Blog Tour | Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters | Excerpt

Megan Harris had hopes of seeing the world, but at twenty-five she’s never even left Florida. Now a wedding invitation lures her to Quebec…in February. When her ex-friend Scarlett offers to be her plus-one (yeah, that’s a whole story) and suggests they turn the journey into an epic road trip, Megan reluctantly agrees to the biggest adventure of her life.

A week together in a car is a surefire way to kill a crush, and Scarlett Andrews has had a big one on Megan for years. The important thing is fixing their friendship.

As the miles roll away, what starts as harmless road-trip games and rest-stop dares escalates into something like intimacy. And when a surprise snowstorm forces Megan and Scarlett to hunker down without the open road as distraction, they’ve got a bigger challenge than making it to the church on time: facing the true nature of their feelings for each other.

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I’m currently reading this one and thoroughly enjoy it, so I will be reviewing it soon. Today, enjoy an excerpt from the book to see if it’s something you might want to pick up!

Megan hadn’t brought a lot of clothing on this trip, anticipating getting to do laundry at some hotel along the way, but she had a couple of nice outfits in addition to the dress she planned to wear for the wedding. She selected an emerald green sweater dress from her suitcase. She was normally more of a jeans kind of girl, but this dress made her feel cute, and it felt very Nashville when she paired it with some knee-high boots. She gathered up her clothes and undergarments and headed for the bathroom.

When she left the bathroom, Scarlett was pinning up her curls into two buns up near the top of her head. It was one of the cutest hairstyles she wore, and one that always made Megan wish for something other than her own super-straight brown hair. Scarlett looked away from her hair when Megan entered the room, her gaze skimming down Megan’s body in a way that made Megan burn up inside.

Before Scarlett could say something, whether it was going to be a compliment or not, Megan blurted out, “I don’t know what to do with my hair.”

Scarlett tapped her lips, studying her like she was an interesting painting. “You want me to curl it?” Scarlett asked.

“My hair doesn’t curl.” Megan had never had any luck with that. “It’s too fine.”

Scarlett tucked the final bobby pin into her own style and walked over to Megan, running her hand through Megan’s hair. The contact sent a chill all down Megan’s spine. Oh, she wanted Scarlett to keep touching her like that.

“It’s pretty fine.” Scarlett gathered up a bunch of Megan’s hair in her hands. Megan shivered. Hopefully Scarlett wouldn’t notice the shiver. “It would curl if you didn’t wash it so much. You need it to get dirty.”

Megan laughed, and it sounded breathless coming out. “I don’t really do dirty.”

Scarlett still had the hold on her hair, and she tipped Megan’s head back to look at her. “You sure about that?”

The unspoken after last night hung in the air between them. Megan sucked in a breath, her lips parting, and their gazes locked. Then it was like Scarlett had suddenly realized what she said, and she slid her hands out of Megan’s hair and backed away. “Your hair is cute just like it is. You don’t need to do anything to it.” She turned toward the mirror again and fumbled with her makeup bag. Was it Megan’s imagination, or were Scarlett’s hands shaking? “You, uh, ever think about cutting it?” Scarlett asked.

Megan was still rattled and warm all over. It took her a moment to process Scarlett’s words. “Oh. Yeah, actually. Sometimes I think about a pixie cut. Cutting all of it off. But I get nervous.”

“It’s a big step. But you’ve got the perfect heart-shaped face for it.” Scarlett glanced over, then back at the mirror. “If you ever want to do it, there’s probably a million great salons along our road trip. Could be a fun change. And it grows back.”

She was talking fast. Megan was having a hard time thinking. “Yeah. Maybe. I’ll…do my makeup.”

She had the new makeup from Sephora to try, and while it wasn’t her area of expertise, she put together what she hoped was a good look—not super fancy, but she didn’t end up looking like a clown, either. When she returned from the bathroom, Scarlett was done.

“What about lipstick?” Scarlett asked.

“I’m wearing some.” Megan resisted the urge to touch her lips in reflex.

Scarlett frowned. “Nude?”

“It’s light pink.”

