Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cover Reveal: In Dreams by Heather Mullins

Working in the homicide division of the Detroit Police Department, has made Angelo Baldoni, a third generation officer, pretty much immune to the depths of depravity seen in his years on the force. When a young woman is brutally murdered, the case of Hope Cooper can change the course of his life.

Hope, an outgoing young woman with everything going for her, lost it all the night that she was faced with the vicious eyes of a murderer. Stuck in limbo, Hope is confused and scared, trying to right the wrong done to her. Able to visit people in their dreams, Hope latches onto Angelo in hopes he can catch her killer.

Angelo was raised with a strong belief in the afterlife and the dreams of Hope don’t go unnoticed. With the help of his partner, Bobby, he aims to catch the killer before he strikes again. However, a cold case causes Angelo's past to merge with Hope’s case.

Will he keep his feelings at bay to find the murderer? Or will it be too late?

Expected Release Date:  October 30, 2014

     I hate this ankle biting Yorkie as much as I hate its owner. If I could, I’d get rid of this client, but any business is good business right? I own a mobile pet grooming company, Squeaky Clean, and so far it’s doing well. But today I’m thanking everything that’s holy that as soon as I drop off Jeanie Costa’s Yorkshire terrier, I’m done for the day.
     I usually enjoy walking the dogs down Hines Drive because it's one of the last truly beautiful areas left in the Detroit area. After everything that’s happened, I’m always looking over my shoulder because feel like I’m being watched. Hines Drive doesn’t calm me like it usually does, and I find myself rushing the dog so we can get out of here. With the sound of footsteps behind me, fear settles in my soul causing me to start pulling the dog along.
     “Oh my God, will you just pee already!” I scream at the dog when it stops for the millionth time. Fear hits me full force and I’m about to just pick up the damn dog and run when Gigi growls as a large, calloused hand grips my shoulder and spins me around. I swing my arms, trying like hell to strike my attacker but hit nothing but air. As soon as I recognize him, anger quickly replaces fear.
     “Fuck! You scared me half to death!”
     “I’m sorry, Hope. I didn’t mean to startle you,” he says, looking away.
     “What are you doing in this area anyway? You don’t live around here.” The hair on the back of my neck is standing up and a frisson of disquiet travels down my spine. I mean, what are the odds that he’d be on the same street as me, when neither of us lives in this area?
     “I can’t wait any longer,” he whispers.
     “What?” I choke out, uneasiness creeping into my gut. I look around and realize there is not a single person or car in sight. Smart move, Hope. Put yourself in a dangerous situation by not paying attention to your surroundings.
     “I’m done waiting for you.” He lunges toward me, the black metal butt of a pistol gripped in his raised hand. He hits me on the head with such force that I actually see stars and feel incredible pain shoot through my temple. The momentum of the blow makes me think my brain shifted in my skull. I stumble backward and the last thing I see is Gigi biting my attacker’s leg.
     As I regain consciousness, I’m petrified when I can’t see my surroundings. When my eyes adjust to the dimly lit room, it becomes evident that I’m no longer outside, and I’ve been hogtied.
     I can feel the bile rise in the back of my throat as I glance around the room. The painted walls are yellowed and peeling. An old, battered wooden chair is nearby, and a dented bucket sits off in the corner. It’s the mattress that does me in, stained from top to bottom with a piss- covered top that reeks of decay. I take a few deep breaths and swallow back the rising vomit in my throat.
     It’s finally happened, that psycho finally kept his promises. As my heart and breathing quicken, I’m too scared to think straight. I force myself to take calming breaths so I can try and figure out how to get out of here. I try to get a better idea of my location, but all that’s visible is a window, most of the glass covered with boards.
     A loud shattering sound echoes from the next room, reminding me that I’m not alone. Pretending that I’m still out, I hear heavy footsteps approaching and I sense my stalker standing over me. He bends down and runs his fingers through my hair in an intimate gesture.
     “I’ve loved you forever, Hope, I wish you could see that.” He grabs a handful of my hair and seeing me wince seems to piss him off. Apparently realizing I was faking, he pulls me by my hair to the edge of the mattress and slams my head to the floor. It makes a sickening “thud” sound as it hits followed by an instant, nauseating throbbing. Warm liquid, probably my blood, drips down the side of my face into my mouth. The metallic taste fuels my fear—and my anger. I thrash against the bindings in an attempt to free myself but only manage to cause the filthy rope to dig deeper into my wrists and ankles, leaving me raw and bleeding.
     “I waited so long for you, baby, but you never gave me a chance. I do so many nice things for you, and you don’t even have the manners to say thank you.” He turns to look at me, venom in his eyes. I stop struggling as I shake my head to try and clear my thoughts and possibly ease the throbbing. I hope that my fear is not evident to him.
     Deep breaths, Hope, you’ve to get a grip if you want live.
     “I’m sorry I didn’t know it was you. Why didn’t you tell me?”
     “What difference does it make? You don’t give a shit either way.” He starts to pace and seems to become more agitated. He fists his hands into his dark hair, pulling on the ends. I twist my left wrist, wincing in pain from rope digging into my abraded flesh, but I feel the rope slowly giving way. Every time he glances in my direction, I freeze as my fear creeps higher up. I’m praying he doesn’t notice what I’m doing.
     “I never wanted it to end this way, but you have left me with no other choice. I can’t keep watching you every day, knowing you won’t be mine.” He stops pacing to look at me. He pulls a roll of duct tape out of his jacket pocket as he saunters over to me twirling the roll around his finger with an evil smirk on his face.
     “Please don’t do this.” Tears are streaming down my face. “I’ll do anything you want. Please. I’m sorry, I didn’t know sooner; let me make it up to you.” I try to sound genuine but fear overcomes me and my words sound shaky and unsure.
     “MAKE IT UP TO ME?” he yells. “It’s too late for empty promises, Hope; just shut the fuck up. I won’t listen to your bullshit anymore.” Before I can even open my mouth, he slaps me in the face so hard my head whips back. The sound of my neck cracking reverberates throughout the room. The force of the blow causes my jaw to clamp down so hard I bite into my tongue, the blood pooling in my mouth.
     He kneels down to get eye level with me, and I spit the mixture of blood and saliva in his face. “You bitch!” He rises up and wipes his face. Finally pulling a hand free, I punch him as hard as I can in the groin. Grabbing his crotch, he falls sideways with a loud groan, writhing in pain.
     Frantically kicking my legs free, knowing my life depends on getting away, I run to the door, throw it open and come face to face with complete darkness. My heart racing, I pick a direction and pray it’s the right one.
     “Hope, get back here!” he yells.
     Shit, he’s getting up.
     I dodge into a room as he stumbles out, crashing into a table causing him to yell in pain. “Where the fuck are you? When I find you, so help me God, you’ll be sorry, bitch,” he growls. I look around the moonlit room and spot what looks like a small closet. I get in, moving the nasty, ratty clothing that still hangs there aside and close the door behind me. I press myself up against the wall, the only sounds my heavy breathing and rapid heartbeat.
     “I know you’re here, you can’t hide from me, you stupid slut.” His voice gets louder and I know he’s only seconds from entering the room I’m in. My panic reaches new heights as I push myself to the back of the closet and close my eyes like a child. If I can’t see him then he can’t see me...right? Suddenly the door flies open and I cover my mouth to silence my scream. Grabbing the first limb he sees, he yanks my battered body from the small enclosure, knocking the wind out of me as my back slams against the hardwood floor.
     “Ah ha, gotcha bitch,” he laughs. “Now it’s time to pay for being such a whore and teasing me all the time.” He places his foot on my neck, holding me in place while I gasp for air. He jerks my arms behind my back nearly dislocating my shoulder. My struggling doesn’t deter him and he ties the ropes tighter than he did the first time.
     “Just stop fighting this, Hope.” When I continue to try and get free, he sneers and punches me in the face. Blood gushes from my nose, mixing with the dark pools that flow from my mouth and head. My face throbs and my tongue burns from the salt in my tears as he finishes his work, quickly leaving me totally at his mercy. He pulls a switchblade out of his scuffed combat boot and flicks it open. He slowly drags the double edged blade lightly up my body, stopping when the cold steel touches my cheek, smearing the blood that has continued to run down my face. Closing my eyes tightly, I pray he won’t use it but I silently begin to say my goodbyes.
     “You are so beautiful Hope. I could’ve given you the world. Can you not see how much I love you, what you mean to me? Do you know how bad it hurts watching you from afar when you should have been mine? DO YOU?” His breathing becomes more ragged as he shoves the knife under my shirt. I hold my breath, knowing where this is going. He cuts through my shirt, the knife razor-sharp, then makes quick work of my bra, leaving me naked from the waist up.
     “You. Are. Mine. Hope. I believe it’s finally time to take what’s mine.” I start to struggle against the ropes until I feel the edge of the knife at my throat. “Move again, slut, and I will cut your throat end to end and watch the life drain from your body.”

