Under the Willows Blitz

Under the Willows
Pamela McCord
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Mystery

After her husband is killed by a drunk driver, Kelly Harris and her son TJ move into a sprawling Victorian house in Ohio that her husband inherited from his grandmother. Dealing with her overwhelming grief is a struggle as she adjusts to life in a small town. And, just as she’s beginning to feel more comfortable, life takes another unexpected turn.

The Alexa unit in her son’s bedroom starts to cry, and a little girl’s voice comes out of it asking for help.

At first Kelly is unnerved by the presence of the voice. After ruling out all the other likely possibilities, she begins to put the pieces together, and suspects the girl is a ghost. Unwilling to be uprooted from another home, she decides to find out what the child wants. Maybe she can help.

Kelly isn’t the only one interested in the voice. Detective Rob Porter is investigating the disappearance of a child named Marilee. As the two cross paths, Porter is taken aback when Kelly’s ghost mentions Marilee’s name. In fact, the ghost says “Marilee’s with me.”

Whether that means the child is a ghost as well is a question Rob and Kelly hope to answer.

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EXCERPT:

A frightened “Mom” roused me from a fitful sleep. I swung my legs off the bed, the hardwood cool against my feet. “I’m coming,” I called as I rushed to TJ’s room. I found him sitting up in bed, his eyes big and worried.

“What is it, sweetie?” I asked as I sat beside him. “Did you have a bad dream?”

“Mom, Alexa was crying again.”

“What do you mean?” I tipped his face up and looked him in the eyes. “Alexa can’t cry. She’s not a real person. Tell me what happened.”

“I was asleep and I heard a little girl crying. There wasn’t anybody in my room but I could still hear it.”

“Maybe you were dreaming.”

He crossed his arms over his chest and glared at me. “I wasn’t dreaming, Mom.”

“Okay, then. Maybe it just sounded like crying.”

“There were words, too.”

“Words?”

He nodded. “I said, ‘is anybody there’ and the crying stopped. Then Alexa said Help us.” His serious eyes dared me to not believe him.

Author Bio:

Born in Arkansas and raised in Southern California, Pamela McCord started writing later in life when she was challenged by a friend to create a book out of his story idea. Since then, she’s become an internationally published author. Pam has spent over 40 years working as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County, California. Aside from writing, she follows the stock market, buying, selling and trading stocks and options. In contrast to that, she loves trips to Las Vegas where she can spend many happy hours at the Pai Gow tables. She shares a condo with her very own My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable.

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His Baby, Her Billionaire Blitz

His Baby, Her Billionaire
Sloan Storm
(Her Billionaire Series, #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

He has billions of secrets. Me? I only have one, my baby bump, and it’s starting to show.

Dalton “The Destroyer” Maxwell.

That’s what they call him.

He’s the sexy older man, the distinguished battle-hardened SEAL turned brooding, introspective professor. There isn’t a red-blooded female in five hundred miles that wouldn’t kill to trade places with me.

It was only a fling – just a chance encounter in a faraway place. I wasn’t looking for a fairy tale ending beneath those starry skies.

But what should’ve stayed a memory didn’t. It chased me home, leading me right where it shouldn’t – his arms.

Now the consequence has me feeling like I’m cramming for an exam that I’ll never pass. The truth is, everything about us is forbidden. Nothing good can come of it.

There’s only one problem. Dalton disagrees and won’t take “no” for answer.

When he promises he’ll give it all up for me and his baby, that’s when his ten-figure truth leaves me with an impossible choice.

What have I done?

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EXCERPT:

She turned her head but didn’t speak as her blonde hair fluttered in the gentle breeze of the oceanfront spray. I was close enough to catch her scent. A faint hint of lilac and sweet jasmine blended with the surf-churned air, capturing my focus and pulling me closer to the source.

I knew she heard me.

I also knew what she was probably thinking.

Couldn’t stay away huh?