“You need a bold lip. Something really red. It would bring the whole look together.”

“I don’t have anything really red.” Megan stuck with all light pinks whenever she got makeup, which wasn’t very often. Red was showy and ostentatious, and she wasn’t the type of person to try to get noticed.

Scarlett rummaged in her bag and pulled out a lipstick. “Here. Let me.” She touched Megan’s chin, gently tilting her head back, and then began to apply the lipstick with focused precision. Megan tried not to shiver as Scarlett held her face perfectly still, her attention locked onto Megan’s lips. When she finished, they held that pose, and desire flared up in Megan like a flashover. She wanted to lean forward and ruin that perfect lipstick against Scarlett’s berry-red mouth.

RITA™ Award-winning author Elia Winters is a fat, tattooed, polyamorous bisexual who loves petting cats and fighting the patriarchy. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school, where she also runs the drama club. In her spare time, she is equally likely to be found playing tabletop games, kneading bread, cross-stitching, or binge-watching Marie Kondo. A sex educator and kink-positive feminist, Elia reviews sex toys, speaks at kink conventions, and writes geeky, kinky, cozy erotic romance. She currently lives in western Massachusetts with her loving husband and their weird pets.

Connect with the Author | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Blitz | Inherent Fate by Alicia Anthony

Inherent Fate
Alicia Anthony
(Blood Secrets, #3)
Publication date: July 21st 2020
Genres: Psychological, 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 GenLink 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.

Book 3 of 3. Series is best enjoyed in sequence.

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EXCERPT:

The unmistakable thunk of a body. The involuntary exhale of someone having the wind knocked out of them–female, if Ridge had to guess–was audible even from the window side of his hotel room.

“Christ, Evan, watch yourself.” Tony’s voice, loud and unmistakable, filtered from under the doorway as Ridge moved toward the door. “She’s not the enemy.”

Tightness gripped Ridge’s chest and he pushed the desk chair out of his way, toppling it to the floor as he brushed past.

“This was your choice, Olivia.” The words stopped him cold–the chill of the metal door handle colliding with the heat of his fingers sent a spiral of anxiety up his spine.

“You knew there’d be consequences. You can’t change your mind now. It’s too late.”

Ridge pushed the balloon of air from his lungs and rested his forehead against the faux wood veneer above the peephole. He forced reason to join the ranks of uncontrollable hope that swelled in his chest.

“No one ever said this would be easy,” Michelle continued. Only she and Tony were visible from Ridge’s fishbowl view.

“Let. Me. Go.” That voice, those words punctuated by restorative breath, stole every fiber of logic from Ridge’s body. He swung the door open and stepped into the hall.

His breath caught as he met her gaze. Real. Tangible. Here. A thump of blood rushed against his eardrums, silenced by the breath of her name sliding across his lips. “Liv.”

Author Bio:

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 on Facebook or Instagram @AliciaAnthonyBooks. She’d love to hear from you!

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Blog Tour | The Lost City by Amanda Hocking | Review

Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The Kanin Chronicles, returns to the magical world of the Trylle Trilogy with The Lost City, the first novel in The Omte Origins—and the final story arc in her beloved series.

The storm and the orphan

Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the morning, she disappeared—leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find who abandoned her as a baby or why.

The institution and the quest

Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents, Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming colleague Pan Soriano.

The runaway and the mystery

But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who no memory of who she is but who possesses otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very deadly—but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she’s been looking for.

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I’ve never read any of Amanda Hocking’s previous works, but I have heard of them, so when I got the chance to give this one a read I was really excited. While I know this is in the same world as some of her other books, this book definitely gave enough world building that I feel you don’t have to read the other books first. I’m sure if you read the other books first you will benefit from them, but I feel you don’t have to.

The pacing of the story was pretty good, though there were sections that certainly slowed a bit because of the info dumps that occasionally happened, but other than that it was really well paced and enjoyable. I really liked the characters as we got to know them and felt that they were well rounded. I’m definitely excited to see where this story goes.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

AMANDA HOCKING is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Requiem by Emily Shore

Requiem
Emily Shore
(Roseblood, #3)
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

TWILIGHT meets GAME OF THRONES

There is no rest for Reina Caraway. After a new foe arrives in Le Couvènte, he wipes the young Queen’s memory and transports her to Germany where she lands right in the middle of an ages-old clan war.

