Excerpt #Giveaway

Touch of Red by Laura Griffin #Excerpt #GiveawayTouch of Red on October 31st 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
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When crime scene investigator Brooke Porter arrives at the home of a murdered woman, the only thing more shocking than the carnage is the evidence that someone escaped the scene. But where is this witness now? A thorough search of the area yields more questions than answers, and before Brooke even packs up her evidence kit, she’s made it her goal to find the witness and get them out of harm’s way.

Homicide detective Sean Byrne has seen his share of bloody crime scenes, but this one is particularly disturbing, especially because Brooke Porter is smack in the middle of it. Sean has had his eye on the sexy CSI for months, and he’s determined to help her with her current case—even if it means putting his attraction on hold so he and Brooke can track down a murderer. But as the investigation—and their relationship—heats up, Sean realizes that keeping his work and his personal life separate is more complicated than he ever imagined; especially when the killer sets his sights on Brooke.

Excerpt

Chapter One

It was like any other Wednesday night. Until it wasn’t.

Samantha Bonner had just finished sweeping up. She’d emptied the dustpan and sanitized the sink and wiped down the pastry case. The burnt smell of coffee beans hung thick in the air, overpowering the vinegar solution she’d run through the machines. But it was quiet. She stood for a moment and let the silence surround her, relieved to be free of the acoustic guitar music that had been looping through her head all day.

Sam grabbed her purse and locked up. Crossing the rain-slicked parking lot to her car, she darted a look into all the dark corners. It was a safe neighborhood, but you never knew.

She pulled out of the lot, relieved to be heading home after pulling a double shift. Raindrops pitter-patted on her windshield as she made her way through downtown. She switched the wipers to low, and her phone lit up with an incoming call. Amy.

Sam stared down at the phone a moment. Then she put the call on speaker.

“Sam? Can you talk?”

“What’s up?”

Amy sounded undone. More than usual.

“It’s Jared. He wants to move back in.”

“He called you?” Sam asked.

“He came by to drop off Aiden. I didn’t let him in or anything.”

Sam didn’t respond as she pulled up to a stoplight. In most areas, Amy wasn’t a pushover. But her two-year-old boy missed his daddy, and his daddy knew it. He used the kid as leverage.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Amy said now. “And I just want to talk through it, figure out what I’m going to tell him. Can you come over for a bit? I can make us some coffee.”

The mere thought of coffee made her want to retch.

“Sure,” she said anyway. Amy was sniffling now, and Sam didn’t have the heart to say no.

“Or we could talk on the phone,” Amy said. “You’re probably busy. Tonight’s your night off, isn’t it?”

“No, I closed up tonight.”

Sam slowed for a bend in the road. Stately oak trees and manicured lawns soon gave way to weeds and chain-link fences. Then came the railroad tracks. White-collar to blue in less than a mile. The people in Sam’s neighborhood commuted to work at all hours and didn’t stop for lattes on the way.

“I’ll be over in a little,” Sam said, turning onto her street. “Give me twenty minutes.”

“Are you sure?” Another sniffle.

“I’m sure.”

She pulled into her driveway and rolled to a stop in the glow of her back porch light.

“Thanks, Sam. I mean it. I just need to hash this out. I mean, what if he’s legit this time? I owe it to Aiden to at least think about it.”

Sam kept her skepticism to herself. For now. She slid from her car and noticed the white bike propped against her back deck as she walked up the driveway.

“Sam? You there?”

“I’m here.”

She mounted the steps, and spotted a blur of movement. Pain exploded at the base of her skull.

Sam dropped to her knees and pitched forward. A big arm wrapped around her neck, hauling her back. The smell of tobacco registered in her brain, filling her with bone-deep fear as the arm clamped around her windpipe.

“Sam?” Amy’s voice was far away.

Pain roared through Sam’s skull. She struggled to move, to breathe. A glove-covered hand tipped her head back, exposing her neck.

No.

Sam clawed at the arm, trying desperately to buck, to kick, to scream for help. No, no, no! From the corner of her eye she spied her phone on the ground. She tried to call out but the cries died in her throat.

“Sam, are you there?”

Fear became panic as she saw the glint of a blade.

“Samantha?”