Subtlety isn’t a strength of mine, on the battlefield or in the war of love.

In my hands, an arsenal of alcohol, one bottle I’d half-emptied, guzzling it down on the stroll. I hit the beer again, taking a quick pull and attempting to draw her out of her guarded silence.

“Guess that’s a no.”

It’s not like I gave a damn about the game. I doubted she did either. Then, she turned and my jaw clenched.

Easy.

Easy.

Only it fucking wouldn’t be.

The chick was an absolute knockout. She’d be right at the top of any man’s trophy shelf. And if my plan panned out, I’d be adding her to my collection long before the sun crested over the distant capri-blue swells.

Maybe it was those early years, being shipped off to military school like a dog chained up in the yard after it’d pissed the floor one too many times. Whatever the cause, the effect had a way of heightening my interest in the fairer sex long before it otherwise might have.

Point is, for as long as I could remember, only the most beautiful of women were worth the pursuit. After all, you only live once. Tales from the rocking chair are always better when you landed the big fish, not when it disappeared back to the murky depths.

Even so, I never breathed a word of my conquests over the years.

Outside the small circle of my SEAL brothers, my appetites were strictly confidential. Sometimes I wondered if my blue-blooded parents thought I might not even be straight but instead playing for the same team like my sister, Shelley.

But whatever, fuck them.

I thought for certain I’d bedded the best, had more than my fair share of beauties from one far flung part of the planet to the other.

That is, until now.

My breathing slowed. I blinked even slower and tightened my grip on the bottlenecks so hard, it felt like they might crackle into shards between my fingers.

Sunlight flared in the depths of her hazel green eyes. Lightly tanned skin and high cheekbones drew my gaze toward a set of supple, silk-smooth lips. She didn’t bother trying to contain the renegade, wind-whipped strands of her mane as they lashed about, tickling her sun-kissed complexion.

Instead of giving me the results of the game, she fixed a little smirk on her lips and came right back at me.

“Guess.”

That was all the opening I needed. I took a step her direction, the sea-dampened sand giving way under my feet.

“Better luck next time.” I lifted the bottle. “How ‘bout a consolation prize?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Thanks, but no. I’m not much of a beer drinker.”

The condensation on the neck dripped from my fingertips as I offered her the bottle once more.

“No strings.” I wiggled it. “Why waste this beautiful sunset sober?”

Just then, a wave hammered the shoreline behind her, surf thundering as it roared our direction. It was on us in no time, swirling around our legs and tugging at them like a deep sea vacuum. A shriek escaped from her lips. It didn’t sound like fear though, more like a melodic blend of whimsy and surprise.

She hadn’t meant to do it.

Or maybe she had.

I steadied myself, flexing my legs and core while she clung to me. But almost as soon as it came, the rushing current receded, leaving only her fear-filled fingers clutched tight around my biceps.

“Sorry.” She sputtered out a reedy breath and snatched her hands away, forming two white-knuckled fists.

The doe-eyed beauty stood there frozen stiff, in a defensive position with her hands partially blocking her tits. I imagined those same delicate fingers curled into the meat of my hips while I claimed her wet silk, taking her under the stars in a secluded seaside hidey hole.


Author Bio:

Sloan Storm pens imaginative yarns based on dominant men and the women who challenge them. As such, power plays and passion are the heart of each and every story.

The writer’s creative tendencies may drift as the mood strikes, but the essence of all tales told wind up back at the same place… the polarizing difference between the sexes.

After all, what else is there in life?

When not glued to a keyboard creating tales of whimsy, Sloan loves to talk to fans! If you want to connect, you can do it in any number of ways:

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Orion Blitz

Orion
A.G. Kirkham
(Satan’s Pride, #3)
Publication date: May 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Orion – sign of the club and shield. He lost it all before he found the family he’s committed to now, Satan’s Pride. He survives the loss of his mother, the coldness of his father and the sudden death of his wife and child. He survived this all and the only casualty was his heart. He vowed to never love again, so he would never relive that pain. Can one woman make him learn to give all of himself one more time?