Between advanced training of her creator abilities, Council meetings, typical territorial disputes, and wedding planning, Reina is looking forward to rest. Rest that won’t come.

When a mysterious stranger arrives in Le Couvènte and succeeds in erasing Reina’s memory, he abducts her to Germany, landing her right in the middle of three powerful vampire clans. With flashbacks haunting her, Reina longs for something familiar even if it leads her to a dark, roguish vampire intent on seducing her.

Desperate to find his Queen and sister, Heath goes undercover as a spy for the conniving, Calabria, leader of the second most powerful clan with eyes on the highest clan throne. Meanwhile, Reina attracts the attention of the top clan leader, Marius, who is determined to claim her and her blood. But warring clans are the least of her concerns compared to a demonic vampire hellbent on devouring the creator Queen and her infinite powers.

Queen Reina’s trials take a dark and deadly turn in Requiem, the third installment in the Roseblood Series. After her downfall, will she rise from the ashes?

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EXCERPT:

I froze. Roark took deep breaths, forcing himself to calm down until the bloodthirst in his eyes dissipated. Then, he inched toward me slowly. “I get it now. Marius sensed what I couldn’t. Why anyone would give up their throne for just one taste of your blood. Why you have more seekers than any other girl in Europe.”

“What?” I held my breath as he closed the distance between us, his dark shadow impaling my body.

“You’re a fucking symphony. You taste like four seasons. Like Aphrodite herself. You’re a goddess. A siren. There’s immortality in your blood. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

I thought back to that day in Kenneth’s manor. The invisible power I’d wielded.

“I’m not…human?”

“You’re human and beyond human,” responded Roark, cupping my cheeks, eyes shifting between each of mine.

I pressed my hips to his while leaning my chest away. Something was rearing. Combusting inside me. Aiming for my hand. Before Roark could lean in to kiss me, I raised my hand, retorting, “Beyond human…like this?” I opened my palm to reveal a fireball. Like a flaming white diamond the size of a golf ball. Even as I exhaled, Roark joined his hand with mine, extinguishing the fire right before he pressed his lips to mine, driving all other thoughts from my mind.


Author Bio:

Emily Shore is a MN author with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Metro State University and was a grand prize winner of #PitchtoPublication, which led her to working with professionals in the publishing industry. She is signed with Clean Teen Publishing for her anti-trafficking dystopian The Uncaged Series – #1: The Aviary. For every sale, proceeds return to trafficking rescue. She writes in multiple book genres and ultimately strives for strong, female characters.

Over the years, Emily has connected with rescue organizations and trafficking survivors and injects the truths she’s learned into her books. She is a trained awareness speaker and loves speaking on sexual violence and always hopes for more speaking events in schools, churches, and libraries. Please contact her on her website if you are interested in hearing her speak – http://www.emilybethshore.com – and to sign up for her newsletter!

Emily lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two daughters. Emily is pursuing grad school for domestic abuse advocacy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Bookbub


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Blog Tour | Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein | Review

Not Another Love Song
Olivia Wildenstein
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 7th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

An aspiring teenage singer finds herself playing a different tune when she falls for a boy who could jeopardize her future dreams in Olivia Wildenstein’s romantic YA novel, Not Another Love Song.

Angie has studied music her entire life, nurturing her talent as a singer. Now a high school senior, she has an opportunity to break into Nashville’s music scene via a songwriting competition launched by her idol, Mona Stone. Discouraged by her mother, who wishes Angie would set more realistic life goals, she nonetheless pours her heart and soul into creating a song worthy of Mona.

But Angie’s mother is the least of her concerns after she meets Reedwood High’s newest transfer student, Ten. With his endless collection of graphic tees, his infuriating attitude, smoldering good looks, and endearing little sister, Ten toys with the rhythm of Angie’s heart.