##

Brooke Porter beat the detectives, which surprised her. But then again, she’d made good time. When the message had come in coded 911, she’d dropped what she was doing and rushed straight over.

She parked beside a police unit and grabbed her evidence kit from the trunk as she surveyed the location. It was a small bungalow, like every other house on the block. In contrast to its neighbors, this particular home had a fresh coat of paint and looked to be in decent repair. Potted chrysanthemums lined the front stoop where a uniformed officer stood taking shelter from the cold October drizzle.

Brooke darted up the sidewalk and ducked under the overhang. The officer was big. Huge. Brooke had met him before, but for the life of her, she couldn’t remember his name.

“Jasper Miller,” he provided, handing her a clipboard. “Your photographer just got here.”

So, he knew she was with the Delphi Center. The San Marcos Police Department typically called Brooke’s lab in to help with their big cases.

Brooke scribbled her name into the scene log. “You the first responder?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He nodded at the driveway. “Victim’s around back. Looks like she was coming home from someplace, and he surprised her at the door.”

Brooke eyed the little white Kia parked in the driveway. She wanted to see things for herself and draw her own conclusions.

“Medical examiner’s people got here about five minutes ago,” Jasper added.

“And the detectives?”

“On their way.”

She handed back the clipboard. “Thanks.”

Brooke picked her way across the stepping stones in the grass, trying not to mar anything useful—although the rain had already done a pretty good job of that. A blue Delphi Center tent had been erected at the top of the driveway beside the covered back porch, and several uniforms stood under the cover.

Brooke’s stomach tightened with dread as she lifted the scene tape and walked up the drive. She noted the chain-link fence, the thick shrubbery, the trash cans tucked against the side of the house. Plenty of places for someone to hide.

A camera flashed as she reached the tent. The Delphi Center photographer had already set up lights and started documenting the scene. Brooke unloaded some supplies from her kit. She zipped into coveralls and pulled booties over her shoes, then tugged on thick purple gloves as the uniforms looked on silently.

Beat cops thought she was an oddity. She showed up at death scenes with her tweezers and her flashlights and her big orange goggles. She plucked bits of evidence from obscure places and then scuttled back to the lab to do her thing… whatever that was.

The detectives got her. Well, maybe not totally. But they’d at least learned to appreciate what she could do for them. Which ones had been assigned to this case? And where the hell were they?

Brooke pulled her long dark hair into a ponytail. She picked up her evidence kit and sucked in a deep breath to brace herself before turning around to take her first look.

Blood was everywhere.

“Holy God,” she murmured, easing closer.

A woman lay crumpled at the back door, her neck slashed open. Her hair, her clothes, even the wooden decking beneath her was saturated. Dark rivulets had dripped down the stairs and were now coagulating in little pools on the lower slats.

“Watch your step.”

She glanced up at the ME’s assistant crouched beside the body. He was reading a thermometer and making notes on a pad.

“It’s slippery,” he added.

Brooked walked up the stairs and eased around him, taking care not to step in any puddles. Maddie Callahan stood beside the door, photographing a scarlet arc against the white siding.

Arterial spray.

She lowered her camera and glanced at Brooke. “The detectives here?”

“Not yet.”

The breeze shifted, and Brooke got a whiff of blood, strong and metallic. She glanced again at the gaping wound and stepped back to grab the wooden railing.

Maddie looked at her. “You okay?”

“Yeah.”

Brooke should be immune to this stuff by now. But that <em>neck</em>.

She steadied herself and looked around. A set of blood-spattered car keys lay near the victim’s hand. Brooke glanced at the woman’s face, partially visible beneath blond, blood-matted hair. Brooke didn’t see a weapon near the body. And any trails the killer might have left as he’d fled the scene had likely been obscured by rain at this point. The back door stood ajar. Had he fled through the house?

She turned to the ME’s assistant. “Was this door open like this when you arrived?”

He glanced up, looking annoyed. “Yes. We haven’t been inside.”

Brooke turned to the victim again. Her head lolled weirdly to the side, and flies were already hovering, despite the cool temperature. Brooke stepped past the ME’s assistant and slipped into the house.

She found herself in a dark utility room that smelled of fabric softener. The room was small but clean, without so much as a scrap of laundry on the floor. She switched on her flashlight and swept it around. No footprints.