Author Bio:
Heather Mullins has always loved to read and has been writing poems and stories since childhood. She truly enjoys doing so much with other indie authors and fully supports this outstanding community. She uses her outgoing opinionated personality to help write and run multiple blogs.
Heather is a full time student working to get her Bachelors in Human services specializing in substance abuse counseling. She’s an Air Force Veteran and enjoyed fighting for her country. Heather supports many different groups that help out other veterans. 
She is a mother of 3 wonderfully crazy kids and has been married for 13 years. When she isn’t playing taxi she is living vicariously through the lives of characters in any                               number of books. 

Author Links:

5 – eCopies of In Dreams 

Partners (Equals #2) by Brigham Vaughn

After a rocky first few months, Stephen Parker and Russ Bishop’s relationship is at a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit Stephen's hometown in southern Georgia.

Estranged from his family, Stephen must find a way to come to terms with his past and say goodbye to the father whose expectations he could never live up to. The small, conservative town provides its own challenges as Russ realizes providing emotional support is one part of being a true partner for Stephen.

I can safely say I have never read a book as far ahead of a scheduled posting as I did Partners.  As soon as I received the ARC, I went right to reading it and have been chomping at the bit to tell my review.  AMAZING!!!  Stepehn and Russ touch your heart in every way possible.  To say I loved them is putting it mildly and, if I may add, stating the obvious.  There were a few times where I could have reached in and throttled Stephen though, usually when he put voice to his doubts over Russ "settling" for an older man.

I can't even begin to imagine what Stephen is feeling having to return to his hometown after his father's death considering how things had been between the two men, but Miss Vaughn handles is beautifully.  I'll admit that at times some of the characters were a bit on the preachy side but anything less and it wouldn't have been fitting of the story, the characters, or the author.  I look forward to see what the future has in store for both Stephen and Russ (I hope) and Miss Vaughn.


     Stephen felt bone-deep weariness sink in as they climbed the steps to Miss Esther’s porch. It wasn’t the long walk on the farm, or the oppressive heat and sunshine, but Stephen’s emotional state. He was utterly exhausted, and despite the pleasant interlude of swimming and making love to Russ, he felt on edge again. Memories of the last time he’d been at the farm haunted him, and he wasn’t sure he was ready to face them head-on. Russ knew the gist of what happened, but he didn’t know the details.
     Stephen wanted to tell him, he honestly did, but it would break open old wounds, much older than the ones about Jeremy’s accident. Was it possible for a man to live to be nearly fifty without emotional scars? Stephen didn’t know. His felt particularly raw at the moment though, and he needed some time to let it all settle.
     They took turns showering, and when Stephen stepped out of the bathroom, he saw the room was empty. He dressed in clean clothes and walked down the wooden staircase, following the sound of voices in the kitchen. He paused in the hallway outside.
     “What was Stephen like as a kid?”
     Miss Esther laughed. “An adult. Oh, Russ, he was so serious; such a little man. He was quiet, thoughtful. He’d look at you with those bright blue eyes and it was like he was trying to figure out what made you tick. Oh, he had his rambunctious moments, I suppose. But for the most part, he was a serious little boy. I remember one time, his daddy brought him in the hardware store my husband owned and he spent the time sorting all of the bolts and screws so they were in their proper spots.”
     Russ chuckled. “That sounds like him. Thankfully, we’re both pretty neat, so we don’t find much around the apartment to fight about.”
     “You’re good for him,” Miss Esther said, her tone thoughtful. “I wasn’t sure what to think of you two, but I see it now. The way he looks at you … well, it was the way my Reginald looked at me. Like he’d throw himself in front of a bullet for ya’.”
     “I certainly hope it never comes to that.” Russ’ laugh was uncomfortable. “Stephen seems to think the town is going to be against us. Is that true?”
     Stephen heard the elderly woman sigh, and he leaned his shoulder against the wall to listen. Her voice was gentle when she responded. “I don’t know, child. Some people will be. This town is better than it was when Stephen left, but it’s not Atlanta. It can’t hurt to be cautious.”

Author Bio:
Brigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell.  After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked.  Now she's eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up.  In the little time that isn't spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year old home.  Brigham lives in Michigan with her four cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.

Author Links:



1 commenter at each stop will have their choice of backlist title from Brigham Vaughn (excludes Dr. Feelgood).

In addition 1 commenter in all the tour will win a $10 gift card from Amazon.  Grand prize giveaway ends October 4 @ 11:59pm CDT.  Winner will be drawn by random drawing among all entrants on October 5.

Must be 18 or older to enter.  Void where prohibited.

Blog Tour Stops:
9/19/2014 Prism Book Alliance
9/20/2014 GGR Review
9/21/2014 MM Good Book Review
9/23/2014 Smoocher's Voice
9/25/2014 Diverse Reader
9/27/2014 Love Bytes Reviews
9/28/2014 The Novel Approach
9/30/2014 Padme's Library
10/1/2014 JP Barnaby
10/3/2014 Rainbow Gold Reviews

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday's Montage Showcase: Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary

An original anthology celebrating Rod Serling’s landmark television series

When it first aired in 1959, The Twilight Zone was nothing less than groundbreaking television. Freed from much of the censors’ strict oversight because of the show’s classification as “science fiction,” the 156 filmed episodes explored powerful and moving human themes—love, hate, pride, jealousy, terror—in their own unique style.The show has since inspired two revivals, as well as fiction, comic books, and magazines, and even a pinball game and theme park rides.  Just as important, it sparked the imaginations of countless writers, filmmakers, and fans around the world, and is considered a seminal show for broadening the horizons of television.