She’s never desired anything but success until Ten entered her life. Now she wants to be with him and to be a songwriter for Mona Stone, but she can’t have both.

And picking one means losing the other.

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I really enjoyed this story about Angie and Tennessee and their blossoming relationship. The story itself was very sweet and definitely a story that will put a smile on your face, though I would have liked there to be a little more conflict or struggle. Still it was great to see Angie’s relationships with not just Ten but with her mom and the fact that though they didn’t always agree, she and her mom had a tight relationship and bond.

This is my first exposure to Wildenstein’s writing and I found her style easy to read. I really enjoyed the flow to her writing and how seamlessly things moved. I will definitely pick up more from her in the future.

Author Bio:

USA TODAY bestselling author Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City and earned her bachelor’s in comparative literature from Brown University. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for the writing life, which made more sense considering her college degree.

When she’s not sitting at her computer, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, and attempting not to forget one of her kids in school.

She has a slight obsession with romance, which might be the reason why she writes it. She’s a hybrid author of over a dozen mature Young Adult love stories.

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Blitz | A Spectacle of Souls by Jessica Julien

A Spectacle of Souls
Jessica Julien
(Circus of the Stolen #1)
Published by: Bleeding Ink Publishing
Publication date: July 7th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Caitlyn always thought she was just your average small-town waitress, but she’s anything but average. Suffering from frequent headaches and vivid daydreams, her oddities mask a secret hidden deep within her mind—one that could defeat even the cleverest of psychics.

When a mysterious circus arrives in town, Caitlyn is immediately drawn to it. While visiting the hypnotic show, she meets a seer who warns her of a gruesome future and urges her to stay away. But soon, Caitlyn finds herself ensnared in the show and the Ringmaster himself.

Recognizing Caitlyn’s powers for what they are, and believing they are the ones he has been searching for, the Ringmaster is determined to claim them as his own. Trapped within the circus and the Ringmaster’s devious grip, Caitlyn realizes that to escape the seer’s foretold fate, her only choice is to fight. Banding together with Bevier, an imprisoned psychic, Meg, an eccentric seamstress, and Daniel, a handsome magician, Caitlyn falls into the Psychic Realm to thwart the Ringmaster and stop the show before they succumb to his control and are trapped forever in his spectacle of souls.

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Author Bio:

Born in the picturesque state of Washington, Jessica Julien is the marketing director of a boutique publishing company, a stay at home mom, wife, and wanderluster. When not drafting marketing plans or doing laundry, she spends her time writing young adult and new adult novels focused on the paranormal and supernatural inspired by her love of all things dark and twisty. With her vivacious imagination, witty personality, and ability to bring sarcasm to a new level Jessica creates unique worlds and characters that readers can’t help but hate to love and love to hate.

In her free time, Jessica can be found enjoying a cup of dark roasted coffee while snuggling under a blanket with a good book. When the weather is right she hops in the car with her husband, son, and dogs to road trip across the country where she delights in eating red vines, drinking iced lattes, and singing loudly in the passenger seat.

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Blitz | Forgotten Magic by Eden Butler

Forgotten Magic
Eden Butler
(Crimson Cove, #1)
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: June 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Bane Illes never smiled.

He never spoke.

But each day, that brooding wizard gave Janiver Benoit a glance.

And when she could not take another quiet stare, or the warmth that look sent over her skin, she took from Bane something he’d never give freely—one lingering, soul knocking kiss.

Ten years later, someone has stolen the one thing that keeps magic hidden from the mortals in Crimson Cove and only Janiver can recover it. But returning to her hometown means she’ll have to face the past and all the secrets she left buried there, including the one person she promised herself she’d never see again. The dangerous wizard that might make leaving Crimson Cove the last thing she wants to do.

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING:

★★★★★”Butler’s tantalizing fantasy romance, originally self-published as Crimson Cove, burns slow and hot…The magical elements are electric and the chemistry between Bane and Janiver is delicious. Butler builds the tension slowly, carefully pulling story threads to a satisfying but open-ended climax. Readers will be eager to return to Crimson Cove.” – Publishers Weekly

★★★★★ “Eden is a masterful storyteller who takes mere words and turns them into magic.”