She stepped into the kitchen, maneuvering around an open pantry door.

“Was this open, too?” she asked Maddie.

“That’s right. And I haven’t shot the kitchen yet, so don’t move anything.”

Brooke stood still, giving herself a few moments to absorb the scene. She always tried to put herself in the perpetrator’s shoes. Had he been in here? If so, what had he touched?

The kitchen was dim except for a light above the sink. Using the end of her flashlight, Brooke flipped a switch beside the door, and an overhead fixture came on.

No dirty dishes on the counter or food sitting out. Eighties-era appliances. A drying rack beside the sink contained a glass, a plate, and a fork. On the counter beside a microwave was a loose key and a stack of mail. She stepped over to read the name on the top envelope. Samantha Bonner.

Brooke zeroed in on the key. It was bronze. Shiny.

In the breakfast nook, a small wooden table was pushed up against a window. A brown bottle of root beer sat on the table unopened. Just below room temperature, judging from the condensation.

Brooke returned her attention to the pantry. Soup, soup, and more soup, all Campbell’s brand, and she felt like she was looking at an Andy Warhol painting. Chicken. Tomato. Cream of mushroom. The shelf above the soup was stocked with paper goods. The bottom shelf was filled with healthy cereals and gluten-free crackers and a package of those pink and white animal cookies with the colored sprinkles.

“Brooke?”

“Yeah?” She leaned her head out to look at Maddie.

“Just finished shooting the door if you want it.”

“I definitely want it,” she said, moving back into the utility room. She put on her orange goggles and switched her flashlight to ultraviolet, searching the floor for any fluids that might not be visible to the naked eye.

Nothing.

She examined the knob a moment, and then selected a powder from her kit. On the porch outside, the ME’s assistant was busy covering the victim’s hands with paper bags for transport back to the morgue.

Brooke glanced back at the kitchen, her attention drawn to the key again. It looked like a house key, and she wanted to know if it fit this door. But she couldn’t move anything until Maddie finished her photos.

Brooke opened the jar of powder and tapped some into a plastic tray. Using her softest brush, she loaded the bristles and then gently dusted the knob. She worked slowly, methodically. When she finished dusting, she cast her light over the fluorescent powder and was pleased to see a pristine thumbprint on the side of the knob.

“Maddie, can you get this for me?”

“Sure.”

Maddie stepped over and photographed the knob from several angles. When she finished, she moved into the kitchen with her camera.

Brooked took out a strip of clear polyethylene tape and carefully lifted the thumbprint off the curved surface, taking care not to smudge it. She picked out a black card for contrast and gently placed the tape against the card.

One lift done, probably a hundred to go. She closed her eyes a moment and inhaled deeply. When she got laser-focused she sometimes forgot to breathe.

Brooke heard the detectives before she saw them–two low male voices at the front of the house exchanging clipped police jargon.

Sean Byrne and Ric Santos. She’d know them anywhere.

Brooke labeled the card and tucked it into her evidence kit. So, Sean and Ric on this one. They were experienced and observant. Sean noticed everything she did, even if he seemed to be interviewing witnesses or talking to other cops. He observed where she spent her time and how, and if she lingered in a particular spot, he always asked about it later.

Brooke noticed him, too. With his athletic build and sly smile, it was hard not to. But mostly she noticed his attitude. He had an easygoing confidence she found attractive. Nothing ever seemed to rattle him.

Of course, being a cop, he also had an ego.

The voices grew louder as the detectives stepped into the kitchen. Brooke didn’t look up, but she felt a jolt of awareness as Sean’s gaze landed on her.

##

Sean watched Brooke for a moment and then turned to Jasper.

“You say the neighbor found her?”

“That’s right,” the officer said. “Lady let her dog out, and he started barking like crazy, so she went outside to see what was going on and spotted the victim in a pool of blood there on the porch. Name’s Samantha Bonner. She works at a coffee shop.”

Sean raked his hand through his damp hair, scattering water on the floor. “Married? Kids?”

Jasper shook his head. “Neighbor says she lives alone.”

Sean unzipped his SMPD windbreaker and glanced at Brooke again. She was on her knees by the back door, lifting fingerprints. Just beyond her was the victim, and the ME’s people were already unzipping the body bag.