This anthology will be an all-new collection of stories written in the vein of the original television show. 2009 is the fiftieth anniversary of The Twilight Zone’s first broadcast year. Edited and featured and introduction by Carol Serling, the anthology will include brand new stories by science fiction and fantasy luminaries such as Whitley Strieber, Loren D. Estleman, Joe Lansdale, R. L. Stein, Timothy Zahn, and Peter S. Beagle, as well as writers from the original series, Earl Hammer and Harlan Ellison®, all in honor of Rod’s incredible vision.

First Released:  August 12th 2009
Publisher:  Tor Books
Pages:  448

"The highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality; you’re on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable . . . Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of the mind itself. You’re entering the wondrous dimensions of the imagination. Next stop . . . the Twilight Zone."Rod Serling

Titles and Authors:
Genesis by David Hagberg
A Haunted House of Her Own by Kelley Armstrong
On the Road by William F Wu
The Art of the Miniature by Earl Hamner, Jr.
Benchwarmer by Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn
Truth or Consequences by Carole Nelson Douglas
Puowaina by Alan Brennert
Torn Away by Joe R Lansdale
Vampin' Down the Avenue by Timothy Zahn
A Chance of a Ghost by Lucia St. Clair Robson
The Street that Forgot Time by Deborah Chester
The Wrong Room by RL Stine
Ghost Writer by Robert J Serling
The Soldier He Needed to Be by Jim DeFelice
Ants by Tad Williams
Your Last Breath, Inc. by John Miller
Family Man by Laura Lippman
The Good Neighbor by Whitley Strieber
El Moe by Rod Serling

Author Bios:
Kelley Armstrong is the author of the New York Times bestselling “Women of the Otherworld ” paranormal suspense series, the “Darkest Powers” YA urban fantasy trilogy, and the Nadia Stafford crime series. She grew up in Ontario, Canada, where she still lives with her family. A former computer programmer, she’s now escaped her corporate cubicle and hopes never to return.

Alan Brennert was executive story consultant on the 1980s CBS network revival of The Twilight Zone and wrote some of its most well-remembered episodes, including “Her Pilgrim Soul” and “A Message from Charity.” He has won a Nebula Award for his short story “Ma Qui” and an Emmy Award as a producer for L.A. Law. More recently, he is the author of the bestselling novels Moloka’i and Honolulu.

Deborah Chester is the internationally published author of thirty-eight novels in several genres, primarily science fiction and fantasy. Her most recent books include The Pearls and The Crown. She’s also the John Crain Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches short-story and novel writing.

Jim DeFelice is the author of several novels, including Leopards Kill and the forthcoming Helios.

With her home office a Twilight Zone landscape of mannequins in vintage dress, no wonder award-winning ex-journalist and novelist Carole Nelson Douglas’s fifty-four books offer surreal TZ touches. They include two Vegas-set series: the Midnight Louie, feline PI, mysteries partially narrated by a “Sam Spade with hair-balls,” and the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, noir urban fantasies of werewolf mobsters and silver-screen zombies. Douglas was the first author of a Sherlockian series with a female protagonist, diva-detective Irene Adler, the only woman to outwit Holmes, debuting with the New York Times Notable Book of the Year Good Night, Mr. Holmes.

David Hagberg is a former U.S. Air Force cryptographer who has traveled extensively in Europe, the Arctic, and the Caribbean. He has published nearly seventy novels of suspense, including the bestselling Soldier of God, Allah’s Scorpion, Dance with the Dragon, and the New York Times bestseller The Expediter. He has been nominated three times for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe award and was nominated for the American Book Award. He and his wife make their home in Sarasota, Florida.

Earl Hamner was born in 1923 in a small village in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Much of his writing is rooted in his growing up in a large and loving family during the Great Depression. Today he lives with his wife of fifty-four years in Studio City, California, where he continues to write and care for his collection of over fifty bonsai. He describes himself as “a good-looking old thing who doesn’t look a day over eighty-four.”

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of thirty novels and over two hundred short works. He has written screenplays, teleplays, and comics. His latest book is the short-story collection Sanctified and Chicken Fried from University of Texas Press, and forthcoming in June from Knopf is Vanilla Ride, his new Hap Collins and Leonard Pine novel.

Laura Lippman has published fourteen novels and a collection of short stories. She has won virtually every prize given for mystery fiction in the United States, including the Edgar, Anthony, Shamus, Agatha, and Quill Awards. She lives in Baltimore.

Author of four novels (Cutdown, Causes of Action, Tropical Heat and, most recently, Coyote Moon), as well as a collection of short stories ( Jackson Street and Other Soldier Stories ), which won the California Book Award for First Fiction, John Miller is a full -time writer and artist. His short stories have appeared in, among others, The William & Mary Review, Crosscurrents, The Missouri Review, North Dakota Quarterly, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine . A native North Carolinian, Miller resides in the Pacific Northwest.

Mike Resnick is the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short science fiction (according to Locus). He has won five Hugos, plus other major awards in the United States, France, Spain, Japan, Croatia, and Poland , and has been nominated for major awards in England and Italy. He is the author of sixty novels, well over two hundred short stories, and two screenplays, and is the editor of almost fifty anthologies. His work has been translated into twenty-three languages.

Lezli Robyn is an Australian writer who sold her first couple of stories in the closing months of 2008, and in the three months since then has sold to Asimov’s, Analog, and other magazines, as well as science fiction markets as distant as China and Russia, alone or in collaboration with Mike Resnick. She is currently working on her first novel.

Lucia St. Clair Robson’s first novel, Ride the Wind, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List and won the Western Writers of America’s Golden Spur award. It has been continuously in print for twenty-seven years. She has written eight other historical novels, the most recent of which is Last Train from Cuernavaca. Kirkus Reviews wrote, “Few novelists working today have a better grasp of early American history than Robson.”

Robert J. (Bob) Serling is Rod Serling’s older brother and a prolific author himself, with twenty-five published nonfiction and fiction works, mostly dealing with the airline and aerospace industries. Among his seven novels was the bestselling The President’s Plane Is Missing. Before becoming a full-time freelance author, he was aviation editor of United Press International, and now at age ninety is regarded by his peers as the dean of aviation writers. He served as technical adviser on Rod’s acclaimed TZ episode “Odyssey of Flight 33.”