★★★★★ “I REALLY LOVED this fresh, innovative, and out of the box concept of a modern romance with a dark, ethereal twist.”

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EXCERPT:

“Some of us didn’t need to train in Norway with thousand-year-old mages to learn our craft.” Made a little bolder by the liquor, I stepped into Bane’s personal space and ran the tip of my fingernail over the runes wrapped around his forearm. “All these runes, all that pain and blood, I never once had to suffer so much for my craft.”

“Maybe,” Bane said, taking the bottle from me, “if you had, you wouldn’t need the liquor.”

“Maybe I like the liquor.” My tongue was heavy in my mouth and I wasn’t sure why my voice had suddenly lowered or how I could feel the ley lines whispering against my mind.

But Bane wasn’t drinking, and he seemed able to control how the lines affected him. He was too versed in blocking raw magic. Still, he didn’t seem wholly unaffected, and for whatever reason, he at least didn’t object to how closely I stood in front of him. “You strike me as the type of witch who likes things that are bad for her.”

The laughter came quickly, the first I’d released in over a week. Just then, I didn’t think about the darkness that took me with Freya’s death. Something light, almost sweet came into my head and I glanced at that bottle, only just realizing that I hadn’t been drinking whiskey at all.

“Berry Burn wine?”

“You didn’t know?” He laughed, scrubbing his face. “Circe, Jani. I thought you were more careful.”

Shrugging, I let the elixir work through me, enjoying the way its potency made everything feel electrified and sweet. Dipping my head back, a sudden reminder of the worst possible thing for me—the wizard standing inches away—seemed so attractive, so sweet, and I licked my lips, my inhibitions lowered as I watched him.

Unbidden, a memory of that solitary day when I’d bitten the forbidden fruit and I forgot myself for just a moment filled my head. “And, baby, you’ve got no idea how much I like things that are bad for me.”

Bane blinked. I blinked and just for a second I savored the silent room, the energy that built between us then. “Did you…did you just call me baby?”

It was if he’d unstoppered a drain and I twirled down into its belly. Berry Burn wine or not, I immediately sobered. Mortification, humiliation, it had to be all over my face, easily read in my expression. But I was not a witch who would admit defeat or mistakes made so quickly. I was a natural survivor. I’d say anything to weasel my way out of a tight spot. Or utter humiliation.

“No.” There was a touch of humor in my response—forced and clearly fabricated—but it didn’t stop me from making that sound or stepping back when Bane held my wrist.

“You did.” He pinned me in the corner of the counter with that wide body nearly engulfing me in shadow and heat. “Damn.” Bane came so close, mouth too near my neck as though he was just managing to control himself and not devour me right then and there. “Why do I like that?”

I knew why and just then, I hated that he didn’t. Because you claimed me! Ten years ago, I wanted to scream. Because I am yours, because you belong to me.

Some part of him had to know the truth, despite the block I had put on his memories. Somewhere, behind all that power, the knowledge, the lists of lines of duty and expectations, lay the hidden memory of that one blissful afternoon with me in that empty classroom. The day our nexuses melded. The day we claimed each other.

The way Bane looked at me, the deep focus of his gaze on my mouth, shifting across my fingers brought us closer and closer to the edge of something that could mean nothing but misery. For him, at least. And I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t want to stop it.

All around us seemed to settle, every sound, every scent, just like it had that day, just like it had the first time we kissed. The only sound I could clearly hear was the steady, rhythmic pulse of his heart and mine—two separate bodies moving toward each other, closer, nearer until Bane’s stubble grazed on my cheek and he held my head still, insistent between his fingers.

I had only to tilt my head back a little. Move my chin, wet my bottom lip and he’d take my mouth. It was all there on his face. Expressions that told a thousand stories, made a million promises, and I wanted them all inside me with him, where he was meant to be.

Just one small movement and it would be done.