Damn.

Sean was accustomed to seeing Brooke surrounded by blood and gore, but this was bad. He studied the victim, noting the position of the body, the clothing.

Brooke closed her evidence kit and got to her feet as Sean stepped over.

“Hey.”

“Hi,” she said, looking him up and down. “Where were you guys?”

“Got stuck behind an accident near the tracks. Tow truck’s blocking the road, so we had to hoof it.”

“Don’t drip water all over my crime scene.”

Sean smiled. “Yours?”

“That’s right.”

For a moment they just looked at each other, and Sean tried to read her expression. She seemed grimmer than usual.

“Detective? Can we bag her?”

Brooke shot a blistering look at the ME’s assistant, clearly not liking his glib tone.

Sean stepped into the utility room to take a look at the back porch. The whole area was a bloodbath.

“Jesus,” Ric said, coming up beside him. “You get all this, Maddie?”

“Yes, I’m finished with the porch,” the photographer called from the kitchen.

The ME’s guy looked at Sean again. “Detective?”

“Yeah, go ahead.”

Sean turned around. Brooke was watching the scene now, clutching her evidence kit so tightly her knuckles were white. He motioned for her to follow him into the living room.

Brooke was short and slender, with pale skin and a plump pink mouth he’d always wondered about. As she looked up at him he noticed the worry line between her brows.

“What’s wrong?”

Her eyebrows shot up. “You mean besides the fact that this woman was practically decapitated on her doorstep?”

“Yes.”

She took a deep breath and glanced around. “This crime scene bugs me.”

“Why?”

“Look at it. See for yourself.”

Without another word, she stepped around him and went back into the kitchen to crouch beside the pantry door.

Sean pulled some latex gloves from his pocket and tugged them on as he surveyed the kitchen. It was clean and uncluttered, except for a stack of mail on the counter beside a key. He studied the key for a moment, but resisted the urge to pick it up.

He opened the fridge. Yogurt, salad kit, pomegranate juice. On the lower shelf was a six-pack of root beer with a bottle missing from the carton. A bottle sat on the breakfast table—unopened—and Maddie was snapping a picture of it now.

Sean glanced through the open back door as the ME’s people started loading the body bag onto a gurney. The victim’s clothes had been intact, and she’d shown no obvious sign of sexual assault. At first glance, it looked like the killer had grabbed her from behind and slit her throat. Given the lack of blood inside, Sean figured the attacker had fled down the driveway to the street or maybe hopped the back fence.

Ric stepped into the kitchen again. “Her purse is on the back porch. Wallet’s inside, but no cell phone.”

“You check the car?” Sean asked.

“Not yet. Let’s walk through the house first.”

“Don’t move anything,” Maddie said. “I haven’t been back there yet.”

Sean led the way. It was a simple layout, with rooms off a central hallway. The bathroom smelled like ammonia. Sean switched on the light.

“House is squeaky clean,” Ric observed.

“Yep.”

The pedestal sink gleamed. Sean opened the medicine cabinet. Toothpaste, cough drops, tampons. Ric eased back the shower curtain to reveal a shiny tub with several bottles of hair products lined up on the side.

They moved on to the bedroom, where they found a neatly made queen bed with a light blue comforter. No decorative pillows, just two in pink pillowcases that matched the sheets.

“Not a lot of pillows,” Sean said.

“What’s that?”

“Pillows. Most women put a lot on the bed, don’t they?”

“I don’t know,” Ric said. “My wife does.”

Sean studied the room. It smelled like vanilla. On the dresser were several plastic trays of makeup and one of those bottles of liquid air freshener with the sticks poking up. Sean spied a sticky note attached to the mirror and leaned closer to read the feminine handwriting: <em>One day, one breath.</em>

Was it a poem? A song lyric? Maybe Samantha’s own words?

The closet door was ajar, and Sean nudged it open. Six pairs of jeans, all on hangers. A couple dozen T-shirts, also hanging.

Ric whistled. “Damn. You know anyone who arranges their T-shirts by color?”

“Nope.”

Sean looked around the bedroom again. “Pretty basic,” he said. “Not a lot here.”