Rod Serling (1924– 1975) worked in the television area for twenty-five years, developing, in addition tothe landmark Twilight Zone series, Night Gallery and The Loner, and countless drama anthologies, including Requiem for a Heavyweight and Patterns. During his career he won more Emmy Awards for dramatic writing than anyone in history. He also wrote the screenplay for the very first Planet of the Apes film, which embodied everything Serling was interested in as a writer. He continued to write for television while teaching in Ithaca, New York, until his death in 1975, leaving an indelible imprint on television that would inspire countless future writers and artists.

R. L. Stine is one of the bestselling children’s authors in history. His book series— Goosebumps, Fear Street, The Nightmare Room, Mostly Ghostly, and Rotten School— have sold more than 350 million copies around the world. Stine says his job is to “terrify kids.” But his proudest accomplishment is the millions of kids he has motivated to read. His adult-thriller titles include Superstitious, The Sitter, and Eye Candy. He is currently at work on a new batch of Goosebumps titles. Stine lives in New York City with his wife, Jane.

Whitley Strieber is the author of such books as The Wolfen, The Hunger, Communion, and Superstorm, which have all been made into feature films, and many other bestsellers, including Billy, Majestic, The Grays, 2012, and, most recently, Critical Mass. His website, www.unknowncountry.com, is the largest website in the world featuring daily news at the edge of science and reality.

Tad Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of some fourteen books for adults, which have been translated into twenty-three languages and sell worldwide. Among his bestsellers are The Dragonbone Chair, The Otherland Cycle, and Shadowmarch. He lives and works with his wife, Deborah Beale, and their family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

William F. Wu, Ph.D., is a six-time nominee for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards and the author of the six-volume young-adult science fiction series titled Isaac Asimov’s Robots in Time. He is the author of thirteen novels, one short-story collection, and sixty short stories as well as one book of literary criticism. Wu’s short story “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium,” a multiple-award nominee, was adapted into an episode of The Twilight Zone from the 1980s and is available on DVD. He lives in Palmdale, California, with his wife, Fulian Wu, and their son, Alan.

Timothy Zahn has been writing science fiction for over a quarter of a century. In that time he has published thirty-six novels, over eighty short stories and novelettes, and four collections of short fiction.  Best known for his eight Star Wars novels , he is also the author of the Quadrail series (Night Train to Rigel, The Third Lynx, Odd Girl Out, and the upcoming The Domino Pattern), the Cobra series ( including the upcoming Cobra Alliance), and the young-adult Dragonback series. His latest novel is From the Ashes, a prequel to the movie Terminator Salvation. The Zahn family lives on the Oregon coast.

Author Links:
Timothy Zahn:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
RL Stine:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
Robert J. Serling:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
David Hagberg:  Amazon  /  Goodreads  /  Website
Lucia St. Clair Robson:  Goodreads
Deborah Chester:  Goodreads  /  Website
Jim DeFelice:  Amazon  /  Goodreads  /  Website
Tad Williams:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
John Miller:  Goodreads
Laura Lippman:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
Whitley Strieber:  Amazon  /  Goodreads  /  Website
Kelley Armstrong:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
Rod Serling:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
William F Wu:  Goodreads
Earl Hamner, Jr.:  Goodreads  /  Website
Mike Resnick:  Goodreads
Carole Nelson Douglas:  Amazon  /  Goodreads  /  Website
Joe R Lansdale:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
Lezli Robyn:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
Alan Brennert:  Amazon  /  Goodreads
Carol Serling(Editor):  Goodreads

Amazon  /  B&N  /  Kobo  /  Goodreads TBR

Second Chance Hearts(#4) by Heather Lire

TITLE – Second Chance Hearts
SERIES – Holiday Vermont
AUTHOR – Heather Lire
GENRE – Contemporary 
PUBLICATION DATE – August 1, 2014 
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 148 pages
PUBLISHER – Desert Breeze Publishing

Jessica Chase has always done what's expected of her, including betray the love of her life. But that has never earned her the love of her parents. She's decided to throw off their superficial values and actually contribute to society.

Case Sanderson should be happy; he has his three year old daughter, even though the women he was about to marry turned against him in the paternity suit. But, until he learns to forgive her he can't seem to put himself back on the market.

Case and Jessica must come together to help a refugee in the battered women's underground. And they have been given the perfect opportunity at a second chance to heal their broken hearts and find love.

     Jessica closed the flap of a box and stood, rubbing the small of her back with the knuckles of her right hand. With this box her office was officially all packed up. All of her cases had been reassigned to other attorneys, and she was ready for the next phase of her life.
     A phase she was in complete control of.
     "What in the hell is this?" A voice thundered from her door.
     She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She'd been hoping to be out of the office before he returned. She'd timed her resignation for when he took his month-long vacation every year, so she wouldn't have to have this confrontation. She'd wanted to be gone before he came back. With two other senior partners she'd been hoping HR didn't inform him.
     She turned and faced the man who had helped to destroy her dreams..
     "What does it look like I'm doing?"
     She caught the flash of anger and surprise in his eyes before he narrowed them.
     In twenty-eight years she'd never once talked back to him. She'd always done exactly what he'd told her, never bucking under his or her mother's plans for her.
     "It looks like someone throwing a fit because she didn't get her way."
     She wasn't throwing a fit. She was throwing away a life, a life that was all but destroying her.
     "No, I'm not throwing a fit. I'm taking charge of my life. I'm no longer going to do what you and mother want me to, to suit your plans. I'm living it for me."
     She didn't need or want to hear what she knew would be a tirade on her responsibility to him, to her mother, and to the family.
     Jessica put on her coat and picked up the box.  Ignoring the sputtering and yelling coming from her father she walked out the door of the office she'd never wanted or deserved. Just because her great grandfather had started the law firm didn't mean she shouldn't have had to prove herself before making junior partner.
     She guessed she had proved herself years ago when she'd had to let the best thing to ever happen to her walk out the door because of a case.
     She'd put it aside, because there was nothing she could do about it. She'd seen the anger and hatred in his eyes when Case had walked into her office that day. It hadn't mattered her heart was in pieces on the floor to anyone in the room, as she'd watched the man she'd been planning on spending the rest of her life with and the daughter she'd never get to have, walk out the door.
     She'd gone home, opened a bottle of wine, and cried deep gut-wrenching tears. Three days later she walked into the Cobble Hill women's shelter and volunteered her services. If she couldn't have Case in her life, she could do something that was important to him and his family.
     It was a move that had changed everything for her. Effective today, she was now the family attorney in residence. For once she was going to be doing something good with the degree she'd gotten because of parental pressure.