Bane tilted my chin, held my face between both hands now and I heard him come closer, waiting, making my mind up that I would only take a taste…

A taste that wasn’t mine.

A touch that belonged to someone else.

Eyes shut tight to clear away Caridee’s perfect skin, her perfect hair—the flawless Rivers coven regalia that Bane deserved. The one taught over and over to us as expectation. Certainties that had never been changed. The way the Cove existed so that there was no upset, no chance of shaming all of the Cove by letting the mortals know what we are and how we lived.

Expectation.

Certainty.

Things that had been constants for everyone in the Cove. Each coven depended on the other. Each den, every pack, all connected.

The way of things.

The things I’d left behind.

Before I realized I’d uttered a sound, the word came out, my hands pushing against that wide chest and “Parley!” echoing around the kitchen.

Bane steadied my hands when I tried to push at him again, holding me by the shoulders so I wouldn’t leave. Eyes wrinkling as he squinted at me, the expectation was evident. He wanted clarification. He wanted me to explain why I’d used the most antiquated, passé respite possible in our world.

Parley? Had I really said that?

“What…did you just?”

But the black flag had been lifted and measures were maintained even in such…personal matters. Bane was heir to the most powerful coven in the Cove. Even he had to mind the rules we all lived by.

“I did.” Damn. An inhale to push back the tension crowding between my eyes and I glanced up at him, grateful that I hadn’t spelled him to back away. “Parley. Back off. Don’t…don’t touch me. Talk only.”

“Why in the hell would you…”

“I have reasons.” I waved my hand so he’d step back. “Please, I already told you…I have a job to do and a creature to find. I can’t have you being a distraction.”

“I’m the distraction?” He moved his gaze over my body.

“Didn’t you say we’re on a time crunch here?”

He nodded, reluctantly agreeing. “Fair enough.” He stepped back, pulling on the neck of that bottle fisted between my fingers. “We have to get this search going.” He set the bottle on the counter next to the sink. I nodded, started to walk away, but Bane tugged on my arm, his fingers touching right on my skin. Shuddering in my limbs, in his, and his eyes grew wide. He twisted his head to the side like he needed to shake the sensation away, then jerked his gaze up at my face. “What…what the hell was that?”

“I…I don’t know.”

He stared at me a long time, then at his fingers still gripping my arm before he dropped it.

“The search?” I said when Bane had stayed too quiet. “I’ll see you out there in ten minutes.” Before I left into the hallway, Bane called my name. Stopping would be stupid. Not stopping, though, might tell him I couldn’t control myself alone with him. He’d already gotten enough of my fear in the past few days. I wouldn’t hand him anymore.

Eyes, chin twisted toward him, I didn’t dare stare right at his face. I can admit that I was a coward when it came to him. But Bane didn’t seem to care that I wouldn’t look directly at him. He clicked back into control mode. “We finish this…all of this, as quickly as possible.”

“That’s fine with me.” A little more relaxed now that he was back on task, I turned around. “I’ve got…a life waiting for me in New York.”

“That’s not why I want to hurry.”

“Why then?”

Two long strides put him back in front of me and I immediately cursed myself for stopping. Bane’s mouth was tight, eyes narrowed as though he needed to concentrate on anything other than the rip of energy that bubbled between us. The lines feed off anger, passion, lust. All of those things, with a few other emotions, permeated the room. It made the lines pulse square into us.

“The sooner the job is over, the sooner we can discuss what the hell that was and what you’ve been running from for ten damn years.”

He didn’t wait for me to answer. He didn’t want to see me huddle against the counter or try like hell not lean across the granite just to get my skin to cool. It didn’t matter that Bane was curious, that he wanted answers. I was there to do a job. I was there to save my family’s name. None of that would include a conversation with Bane Iles about what had happened to us when we were kids. I’d be long gone before then. Again.

Author Bio:

Eden Butler is a writer of contemporary, fantasy and romantic suspense novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, reads, and spends too much time in her garden perfecting her green thumb while waiting for the next New Orleans Saints Superbowl win.

She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

Please send help.