Viviana loved everything and everyone. She embraced life, even though her childhood was filled with turbulence and abandonment. She wanted a family to call her own and when she became pregnant, she believed her choice was to flee, giving Orion the freedom she thought he wanted.

Can these two souls leave the past in the past and listen to their hearts instead?

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EXCERPT:

Orion plunks himself in an armchair and hoists one woman on each of his knees. One begins to caress his chest and the other makes a move to kiss him, but he moves his head so that she nuzzles his neck. This is wrong. So very, very wrong. He’s making a big mistake.

My feet drag me in front of Orion and my mouth has a mind of its own. I can’t seem to control or stop myself.

“Orion, please don’t do this. Please, I am asking you not to do this,” I urge in a hushed tone, so that I’m not overheard by anyone else in the MC.

“What’s it to you, sugar-girl?” he asks, then leans in to add suggestively, “You want in on this?”

I am taken aback for a moment. An indignant gasp escapes me. Good thing I bounce back quickly and formulate my thoughts to find a different method of reaching him.

“Orion, Vi would forgive you anything–anything, but what you are about to do. This she will never be able to forget or forgive. Is it worth the risk?” I ask with a defined tone. I am thinking is the wrong thing to say when Orion jolts out of his seat.

Orion stands, not caring that the women, who were just moments ago seated in his lap, are tossed to the floor with the intensity of his movement. He bends his large frame to meet my eyes. “What do you know about what Vi wants?” he spits out. Then, in a mere matter of seconds, as if the haze lifts from his clouded head, the light dawning on the horizon, he takes a menacing step forward, forcing me to move back a step. He quirks his head to the side to study me. “What do you know, Hanna?” Orion questions, with fury in his tone.

“I really think that she loves you and this would be the one thing that she would never be able to forgive you for,” I reply softly. My eyes dart around, looking for an exit. Old instincts start to kick in. Instead I find myself surrounded by Ava, Maddie, Risk, War, and Orion, their eyes all staring at me intently. Damn me and my big mouth.

Author Bio:

I was born in a small town in Italy. My parents are loving people; and true traditionalists. I grew up being a chatterbox of a child and evolved into a quiet and shy teenager. I was definitely not the life of the party. As a matter of fact, I never wanted to go to any high school dances or any activities the school offered. I was good with being alone. I had to grow into my own and I eventually became the fun loving, open-minded and creative person I am now. I love the me I have become and I am grateful that this is where I have landed.

Writing is my release and I have escaped in my imagination to some incredible places meeting the most awesome characters. I also wanted to be a rock star but anyone who has ever heard me sing kindly convinced me that I do not have any talent. (In other words, I suck at it.)

Although I have been writing since I was in grade school, I only just launched my first novel. I have had pieces published as short stories and such but “Guard: is my first novel, with many more to follow.

I am a hopeless romantic. I thrive on two individuals connecting in mind, body and soul. The understanding of wants and needs and placing them as a priority and not out of fear of losing them or because you feel you need to concede; you do it because it feels easy and right in your own heart.

I love to cook! I enjoy making meals for my family and friends and bantering around the table. I have colourful people in my life and they all add to my rainbow. I love music! I like it all, depending on my mood.

My other passion is travelling. I want to enjoy all that life has to offer. I want to meet people, learn from them and create the most fantastic, sexy love stories. If I can do this overlooking the ocean and feeling the breeze wash over me then I have my heaven on earth. I am so blessed! Thank you for reading!