     Case watched the taillights of Justin's car disappear down the drive and contemplated his own life. He was thirty years old, a single dad, had a company he was proud of, and helped those who needed it desperately.
     He had a great life, but gods he missed sex.
     He envied Justin and his attitude toward it. It's what made it possible to have the sex life he had, one Case wished he could have.
     He'd never been one for random hook-ups with women. His dad had instilled in him a respect for women at an early age. When he'd reached the age where sex had been the number one thing on his mind his dad had pulled him aside and asked him to think about his sisters and how he would feel if a man had hooked up with one of them for the sole purpose of having sex.
     It hadn't sat well in his stomach the thought of his sisters being treated that way so he'd never developed the habit.
     From the time he was seventeen till he was twenty-two he'd had a steady girlfriend, one he'd thought he'd marry after college. Until she'd shown up at his apartment on one of the worst days in his life. He'd thought she was there for moral support, only she hadn't been.
     She'd handed him a box of the things he'd had at her apartment and informed him she was getting married in two weeks.
     In one move she'd gutted him.
     Morgan hadn't missed the fact she'd been missing from Jacks funeral. Afterward she'd confronted him about it, and then helped him to cover up the breakup with his family. Telling everyone they'd broken up earlier than when it had actually happened.
     For a year he'd forgotten all about the promise he'd made to his dad about random hookups and slept with whatever girl sparked his interest.
     Then Morgan had turned up pregnant, and he'd stopped. He didn't want to be like the son of a bitch who'd gotten her pregnant and then disappeared from her life.
     After that he'd developed several friends with benefits women in the different cities he worked in, letting him have the regular sex he not only wanted but needed.
     All of that had changed, however, when he'd met her. He'd fallen for her hard and fast. He'd thought she felt the same, and discovered, once again during one of the darkest times in his life, it had all been a lie. The only good thing that had come from that time period was Kayle.
     From the moment she'd been placed in his arms she'd gotten all of his focus and energy, a decision he didn't regret.
     Even when Justin had dragged him to one of his clubs in Boston, he hadn't been tempted by any of the women.
     The flash of headlights coming up the lane dragged him from his thoughts.
     Who in the hell was coming out here at this time of night? He lived too far out for a casual drop by from his sisters or their husbands.
     He stayed at the window and watched the car approach. He took a swallow of his apple ale and hoped whoever it was didn't wake up Kayle.
     She'd been so excited to have kids on the farm she'd missed her nap and had been cranky all evening. She'd finally crashed a half an hour ago.
     The car stopped, and the driver stayed in the car, leading him to wonder if they were lost. Just when he decided to go out on the porch to see who they were the driver side door opened. From his position at the window he could make out a long leg.
     A female leg.
     As the car wasn't one of his sister's or Audrey or Brooke's cars, she wasn't related him. He briefly wondered if it was Shelly, but discarded that thought.
     The woman continued getting out of the car and slammed the door. She turned to the house, and he got his first look at her. Recognition was a fist to his boys.
     He didn't need the light to know the color of the hair she had caught up in a ponytail or see the color of her expressive eyes to know how her body fit perfectly against his.
     His emotions warred within him. Half of him wanted to greet her with anger. She'd been part of the reason his reputation had been shredded. She'd been the person he thought he'd found what his parents and sisters had with. She'd also ripped his heart out and handed it back to him with no regard for what she'd done.
     On the other hand she'd also helped to give him his heart, Kayle. When he'd walked into the lawyers' office to pick up the baby that had been conceived with his stolen sperm, the very last person he'd expected to see holding her had been the woman he'd been on the verge of proposing to.
     He watched, hidden in the shadows as she looked at the house. They'd had no contact since the day he'd walked out of her office, not that he hadn't been tempted to seek her out whenever he'd been in New York. Every time he'd thought about it though he'd remembered what it had felt like to walk into that office and see the one person he'd thought would have his back standing there holding his baby girl.
     He watched her slam the car door and move toward the gate. The lithe grace of her movements had other parts of him stirring, parts that hadn't stirred in far too long.
     Sure, he'd gone through the mechanics of sex, for the last couple of years, but it had been emotionless. A necessary release.
     The creak of the gate drew his attention back to the woman moving toward the front porch.
     For a heartbeat he considered ignoring her presence, but curiosity got the better of him.
     He left the window and moved through the house, stopping only to close Kayle's bedroom door before he reached the stairs. The knock on the front sounded as he reached the bottom step.
     If his sisters could see the way he was acting now, they'd never let him live it down.
     That thought had him shaking off the mood he'd been in all evening and open the door.
     The light from the porch cast a shadow over him, so she couldn't see who had answered the door, but he could see her.
     He felt like a man who'd been denied food and drink for months and then been taken to an all-you-can-eat buffet staring at her.
     "Hello, I'm looking for Shelly Harger's cottage. I was told it was on this farm, but I think I missed a turn."
     Case swore viciously in his mind. A wrong turn had landed the one person he should stay away from, and had managed just barely to stay away from for years.
     He stepped into the light and heard her gasp what he assumed was surprise. They'd see if it was a good surprise or a bad surprise.