He walked back through the house, noting a conspicuous absence of anything that would indicate a male presence. No razors on the sink or man-size shoes kicking around. No beer in the fridge. The living room was simply furnished with a sofa, a coffee table, and a smallish flat-screen TV.

“Looks to me like she lives alone,” Ric said, turning to Jasper. “You say she works at a restaurant?”

“Coffee shop, according to the neighbor lady.” Jasper took out a spiral pad and consulted his notes. “The one over on Elm Street.”

“I’ve never been in there.” Ric looked at Sean. “You?”

“Nope.”

Sean glanced around the living room, which was devoid of clutter. Maybe the victim didn’t have a lot of money for extras, but even so, most women tended to decorate their homes more than this. Sean hadn’t spotted a single framed photo in the entire place.

The strobe of a camera flash drew his attention into the kitchen again. Brooke was right. This scene seemed odd. Sean had worked a lot of homicides over the years, and most boiled down to money, drugs, or sex.

Sean had seen no sign of sexual assault. No drugs or drug paraphernalia or even alcohol. No hint of illegal activity. No evidence of a boyfriend.

A remote control sat on the coffee table. Sean had watched Brooke in action enough to know it would be one of the first items she collected to dust for prints.

“I don’t see any blood trails or signs of struggle inside,” Ric said. “Doesn’t feel like the assailant was in the house.”

“I’m not getting a read on motive.”

“I know.” Ric shook his head. “Doesn’t look like a rape or a robbery. No cash or drugs around.”

“We need her phone. I want to search her car and the surrounding area.”

“I’ll go check the car,” Ric said.

He exited the front, and Sean returned to the kitchen. Brooke wasn’t there. Maddie knelt in the pantry with her camera, and Sean noticed the pantry door was missing.

“What happened to the door?”

She glanced at him. “Brooke took it.”

“Took it where?”

“Back to the lab.”

Sean stared at her. “You mean she’s gone?”

“She needed to test something. She said it was urgent.”

“Yo, Sean, come here,” Ric called from outside.

Sean walked out the front, glancing at his watch. Why had Brooke left already? This scene would take hours to process and they were just getting started.

Ric was in the driveway near the Kia. Another Delphi CSI in gray coveralls was crouching beside the car.

Ric glanced up at Sean. “Jackpot.”

##

TOUCH OF RED, copyright 2017 by Laura Griffin

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Mr. Blackwell’s Bride by Sienna Blake #CoverReveal

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TWO PRIZES

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Releasing Date: November 8, 2017

Drake
This marriage was supposed to be another business deal. My latest investment, a means to an end… I need an heir. Which means I want her belly swollen with my child before the year is out.

She was supposed to be my perfect little bride. Quiet. Uncomplicated. Unemotional.

I didn’t foresee the stunning firecracker who tumbled into my life and woke things in me I thought were long dead. I didn’t count on her turning my world upside down.

And I definitely didn’t plan on falling for this beauty.

Noriko
This marriage was supposed to be my sacrifice. A way to save my father, a means to an end… I need to remain childless. So I can exit the contract at the end of the year.

He was supposed to be a boring old man. Distant. Uncomplicated. Passionless.

I didn’t foresee the rude, arrogant and beautiful brute who made my body react like fire and smoke. I didn’t count on there being more underneath his gruff exterior.

And I’m definitely not supposed to fall in love with the beast.

This is a NEW story using old characters from the unpublished novel, Girl Wife Prisoner. This version has no Keir, no cheating and a Happily Ever After. Although this book is part of a series, it is a standalone novel.

Meet Author Sienna Blake

Sienna Blake is a storyteller & ink slinger, word spinner of love stories with grit, and alter ego of a USA Today Bestselling Author.

She loves all things that make her heart race — roller coasters, thrillers and rowdy unrestrained sex. She likes to explore the darker side of human nature in her writing.

If she told you who she really was, she’d have to kill you. Because of her passion for crime and forensics, she’d totally get away with your murder.

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The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne #BlogTour #Review #Giveaway

The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne #BlogTour #Review #Giveaway

The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne #BlogTour #Review #GiveawayThe Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 3rd 2017
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Amazon//B&N
Goodreads
five-stars

The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him...more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity...

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own...

Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
Review
The Scot Beds His Wife is the 5th book in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne. It’s the first book I have read in this series and although there were a few things that happened that must have been mentioned in previous books I didn’t find it hard to follow.
This story had me hooked from the very beginning and I didn’t want to put it down. Samantha and Gavin are supposed to be enemies but of course they were perfect for each other. They both had some deep emotional scars and hid behind masks. I loved watching their relationship grow and change. I think I just found a new favorite author and must get my hands on the other books in this series soon!

About Kerrigan Byrne

Whether she's writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

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Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel #BlogTour #Review

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel #BlogTour #Review

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel #BlogTour #ReviewBlack Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Published by Entangled Publishing on September 5th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Amazon//B&N//iBooks//Kobo
Goodreads
five-stars

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Tumblr

Review

I have been impatiently waiting for this book ever since Entangled: Teen sent an email out about it back in February. The cover is gorgeous and the blurb is intriguing. I didn’t know just how intriguing it was going to be. Part of me was scared that I was wanting to read it so badly that it wasn’t going to be good.

Angie doesn’t like being in the spotlight. She made national news when she was younger and it was not for something that she wants to be remembered for. Reece is the new boy in town and the only one who Angie wants to notice her. However, he isn’t quite human being a harbinger of death and all. His family and he have been living with this curse for over a thousand years. Angie’s town is going to be the site of a disaster and Reece swears to keep Angie safe.

There is a horror element to this story in the form of psychosis-inducing bees that someone called a Beekeeper releases on people. I’ll let you read the story for yourself to find out more about that though. There is plenty of action in this book and I didn’t want the story to end. This is an excellent debut. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

About Meg Kassel

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for
young adults. A graduate of Parson's School of Design, she’s
always been creating stories, whether with visuals or words. She
worked as a graphic designer before realizing the thing she did
for pleasure (writing) was something she should do for real. Meg
is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine
woods with her husband and daughter. A fan of ’80s cartoons,
Netflix series, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been
fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing,
Meg is reading, hanging out with her family, hoarding peanut butter cups, or playing video
games. She is a two-time finalist and the 2016 winner of the RWA Golden Heart© contest in YA.

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Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel #ExcerptReveal

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel #ExcerptRevealBlack Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Published by Entangled Publishing on September 5th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 300
Goodreads

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Tumblr

Excerpt

I’m seriously questioning the wisdom of coming here. Who is this boy? Who are these people? I may not want these answers. Whatever illusion I had been weaving about this being a normal family can’t be true. This is a family, yes, but one putting on an elaborate show to appear to be something they are not. “Everyday life can’t be so bad,” I say lightly, eager to change the subject before I start luring myself down a hole. “You have a beautiful home, a nice family. You’re popular at school. Kiera Shaw certainly likes you.”

He turns his gaze to me, slowly. “Kiera Shaw? You think I like her?”

“I don’t know what you like.” I don’t blink. I don’t look away. “I know only what I’ve seen.”

Reece leans close, gently entering my personal space. Close enough to put me on edge, but not close enough to intimidate. His voice is silk on gravel. His narrowed eyes glitter down at me. “And what, exactly, have you seen, Angie?”

Shivers race up my skin. I want to defuse this so badly, but I feel like this is a challenge I can’t lose. “I’ve seen and heard things that don’t make sense. Things I can’t understand.” I shift my gaze to my crow sitting on a branch above my head. It watches me with an intensity that would scare me if I wasn’t accustomed to it. “Tell me about the crows.”

He shakes his head. “Sorry. Either you know about them, or you don’t.”

My jaw tightens, even as I step toward him. I can feel his body heat. His clean, guy scent fills my senses with a unique magnetism that draws me close. Closer still. “I will find out.”

His gaze sweeps my face, lingering on my lips. “I hope not.” His breath warms my temple, sending a shiver under my skin. “There are worse things out there than a few watchful birds.”

“Like what?” I’m breathless, damn him. My words are barely audible.

His lashes fan low over his eyes. The narrow space between us crackles with tension. “Oh Angie, you don’t want to know.”