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Relentless Blitz

Relentless
Janet Elizabeth Henderson
(Benson Security #2)
Publication date: April 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A missing mummy. A drug cartel. An ex-US Army Ranger. And a woman who’s at odds with the world. It’s Relentless…

There’s no hiding the fact that Julia Collins has issues. She’s shy to the point of trying to become invisible. She has OCD tendencies–breaking out in hives if she loses control of her environment. She finds it hard to talk to intimidating men, or more accurately, to any men. A fact that makes working as the office manager for Benson Security particularly difficult–the company is made up almost entirely of huge, intimidating, ex-military men. But none of the men affect her the way Joe Barone does. The ex-Marine is charming, confident, heroic and so sexy it hurts to look at him. Everything about Joe intimidates Julia. And that’s why, when he declares his interest in her, she does the only sensible thing–she hides.

There’s a limit to how long Joe Barone is going to tolerate Julia hiding. So what if she has a few issues? They don’t detract from her many attributes. She’s gorgeous, smart, generous and kind. Which guy wouldn’t want a woman like that by his side? So when her grandmother gets arrested in South America, Joe sees a perfect opportunity to show Julia how good they’d be together. Julia needs someone to accompany her to Peru, someone who speaks Spanish and who doesn’t crumble in the face of authority. Julia needs Joe.

But when they get to Lima, they discover things are much worse than they were led to believe. With danger at every turn and lives on the line, Julia is forced to get past her issues and trust in Joe–her life depends on it.

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EXCERPT:

This takes place as Joe and Julia spend the night waiting until her gran gets out of jail.

“Is it always like this?”

“Every op is different. Sometimes there’s waiting when you don’t want to wait. It’s the nature of things.”

“What did you do when you were waiting, when you were in the Marines?”

“Well, I didn’t play cards with a pretty girl, that’s for sure.”

Julia felt her cheeks burn as she looked back down at the cards. Her stomach was doing somersaults, and she regretted eating even the small amount of fries she’d managed to get down. Joe got up, headed for the bar fridge and came back with a tiny bottle of wine and a glass.

“Here, it will help with your stomach and your sleep.”

Julia looked at the glass, then at Joe. “Do you realise that most glasses found in hotel rooms haven’t been washed properly? I watched a documentary about it. Maid service were just rinsing them under the tap, then polishing them with a towel.”

He unscrewed the bottle and handed it to her. “Then don’t use the glass.”

Julia took the bottle, drank a hefty swallow of cheap red wine, then looked at Joe. “Okay, let’s play.”

She could do this. Right? If she didn’t think about being alone with Joe. In a hotel room.

“Now that’s what I like to hear.” His eyes sparkled with mischief, making her stomach do the flipping thing again. “Do you know how to play poker?”

“No.”

“Rummy?”

“No.”

“Jules, do you know how to play any card games?”

She licked her lips, feeling more than a little foolish. “Snap?”

Joe threw back his head and roared with laughter. Once he’d calmed down, he appeared delighted. Julia didn’t know why.

“Guess we’re playing snap, then.” His grin was wide. “Now when you lose a round, there’s a penalty.”

Her eyes narrowed. “What kind of penalty?” She wasn’t taking off any clothes. None.

“Julia Collins, you’re thinking about stripping again, aren’t you? You are just desperate to get naked with me. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait for that pleasure. If you lose, the winner has the right to claim a boon.”

Her head snapped up. “Boon?”

“Yeah, a reward.” He waggled his eyebrows. “It could be in the form of a question the loser has to answer, or a dare they have to take, or a kiss they have to give the winner.”

His eyes lingered on her lips, making her flush as she remembered the brief, sweet kiss he’d given her weeks earlier. The kiss that had made her hide from him ever since.

His eyes darkened as he watched her. “You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?”

Julia felt her cheeks burn, but didn’t answer.

“You still playing?” he challenged.

“Is hiding in the closet an option?”

His lips twitched. “No.”

“Then let’s start.” This might just be a game of snap, but there was no way she was letting him win. Especially with this boon system in place. The dark places of her mind were already speculating about what sort of boon Joe would claim. She shut them down and sat up straight.

“You ready?”

“Play your card, Joe.”