     Jessica drank in the sight of Case. Her stomach and heart were flip-flopping like they were on a taffy puller. He looked even better than she remembered.
     All of the emotions from the events surrounding their break-up rushed through her. A deep-seated anger at her father and his thirst to destroy Case's family, a hopelessness that Case would never forgive her, even though she'd been trying to protect him, and the fear she'd just destroyed the best thing that had ever happened to her.
     She'd lain in her bed the night he'd walked out of her life, exhausted from her crying jag and realized she'd made the Pearl Harbor of mistakes letting Case walk out the door without her.
     She should have told her dad he could take her job and shove it. She should have left with Case and Kayle. She should have defied her parents, even if the thought would have given her hives, but she hadn't.
     Staring at Case through the screen door, she wondered, hoped really, if this was a sign from the fates telling her this might be her second chance at the family she'd always dreamed of. The one that had been stolen from her. That she'd given away.
     "Case." There was so much more she wanted to say. Needed to say. The only thing her brain could come up with was his name.
     He leaned against the door jam, propping his shoulder up against it, and crossed his arms. Arms that were much more defined than they'd been the last time she'd seen him. He was dressed in a pair of frayed jeans that made her want to lick him. His shirt had a crude saying which surprised her. His hair was longer and very disheveled, and it looked like he hadn't shaved in at least three days.
     This was not the Case she knew.
     The Case she knew, kept his hair a respectable length, shaved every day and while he would dress casually in jeans and shirts, they were never graphic shirts.
     Maybe this Case would forgive her for being the attorney against him in his battle for his daughter.
     "Jessica." The deep timbre of his voice made her hands and feet sweat. She curled her toes in a futile effort to relieve the pressure.
     She swallowed. "I didn't know you lived out here?"
     He'd disappeared from New York Society after Kayle's birth, and she'd wondered if he'd moved to the small town his sister lived in. She'd combed the pages of the society and business sections for news and pictures of him. There had been the occasional write-up about his business, but no pictures.      The only time he was seen was at his family's annual gala.
     "I do."
     She wondered if he was going to open the door for her or make her stand out on the porch.
     "I guess I have the wrong place then," she pulled her phone out of her back pocket and turned the screen on. "I'm looking for CE Corporate Retreat. Do you know where I can find it?"
     "I do."
     She raised her head and glared at him through the door. She was beginning to hate his clipped answers. She wasn't going to give up. "So, where is it?"
     He stood away from the door jam. "You're there."
     He was CE Corporate Retreat? She'd read everything she could find on him in those articles, and she honestly couldn't recall what they'd said his company's name was.
     "Can you tell how to get to your assistant's cottage?"
     Something in her voice must have told him how anxious she now was, because he opened the door and stepped out onto the porch with her.
     "Because she called me in a panic, and I need to talk to her." She'd been in court when Shelly had called. The stark terror in her voice had Jessica dropping everything, packing a bag, and rushing to find Shelly.
     "Is something wrong? Does her husband know where she is?" He pulled a phone from his pocket and called someone, not giving her a chance to answer him.
     He paced away from her. As much as she'd like to ogle him, she needed to connect with Shelly.
     When she'd called her earlier, she was sure her husband would find her, and the man who'd been there to greet them, had scared the bejeezus out of her.
      Case's voice carried, and she couldn't help but overhear his conversation.
     "Justin, sorry to interrupt your fun, but something's come up with our newest resident, and I need you back here," he paused listening to the other person, "Yeah, they're my next call," another pause, "Nah man, she's crashed to the world. I'll see you in a couple then."
     "Who was that?" Jessica asked. She'd trusted Chrissy and Kyle knew what they were doing when they'd had her send Shelly here, and while she knew Case, at least the Case he used to be, she didn't know anything else about the people who worked here.
     "Justin Wilson, my head of security. Once the women have settled in and are a fraction less afraid he teaches them what they need to know to not only protect themselves but their children."
     She remembered Justin, but she'd thought he'd told her he was a SEAL. From the way he'd talked about it when he'd been her shadow in Paris, she'd assumed he'd be in the Navy until he either died or was too old to be a soldier.
     "Is he the one who greets the women?" She gathered from what he'd just told her. Shelly wasn't the first battered woman to pass through his farm.
     "Not normally, no. Typically it's either Mrs. Evans or my mom. If not them then my sisters, or my partner's wife. Whoever is available. Mrs. Evans is who we prefer to greet them as she has this way about her. Within a day one of my brothers-in-law stops by in an official capacity."
     Jessica was stunned. This was a well thought-out organization they had here. She still needed to see Shelly and find out what had prompted the panicked call.
     "I'll take you over to her house. Give me a sec."
     He disappeared into the house. She turned her back to the house and looked out over the expanse of Case's new home. She'd been so busy concentrating on not getting lost she hadn't really looked at where she was.
     She could make out the dark outline of fences and trees before, but what grabbed her and held her were all the stars in the sky. She'd never seen so many. Living in the city her whole life stars were something you saw on T.V., not something you actually saw. She knew the names of the constellations, but she had no clue what she was looking at, and she wanted to know.
     She didn't turn around when she heard the front door close. Her eyes drifted shut, and she breathed in the night air. There was a mixture of fresh cut grass, horses, a flower that intrigued her, and the scent of the man next to her. It was a smell that was uniquely his.
     One she'd missed.
     "Let's go."
     The harshness of his voice belayed the peacefulness of the night.
     He didn't give her a chance to respond before he was down the porch steps and halfway across the yard to the gate. She moved to catch up with him and met him at her car.
     Case was standing by the driver's side door, and she assumed he would want to drive to Shelly's house, but he surprised her when he simply opened the door for her and waited while she climbed in before heading around the car to the passenger side.
     "Follow the lane around the back of the house."
     She started the car and followed his instructions as he took her around his house and down the lane. She could see the small house lit up ahead of her.
     "It's about five hundred yards from my place," he pointed to another building that was dark except for a porch light, "That's our main office building."
     "I understand this is a corporate retreat for families. What does that mean?"
     "So many corporations put careers ahead of family, not realizing that having a healthy balance between the two makes for better and more productive employees. So companies come here with their employees' families and learn how to balance the two. Other times companies use this as a bonus for their employees by having their families come here for a week of fun."
     She could hear the pride in his voice as he talked about his company. When they'd been together he had thrived on the constant travel and business deals. This was just another thing that was different about Case.
     She wondered what else was new about him, and if she'd get the opportunity to find out.
     She pulled up in front of the small house and turned off the engine. He didn't say anything before climbing out of the car and walking back toward his house.

Author Bio:
Heather has traveled all over the world, speaks several languages, collects romance books like they're going out of style, and has multiple book boyfriends. Ok, she hasn't been all over the world, except in her mind. She does however speak multiple languages and collect romance books. Her long-suffering husband and sons roll their eyes at all her book boyfriends. When she's not busy on her next novel she can be found at one of her sons many sporting events or on twitter talking about what else, romance books. She loves to hear what you think about her stories so please drop her a note.

Author Links:

Amazon US  /  Amazon CA  /  Amazon UK  /  B&N

Second Chance At Forever(#1):  Amazon
Second Chance At Happiness (#2):  Amazon
A Holiday Christmas (#2.5):  Amazon
Second Chance At Passion(#3):  Amazon

A complete set of the series plus Holiday goodies

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lessons for Suspicious Minds (Cambridge Fellow Mysteries #10) by Charlie Cochrane

An invitation to stay at a friend of the Stewart family’s stately home can only mean one thing for Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith—a new case for the amateur sleuths! With two apparently unrelated suicides, a double chase is on.

But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the chance of discovery (and disgrace) is ever present—how do you explain yourself when a servant discovers you doing the midnight run along the corridor?

The chase stops being a game for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father’s suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. And the solution presents them with one of the most difficult moral decisions they’ve had to make...

Suspcious Minds finds us back in 1909.  It's nice to see the parental Stewarts back and sinking their teeth into Jonty and Orlando's investigations again.  I think Papa Stewart is more eager to join in the hunt but Mama Stewart, once given an assignment is actually even more determined to assist her boys find the truth, even if it might reach a little too close to treasured loved ones. The mystery of suicide or not is intriguing and seeing how both Jonty and Orlando deal with the personal memories the subject conjures up is well written.   I very much enjoyed the non-mystery related subplot of Jonty and Orlando having to deal with not being able to "do their duty" because of their location.  Added some much appreciated humor when the investigation begins to way down both, our favorite couple and the reader's hearts.


Author Links:
Live Journal

Amazon  /  B&N  /  Goodreads TBR

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday's Series Spotlight: North and South Trilogy by John Jakes

North and South (#1)
In the years leading up to the Civil War, one enduring friendship embodies the tensions of a nation. Orry Main from South Carolina and George Hazard from Pennsylvania forge a lasting bond while training at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Together they fight in the Mexican-American War, but their closeness is tested as their regional politics diverge. As the first rounds are fired at Fort Sumter, Orry and George find themselves on different sides of the coming struggle. In John Jakes’s unmatched style, North and South launches a trilogy that captures the fierce passions of a country at the precipice of disaster.

Love and War (#2)
The Hazards and the Mains -- the first fatal shot fired at Fort Sumter divided them irrevocably with loyalties more powerful than family ties. The young would clash on the bloody battlefields of Bull Run and Fredericksburg, while in intrigue-ridden Washington and Richmond strong-willed men and beautiful women would defend their principles with their lives...or satisfy illicit cravings with schemes that could destroy friends and enemies alike.