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Blitz | Fireborne by McKenzie Hunter

Fireborne
McKenzie Hunter
(Raven Cursed #1)
Publication date: November 1st 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

My magic isn’t just a curse – it’s an addiction. I crave it the way some people crave chocolate. But, chocolate doesn’t kill – my magic does.

I’m Raven Cursed. When I borrow magic from someone, they die. That’s always been the case—until I met my client, the devilishly handsome and enigmatic Mephisto. He has his own brand of unique magic and a mysterious past he’s determined to keep to himself.

He knows that I’m the one to call anytime a curse goes wrong, a magical object is lost, or a rogue supernatural needs apprehending. So he offers a trade. He’ll give me his magic, and in return, I accept a job from him.

It seems like a simple deal until all hell breaks loose. We have to team up to stop a god from unleashing destruction upon the city. It leaves me to wonder: can I battle a god with the devil at my back?

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Other books in the series so far:

EXCERPT:

“She’s not what I expected,” Ava said in French. “She’s younger and more unassuming. I expected someone more menacing. Especially after the stories you told me and what I heard in passing. I was looking forward to meeting her, but it feels anticlimactic. She’s underwhelming.”

Anticlimactic? Underwhelming? I came in with a bag of weapons and accessories; what else did she want? Me stomping into the room, a sword strapped to my back, blades sheathed on each leg, and dual wielding Glocks? Dark-blue jeans and a black long-sleeve shirt was a respectable outfit. It didn’t scream total badass the way my leathers did, but I had no plans of being dragged across gravel today. Did she want me to mug her, growl like a rabid dog, hand out lollipops and slaps to everyone as I passed them? Maybe I wasn’t her image of a retrieval specialist—I really did like that title—but I was far from anticlimactic and underwhelming.

I shrugged off her comments. I couldn’t believe I cared what she thought. If I arrived in a fluffy sweater and a tutu, what did it matter as long as I got the job done?

I kept my face neutral so they wouldn’t suspect I could understand them. Spending most of my childhood at Madison’s home ensured I spoke French, although I wasn’t as fluent as I would have liked. It became a private joke in the family, that the more French spoken, the thicker Madison’s father’s Irish brogue became. On several occasions, she would grin at her father and speak French with an Irish enunciation. That he didn’t think it was as amusing as we did only increased our enjoyment.

“She’s not a merc, she’s a woman of many talents, but retrieval is her specialty,” Mephisto said in French.

True, I did a little of everything. If it made me money, I would do it. But I couldn’t put “I’ll do anything for money” on a business card or website because the calls and responses would get lascivious pretty fast. Jack/Jane of all trades didn’t work either because it cued more strange calls. People would be surprised what some considered a trade. So I kept it simple. Technically I was a bounty hunter. Merc sounded too ignoble. I operated in the many shades of gray of the human and supernatural system, but I didn’t want to advertise it. You call yourself a merc and people assume you skated right past the gray areas and went wading in the dark. Sometimes I had to, but it was never my first choice.

“That’s the beauty of her. She’s not flashy. She’s unassuming and her abilities make her tactics unique and noteworthy. That works in her favor. I assure you she’s skilled and quite impressive. After all, at this moment she’s pretending she doesn’t understand us, when clearly she does.”

My head stayed down looking at the paper, refusing to confirm his allegation. After several more minutes of looking over the contract, I looked up and feigned confusion over Ava’s scrutiny of me. Ava’s voice softened as she said something about her statements being rude before effortlessly slipping into another language that I couldn’t place.

Once I’d finished marking up the corrections to the contract, I walked over to Ava, whose presence was pleasant, although her eyes held hints of displeasure at being underwhelmed by me.

Tough. I’m not here to entertain you with a dog and pony show.

Author Bio:

McKenzie, as a child, discovered that her life could be a whirlwind of adventures by simply opening a book. To this day, reading is still her favorite activity. She has a fondness for fantasy and mystery, which is probably why she writes urban fantasy.

When McKenzie isn’t working on her next book she is usually binge-watching paranormal and comedy shows, maintaining her title as “favorite auntie”, or trying to create a tasty low-calorie pizza. McKenzie loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to contact her via her website, Facebook, or email.