About Meg Kassel

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for
young adults. A graduate of Parson's School of Design, she’s
always been creating stories, whether with visuals or words. She
worked as a graphic designer before realizing the thing she did
for pleasure (writing) was something she should do for real. Meg
is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine
woods with her husband and daughter. A fan of ’80s cartoons,
Netflix series, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been
fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing,
Meg is reading, hanging out with her family, hoarding peanut butter cups, or playing video
games. She is a two-time finalist and the 2016 winner of the RWA Golden Heart© contest in YA.

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Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks #BookBlitz

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks #BookBlitz

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks #BookBlitzTwo by Two by Nicholas Sparks
Published by Grand Central Publishing on October 4, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon//B&N//iBooks//Google Play//Kobo
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with his signature combination of gripping, emotionally resonant storytelling and love overcoming all odds.

At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable 6 year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Raleigh. He is living the Dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that dream. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear . . . and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down.

In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter London while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Trying to launch his own business while grappling with the demise of his marriage, the only thing he knows for certain is that London must be sheltered from the consequences of these radical changes. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding - one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

When a chance encounter with an old flame tempts him to take a chance on love again, he will navigate this new opportunity with trepidation and wonder. But with the loyal support of his parents and his wise older sister Marge, and in the hard-won lessons of fatherhood, Russ will finally come to understand the true nature of unconditional love - that it is a treasure to be bestowed, never earned.

Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook

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About Nicholas Sparks

With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include 12 #1 New York Times bestsellers. All his books have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than 50 languages. Ten Sparks novels have been adapted into major motion pictures, with The Choice coming in February 2016.

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Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy #Review #Giveaway

Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy #Review #GiveawayDaring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy
Published by Entangled Crush on August 22nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 230
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Truth or Dare was never this much fun...
Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself—gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she’s already set her sights on über-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.
Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.
Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions...but there’s more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake’s headed straight to juvie, but Annie’s more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains references to drinking, sexual situations, adult language, and an intense bad boy hero who will meltyour heart.

Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram
Review
Annie is kind of loner who wants to use her experience at summer camp as a sort of coming out. She wants to reinvent herself and be whoever she wants to be. She wants to win the attention of the hottest guy at camp but she has a hard time figuring out how to do that when they are never around each other. Jake is a counselor at the summer camp and has been put on a strict no-fraternizing-with-the-campers order. A game of truth or dare puts him in jeopardy of getting in major trouble when he is roped into not only teaching Annie how to swim but how to snag the guy she wants.
Daring the Bad Boy is spectacular. Monica Murphy always delivers excellent books no matter the genre. The situations that come up in this book are ones that happen in real life and I love when contemporary books reflect that. I never had the opportunity to go to summer camp when I was younger but after reading this book, I wish I was young enough to go now! I love that the book is told in dual POV so we get both Annie and Jake’s perspectives.
Giveaway
Monica Murphy is giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Be sure to enter using the rafflecopter below.
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four-half-stars

Show Me, Sir by Sonni De Soto #BlogTour #Review

Show Me, Sir by Sonni De Soto #BlogTour #Review

Show Me, Sir by Sonni De Soto #BlogTour #ReviewShow Me, Sir by Sonni de Soto
Published by Sinful Press on April 10th 2016
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Pages: 305
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Max Wells is a ball-busting, ass-kicking testament to female empowerment, who’s yet to meet the person who can push her down.Until she meets a man she only knows as Sir.Shamelessly deviant, Hayato, knows exactly what Max thinks of Dominants like him. So ready to dismiss his lifestyle, she’s the type to assume she knows everything about it and him after one cursory glance from the outside in. But, looking at Max—at her intelligence and passion—he can see more in her than the misconceptions she’s deliberately blinding herself with.And, determined, he plans to show her more.Max finds herself fascinated by this man who insists on challenging her every belief as he leads her into his world of dark desires. Matching his clash of wit, will, and seduction, Max begins to question all she knows about what it means to be empowered. Used to being unquestionably on top, Hayato is intrigued by Max's formidable delight in playing games and striking deals that shifts his usual power dynamics as they negotiate roles and rewrite rules.But, just as their game heats up, it gets used against them. Seeking to punish them with their play, someone threatens to drag their private lives out into the public spotlight. With high stakes and bitter scandal looming over their heads, Max and her Sir will have to work together to show that what the world thinks they are does not define who they are.