Heaven and Hell (#3)
The last days of the Civil War bring no peace for the Main and Hazard families. As the Mains’ South smolders in the ruins of defeat, the Hazards’ North pushes blindly for relentless industrial progress. Both the nation and the families’ long-standing bond hover on the brink of destruction. In the series’ epic conclusion, Jakes expertly blends personal conflict with historical events, crafting a haunting page-turner about America’s constant change and unyielding hope.

I originally read these when I was 16 back in 1989.  I fell in love with the Mains and the Hazards when I watched the made-for-television mini-series based on books 1 & 2 a few years before that.  I've always been a bit of a history buff and the American Civil War has been a favorite era of mine to read and research.  John Jakes has a definite specialty when it comes to writing historical fiction and with the North and South trilogy he combines both good and bad aspects of that part of our nation's past with intriguing characters and subplots that keep the reader captivated.  If you love history, fiction, drama, romance, and intrigue than this is definitely a series you want to look into.


Author Links:

North and South

Love and War

Heaven and Hell

Complete Trilogy

Friday, September 26, 2014

Storm Mistress(Others of Seattle #2) by Brandy L Rivers

TITLE – Storm Mistress
SERIES – Others of Seattle: Book 2 (stands alone)
AUTHOR – Brandy L Rivers
GENRE – Adult Paranormal Romance
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 108k
PUBLISHER – Brandy L Rivers
COVER ARTIST – Brandy L Rivers

Nothing is as it seems…

Everything Isadora Starling wants is right there in front of her, but Toryn is off limits. He’s her best friend. She’s been denying her heart all these years, afraid to lose him.

Toryn Flame has a long past full of secrets. None of which he can share with Isadora, the only person who truly matters to him. She’s the one woman who has never shown a hint of lust toward him, but even if she did, pursuing her is forbidden.

That all changes when the family Isa doesn’t know decides it’s time to reveal who and what she is. After Isa’s recent attack, their motives are unclear.

His only goal is protecting Isa. Toryn will do everything in his power to keep her safe, including going against orders from his king.

Toryn’s only fear is losing Isa’s trust. Once the truth is revealed, can she forgive him for years of misdirection and omissions? Can she come to terms with a world she doesn’t want or know?

     Pounding music flowed over Isadora Starling as she walked into her bar, Shenanigans. Only one thing was on her mind, finding someone who would take her home and rock her world. She was smoking hot and she knew it.
     Taking note of every man whose head turned in her direction, she emphasized the already-seductive sway of her hips as she sashayed to the bar with purpose. As usual, her eyes kept drifting back to the only man in the place who made her mouth water. Unfortunately, her best friend was not on the menu.
     She slid into a booth and turned toward her business partner, Lana, one of the few women she truly trusted.
     Lana’s molten silver eyes landed on her. A smirk twisted her lips. “Back so soon?”
     Isa lifted a shoulder in a shrug before stating, “I’m on a mission.”
     Perusing the sultry make-up and her come-ravish-me outfit, Lana snorted. “I can see that. What are you drinking?”
     “Double Grey Goose, straight up.”
     “One of those nights?” There was a grimace on her face.
     Isa responded with a one fingered salute before turning back to the crowd with the intention of finding a man.
     Lana cut in with, “I still think you should drag him home and get each other out of your systems.”
     By him, she meant Isa’s best friend, Toryn Flame. More than gorgeous, he was fucking beautiful, masculine perfection. His dazzling blue topaz eyes were lined in guyliner, not that his eyes needed any help attracting attention with his ten-mile long lashes. Silky black hair was teased up in a sexy tousle calling to her fingers. The man was a sex god, in snug leather pants and half-buttoned black silk shirt open far enough to display his sculpted chest and the beginning of washboard abs.
     Forbidden, though she had a never-ending supply of fantasies starring Toryn. The current was her craving to lick every ridge of muscle on her way down to the golden zipper straining over an impressive bulge she wished she could ignore.
     They were firmly stuck in the friend zone. He didn’t see her that way, and despite the fact he was sensuality walking, she wasn’t supposed to want him.
     Frustrated, she turned back to Lana with a cold stare. “Have you forgotten he prefers men? Last time I checked,” she looked down and shook her tits for emphasis, “I have all the wrong parts. Besides, he’s my friend, my best friend and he,” she glanced back to watch Toryn tongue-fuck his boytoy, “is all over his man, Leon.”
     One scarlet brow rose in challenge. “Bullshit, I’ve seen him take women home.”
     “Please, when was the last time? Tiffany? And that rare occurrence was over a year ago.”
     Lana’s mouth dropped open, “Oh my god, you are fucking blind, Isadora. He’s only with Leon to distract himself from you.” With a glare, Lana slid the vodka to her.
     Isa would give anything for that to be the truth. Forcing the desperate sentiment from her mind, she took the shot in a single gulp, causing Lana to grimace.
     Driving her point home, Isa nodded back to the two hottest men in the place. “Toryn is with Leon.      Has been for nearly two months, which is some kind of record for him.”
     Actually, they had been dating exactly seven weeks, which was damn near a miracle. Aside from Leon, he hadn’t been with a single person more than twice since she’d met him nearly ten years ago. Somehow his lack of commitment made her want him all the more. She always loved a challenge, and secretly wished she could be the one to snare him permanently.
     Of course, if she told Lana she was counting the days Toryn stayed with Leon, it would prove her point. A point Isa was going to deny until her desire finally died.
     With a devilish smirk, Lana shrugged. “He’d dump him for you in a heartbeat.”
     A glance back at Toryn easily reminded her how wrong Lana was. Toryn was grinding his hips into Leon who was hungrily kissing down Toryn’s throat. They were too hot and heavy for their public display of sexual chemistry to merely be a distraction.
     “Then why is he taking Leon home tonight? And don’t tell me he’s not. Do you see them?” Isadora pointed back at them with a wicked grin. It was a gorgeous sight.
     Licking her lips and watching like every other woman, and most of the men, in the nearly anything goes bar, she nodded. “Oh, I do, but you don’t see the way he looks at you. Like he’s making love to you with his eyes. When you aren’t watching Toryn, he always stares at you.”
     Lana filled the shot glass.
     In all the years they’d been friends, Toryn had never made a move, so Lana was wrong, very depressingly wrong. Isa slammed back the second dose and glared back at Lana. “You’re full of shit. Pour me another.”
     “I’m not. I still say you’re fucking blind,” Lana taunted as she refilled the glass. “If he wasn’t so hung up on you, I would make a move on him.”
     That hurt.
     Wait… what? Hung up on me? Yeah, might need to have her committed.
     Isa took another glance at Toryn and Leon, then grinned at Lana. “If you can pry him from Leon, he’s all yours.”
     Thankfully, Lana changed the subject. “Where’s Mike?”
     Well-intentioned, maybe, but her new topic wasn’t much better. Isa downed the third shot before answering, “Don’t know. Don’t care. Of course it would be a hell of a lot easier to get laid if he were around.” He was her favorite fallback romp in the sack.
     “You torture that poor man. If you’d let him, he’d fall in love with you.”
     Which was exactly the reason she hadn’t called and was attempting to avoid him… though in desperate times...
     Mentally shaking herself, she quipped, “We don’t work as a couple. Sure, explosive in bed, awesome on the dance floor, but that is where our good chemistry ends. We would drive each other batshit crazy—and I’m not talking about the scorch the sheets way—in a matter of days. Not to mention the fact Roxy hates my fucking guts.”
     “Only because you’re stringing her brother along. Plus, she has a valid point. I’m still convinced you fell for Toryn years ago. Like two seconds after you met him.”
     She was right, but Isa wasn’t going there. “Go to hell.”
     “Only when you join me.”
     Isa slid the empty glass at Lana and batted her lashes. “Anyone I should consider?”
     With an accusatory glare, she answered, “Plenty of them. Except, don’t take the hot blond home.”      She glanced down at the end of the bar for about the hundredth time since Isa sat down.
     All Isa saw was the healthy fall of shiny blond hair, way too long and perfect to be on any man’s head.
     “I don’t go for blonds.” Isa smirked before turning toward the crowd. Of its own accord, her gaze landed on Toryn, who winked at her.
     Lana pulled her back to reality with bite in her tone. “Knowing you, you’ll take him home to spite me.”
     Isa spun back around, her hands landing on the counter as her eyes narrowed. “I would not. When was the last time?”
     Her eyes narrowed to slits. “Last week, when you took Reese home.”
     “Oh,” she shrugged sheepishly, “that hardly counts. You didn’t warn me beforehand. If you had simply told me, I would have found someone else.” It was the truth, Isa never meant to hurt anyone, and especially not her friends. There had been plenty of other options. She honestly hadn’t realized Lana was interested.
     “Why don’t I believe you?” she muttered. The question stung. Of course, her payback sucked. Lana turned around and hired the guy the very next day, even after Isa begged her not to.
     “I’m not selfish, Lana. I wouldn’t do that to you,” she whined.
     “Hmph,” Lana didn’t look convinced, but a smirk formed as she looked over Isa’s shoulder.
     Isa fought back a smile as she felt Toryn’s approach. He had a presence she could feel and as much as she hated her weakness, it felt good to have him close. Toryn leaned his long hard body against hers.
     Lana grinned as if her point was made.
     One corner of Isa’s mouth lifted. “I would be more worried about Toryn taking Blondy home.”
     “Bitch,” she gasped.
     “Grey Goose?” Toryn licked his full lips as his brow cocked. “One of those nights, Isa?”
Her eyes nearly rolled out of her head, “Okay, everyone stop! I had a long day, and I’m horny as hell. It’s not like I’m driving home. No more judging. Just let me find a man for the night.”
     The guy sitting next to her turned with a smile that chilled her blood. His deep blue eyes seemed wrong, his skin too pale, almost blue. She’d seen him before, but couldn’t place where.
     Isa glared back. “Not you.”
     Amusement danced through his eyes as they dropped to his drink with a chuckle.
     Toryn grinned at Lana. “Two Loves and one is for my sweet Isadora.” His eyes held a mischievous sparkle.
     Isa snorted. “Is that so?”
     “Don’t argue,” he purred in a way that made her want to scratch her nails down his back while riding him into the night.
     With a groan, she smiled back at Lana and tossed down enough cash to cover her vodka and the Loves, plus a generous tip. “Where’s Leon?”
     Avoiding answering, Toryn quickly finished the drink and placed his empty glass with a purposeful thunk on the counter. “Let’s dance.”
     She let the question slide and followed his lead after finishing her cocktail.
     Maybe she had a bit too much, too fast, because the world tilted. Still, she managed to walk straight.
     “Leon won’t be jealous?”
     “Nope, he plans to join us soon.” She could feel his eyes caress down her body and back up. “He told me to tell you that you’re on fire tonight.”
     “He always says that.”
     He pulled her close and his lips grazed over her ear. “Only because it’s true.”
     The warmth of his breath and rumble of his voice only heightened the ache between her legs. Such a damned tease. And if he didn’t do it with everyone, she might think he really felt something for her.