He won the first round because his reflexes were like a cat.

“This game isn’t fair,” Julia pointed out. “It’s more about being physical than being smart. I don’t have the same level of fitness as you. Nor do I have your speed.”

“I think you just insulted me.” He grinned as Julia went over her words.

Her eyes went wide. “I don’t mean I would have a better chance if we were playing a game that needed intellect. I just mean you’re bigger. You have more muscle. You’re sneaky and fast.”

“Tell you what, we’ll put the cards closer to you so that your shorter arms can reach them faster. Does that help?”

“You’re mocking me.”

“Only a little. Now I want to claim my boon.”

She froze. “I’m not taking off any clothes.” Not that she had many on. She’d packed a suitcase full of shapeless cotton dresses because she thought they would be the most practical option. All she had on was a beige tent that went to her ankles and beige cotton underwear.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Joe could not see her underwear. Ever.

“You know, just once, I’d love to be inside your mind,” Joe said. “I bet it would be fascinating.”

“What’s the boon, Joe?” She squared her shoulders. She could take it.

“Unpin your hair. Let it fall free.”

“My hair.” She touched the tight bun at the back of her head.

“Yeah, I’ve never seen it down.”

Feeling entirely too self-conscious, Julia unpinned her hair. The honey-coloured waves fell to her shoulders. Her hair was hard to style. It was never neat enough for Julia, and there was too much of it. She’d inherited her mother’s thick locks.

“Beautiful.” Joe reached out and played with one of the waves. “You should wear it down all the time.”

“It gets in the way.”

“Of what?”

She frowned at him. “Life.”

With a grin, Joe played another card. “Come on, time for you to win a boon. If you can.”

Author Bio:

Janet is a Scot who moved to New Zealand fifteen years ago. Among other things, she’s been an artist, a teacher, a security guard at a castle, a magazine editor, and a cleaner in a drop in center for drug addicts (NOT the best job!). She now writes full-time and is working on her 19th book. Her books have won several awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense. When she isn’t living in her head, she raises two kids, one husband, and several random animals. She survives on chocolate and caffeine.

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Shadow’s Lyric Reveal

Shadow’s Lyric
C.A. Worley
(Crossing Daggers, #1)
Publication date: June 1st 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

It began with a blood oath.
It ended in bloodshed.

When twenty-one-year-old Lyric is told by her father, Gabrian, she will be crossing into the Otherland as payment for a favor he owes the Shadow Lord, she thinks her life is over. In truth, it is just beginning. Years of training as a soldier and an uncanny ability to learn pretty much anything give Lyric the tools she needs to survive her new reality—and it totally helps that her new lord and master is sex incarnate.

Draven has long awaited Lyric’s arrival, and not just because he needs her to track a powerful weapon stolen by an unknown adversary. He believes he has everything firmly in hand, despite the subterfuge he foolishly agreed to some twenty years back. When Draven’s enemies and lies of omission both threaten the fragile bond he and Lyric are forming, he refuses to allow anything to stand in the way, not even the razor-sharp blade of Lyric’s favorite sword.

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Author Bio:

C.A. Worley is the alter-ego of Romance Author Cass Alexander. Where Cass tends to focus on humor in her publications, C.A. loves to write fantasy. She chose to write under the two different monikers so as to not confuse (or tick off) her readers.

C.A. currently resides in the Midwest, but was born and raised in the South. She spends her days working from home and her evenings are spent shuttling her kids to and fro. Her dinners are subpar, but she makes a mean dessert.

When she’s tired of living her sons’ travel sports schedules, C.A. enjoys a glass (or four) of wine. She needs the liquid courage to click the publish button for her fantasy romance novels.

Her motto is, “Be Brave,” and she tries to live it every day. It takes a healthy dose of courage to get through this thing we call life.

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Changed Reveal

Changed
Vicki Stiefel
(The Made Ones Saga, #2)
Publication date: July 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

What if you could be young again? Would it be a dream come true or truly a nightmare?