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Blog Tour | Jagger by Amanda McKinney | Review

Jagger: Steele Shadows Investigations
Amanda McKinney
Publication date: June 18th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Secrets, lies, deceit… A former Navy SEAL turned homicide detective has met his match in this new *standalone* addition to the number #1 Bestselling Steele Shadows Series…

He found her covered in blood.
She promises she’s innocent.
The question is… Can he trust her?

Feared just as much on the streets as at a crime scene, Homicide Detective Max Jagger has dedicated his life to one thing—speaking for the dead. Everyone and everything else be damned, including his own demons. During one of the most oppressive heat waves to hit the small, southern town of Berry Springs, the former Navy SEAL is called to a scene where a real estate heiress is found standing over a dead body, holding the murder weapon. The local cops immediately dub it a slam-dunk case, but if Jagg has learned anything from his days running special ops, it’s that nothing is as it seems… including this suspect.

Despite her name, Sunny Harper is as beguiling as a fallen angel. Clever, cunning, completely unwilling to cooperate, and, perhaps his least favorite quality—mind-numbingly intoxicating. When evidence from the scene suggests an accomplice, Jagg begins to believe that Sunny is both innocent and in danger, despite the towns’ uproar to lock her up. Torn between his growing feelings for his suspect, he takes Sunny to a secluded lake house where he discovers there’s much more behind those enchanting green eyes… including secrets that could take them both under.

With his career on the line and the clock ticking, Jagg must decide if he can trust Sunny… before they both get burned.

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This is my first experience with McKinney’s writing so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the blurb sucked me in for sure. I really enjoyed how much complexity she put into characters like Jagger and Sunny and while the romance definitely wasn’t the focus, it was enjoyable. The main focus was definitely the mystery. Still, the story was packed with tension and suspense as it unfolded. The building of Jagger and Sunny’s relationship, though it wasn’t necessarily the focus, was great. All of the characters were great and the story was full of twists and turns, it was a great read!

Author Bio:

Amanda McKinney is the #1 bestselling and multi-award-winning author of more than ten steamy romantic suspense and mystery novels. She wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, in 2017 after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Set in small, southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning murder mysteries packed with steamy romance.

Her books include the HOT new bestselling series, STEELE SHADOWS SECURITY, the multi-award-winning BERRY SPRINGS series and BLACK ROSE MYSTERIES.

Text AMANDABOOKS to 66866 to receive Amanda’s newsletter and get the latest on new releases, promos, and freebies!

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Blog Tour | That Summer in Maine | Review

A novel about mothers and daughters, about taking chances, about exploding secrets and testing the boundaries of family

Years ago, during a certain summer in Maine, two young women, unaware of each other, met a charismatic man at a craft fair and each had a brief affair with him. For Jane it was a chance to bury her recent pain in raw passion and redirect her life. For Susie it was a fling that gave her troubled marriage a way forward.

Now, sixteen years later, the family lives these women have made are suddenly upended when their teenage girls meet as strangers on social media. They concoct a plan to spend the summer in Maine with the man who is their biological father. Their determination puts them on a collision course with their mothers, who must finally meet and acknowledge their shared past and join forces as they risk losing their only daughters to a man they barely know.

Buy Links | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | AppleBooks | Google Play

This was my first experience reading Brianna Wolfson’s writing and I enjoyed her style overall. It was descriptive and flowed well, while also being filled with heart. I found myself feeling for many of the characters and their individual situations, even if they weren’t something I could identify with myself, it was written that well.

I felt this was really a story about families and all the different relationships and roles that different members play and how those roles can change with life events, time and changes to the family. I really enjoyed the look at how family dynamics can shift and the different emotions that can happen with those shifts. I didn’t necessarily like all of the characters, but each of their specific situations were well examined and explained.

Brianna Wolfson is a New York native living in San Francisco. Her narrative nonfiction has been featured on Medium, Upworthy and The Moth. She buys a lottery ticket every Friday.

Social Links | Author website | Goodreads

Happy reading!