Review
I really enjoyed Show Me, Sir. I was hooked from the beginning and din’t want to stop reading. Max is smoking hot and his character is very intriguing. I love the diversity, vouyerism, and bondage in this book. It is hard to find a good book that contains all of those and Show Me, Sir was better than I expected it to be. I look forward to reading more by this author.

four-stars

Love Entwined by M.C. Decker #CoverReveal

Title: Love Entwined
 Author: M.C. Decker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Kari Ayasha, Cover to Cover Designs
Photography: Lauren Perry, Perrywinkle Photography
   Release Date: June 22, 2016
Blurb

Are second chances possible in a world plagued with devastating loss, difficult obstacles and everyday commitments?

Having a very genuine understanding of death and grief, Ireland O’Brien has been able to put aside her anger and move forward with a career of helping orphaned children – making their lives better, even though she’s kept her own pain deeply buried within her heart.

Architectural engineer J. Bentley Roberts has also experienced his fair share of heartache. Nearly two decades ago, he suffered the loss of his role model and high school sweetheart in the same tragic accident. And, more recently, Bentley said goodbye to his marriage – leaving him to not only dust himself off, but also to help pick up his teenage son in the unsettling process.

As both of their best friends get ready to say their “I dos,” Ireland and Bentley find themselves together again after twenty years apart.

Will they be able to fight their past demons to finally find the love that’s always entwined them?

Author Bio

M.C. Decker is the author of the Unspoken Series, which includes Unwritten and Unscripted, and the upcoming standalone novel Love Entwined. She lives in a suburb of Flint, Michigan with her husband, Brian, and spoiled-rotten Siamese cat, Simon. For the last decade, she has worked as a journalist for several community newspapers in Mid-Michigan and Michigan’s Thumb region. She enjoys all things ’80s and ’90s pop culture: movies, boy bands, music and especially the color, hot pink. She also strictly lives by the motto, “Life is better in flip flops,” and is a diehard Detroit Tigers fan.

 

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Lies in the Darkness by Amanda J. Clay #BlogTour #Review

Lies in the Darkness by Amanda J. Clay #BlogTour #Review

Lies in the Darkness by Amanda J. Clay #BlogTour #ReviewLies in the Darkness by Amanda J. Clay
on May 9th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 305
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

It’s senior year at Pacific State University and all-night parties, cheap hookups and regrets are the ruling pastimes.

Sophie DeLuca used to be a nice girl—but that was before Luke Lamanuzzi tore her heart to shreds. Now she’s a walking trail of vodka-soaked destruction, something her sexy, smooth-talking coworker Davis won’t let her forget. He might have a secret crush on her—but his playboy reputation would never let him admit it. His best friend Blake’s own love of all-nighters and debauchery comes crashing to a halt when a one-night stand backfires. Level-headed Cassie seems like she’s the one who has it all together, but she’s just better at hiding her skeletons.

Ungracefully pirouetting in and out of love triangles, drug addictions and unwanted pregnancies, four friends stumble their way through their last year of study and try to grasp the realities of the world on the other side.

Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Review
Honestly, Lies in the Darkness reminded me a lot of my college days. It was hard to keep up with who was sleeping with who and what happened to this person or that person.
Although it was hard to follow at times, the story was really good. It happens a lot that a girl will keep going back to the same guy just to have it end the same as before and get in this loop of breaking up, rebounding, getting back together, rinse and repeat. Sophie has so much drama in her life. It was enough to make anyone go down a spiraling black hole of regret.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the fact that it seemed like the book was about too many people at one time. I feel like it would have been better as a series but I really enjoyed it anyway.

About Amanda J. Clay

Amanda J. Clay is a California native with a resume of clichéd Cali traits, like a love of breakfast burritos, yoga and red wine. She had a fantastic time studying English and Journalism at Chico State University and then a very serious time slaving away for a Master’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She currently lives in the charming city of Berkeley, CA. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she spends most of her spare time plotting world adventures. She currently has one published Young Adult novel, Rebel Song. Watch for her next release, an offbeat New Adult contemporary, out in 2016.

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There is a tour wide giveaway for (2) print copies of Lies in the Darkness, a $10 Amazon gift card, and a $20 Amazon gift card. Be sure to enter below.
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four-stars