Isadora Starling:
Dark hair, green eyes, beautiful.
Owns the bar Shenanigans with her business partner Lana Solei
Sassy, full of fire, and loves life.
She’s madly in love with her best friend but denies it profusely.
Has an open relationship with Michael Nights.

Toryn Flame:
Runs a security firm with friends Lonny and Scotty.
Black hair, blue topaz colored eyes.
Fiercely loyal, protective, but loves to have fun.
Lead singer of local band Revolt.
In love with Isadora, but can’t tell her for a list of reasons a hundred miles long.
Close friends with Leon.

Remus Arc:
Works for Toryn’s security firm.
Drummer for Revolt
Can’t be trusted.

Old friend of Toryn’s.
Runs a gym in San Francisco, but opening one in Seattle.

Lana Solei:
Red hair, gray eyes, has an attitude.
Isadora’s business partner

The oldest Storm Mistress and will teach Isadora what she knows.

Water dragon with his own goals.

If Your Book Were Made Into A Movie – 
What Songs Would Best Fit The Story On The Big Screen?

Sexy As Hell – Sarah Conor
Secrets - OneRepublic
Too Close – Alex Clare
Untouched – The Veronicas
Time After Time – Quiet Drive
Just For – Nickelback
Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
Beneath Your Beautiful – Labrinth, Emil Sande
Come Undone – My Darkest Days
Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran
Possession – Sarah McLachlan
Wherever You Will Go – Charlene Soraia

For Your Entertainment – Adam Lambert
Too Close – Alex Clare
Wherever You Will Go – CharleneSoraia
Beneath Your Beautiful – Labrith, Emeli Sande
Wanted is Love – Phillip Phillip
Addicted – Saving Abel
Possession – Sarah McLachlan
Save Me – Hinder
Rumour Has It – Adele
You Got It Bad – Phillip Phillips
Untouched – The Veronicas
Filthy/Gorgeous – Scissor Sisters
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
Come Undone – My Darkest Days
Just For – Nickelback
Bad Influence – Pink
Slut Like You – Pink
Oh My God – Pink featuring Peaches
Skin – Rihanna
The Waitress – Tori Amos
Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran
Sexy As Hell – Sarah Connor
Secrets – OneRepublic
Savin’ Me - Nickelback

Author Bio:
Brandy L Rivers is the author of the Others of Edenton Series. There are more Others of Edenton in the works. She is also working on the Others of Seattle series.
As an avid reader, Brandy has always loved writing. She became serious about it as a stay-at-home-mother. She has a file full of manuscripts she plans to edit and put out there eventually.
She lives in Western Washington with her husband and three kids, where she is already working on future stories in the series.
If you are interested in receiving emails about future book releases, please sign up for her email distribution list by visiting her site at: www.brandylrivers.com

Author Links:

iTunes  /  Kobo  /  Googleplay  /  Goodreads TBR  /  Shelfari

2 paperbacks of Storm Mistress, one US one can be International
5 ebook copies of Storm Mistress with swagpacks
2 $10 amazon giftcards

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