That’s the startling reality retired circus trapeze artist Breena Balážová awakens to on the world of Eleutia in her own re-engineered younger body. For a woman whose death on Earth was inches away, it seems like a second chance at life. But in this parallel world, where horses fly and animals and humans are symbionts, Bree is intended as breeding stock to balance the plummeting female birthrate.

As she searches for her missing sisters, who were pulled to Eleutia with her, Bree also must survive assassination attempts, the growing threat of war, and her unexpected attraction to the arrogant animal Clan Alpha, Gato, a man with terrible burdens and secrets.

The animal Clans join forces to combat a dark conspiracy that will shake the foundations of their world, even as Bree’s search for her sisters grows more desperate and dangerous.

If Bree has any hope of finding her sisters and fulfilling her own destiny, she and Gato must carry out a perilous deception, their success or failure deciding not only their own fate, but that of all Eleutia.

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Author Bio:

Vicki’s fantasy romantic suspense series, The Afterworld Chronicles, launched with Chest of Bone, followed by Chest of Stone and Chest of Time. She is currently pounding the keys on her series’ fourth novel, Chest of Fire, and the first in a new series, The Made Ones Sags: Altered.
Her mystery/thrillers include Body Parts, The Dead Stone, The Bone Man, and The Grief Shop, a Daphne du Maurier prize winner. All feature homicide counselor Tally Whyte. All are available as ebooks.
She co-wrote (with Lisa Souza) and photographed the 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters. With her late husband, William G. Tapply, she ran The Writers Studio workshops in creative fiction.
Vicki taught fiction writing and modern media writing at Clark University.
She loves both a well-crafted sentence and unlocking the doors of a student’s imagination.
She grew up in professional theater and planned to become an actress, with a bent for song and dance. She didn’t. Instead, she’s been a professional photographer, a high-school teacher, a hamburger slinger, a scuba-shop manager, and an editor.
She’s Blake’s and Ben’s mom, her favorite role of all.
Her passions include scuba diving and fly fishing and knitting; photography and movies; vinho verde and bourbon (not together!); Maine lobster and chocolate (also not together!); and musical comedy scores, which she sing in the shower, unfortunately not an Equity venue; and a fascination with people in all walks of life.

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The Divorce Attorney Reveal

The Divorce Attorney
Melanie Munton
Publication date: May 26th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

What are you supposed to do when your insanely hot divorce attorney leans over after you’ve signed your divorce papers and seductively whispers in your ear, “Give me a call if you want to know how it feels to be handled by a real man since you were clearly too much woman for him,” before sliding his business card over and walking out the door?

I mean, what do you do with that?

Sure, I’m tempted. I just lost a hundred and eighty pounds of stupid, cheating man. I deserve to treat myself.

The thing is, I think he might be too much man for me.

After all, he’s fifteen years my senior, though he doesn’t look it.

But the urge to learn what this seasoned pro could teach me proves irresistible.

And as it turns out, he’s a pro at a lot of things…like destroying people’s lives.

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Author Bio:

Traveler. Reader. Beach-goer. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Pasta-obsessed. North Carolina resident. Sarcastic. Bit of a nerd.
Author of the Cruz Brothers, Possession and Politics, and Timid Souls series, Melanie loves all things romance, comedies and suspense in particular because it’s boring to only stick to one sub-genre! From light-hearted comedies to sexy thrillers, she likes to mix it up, but loves her some strong alpha males and sassy heroines.
Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!

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Pretty Nightmare Reveal

Pretty Nightmare
J.A. Huss
(Creeping Beautiful #2)
Publication date: May 26th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

INDIE

I have them all now. Just the way I want them.

McKay, the one who loves me deepest.

Adam, the one who protects me fiercely.

Donovan, the one who tells the truth.

They are my friends, they are my lovers, they are my world.

And Maggie belongs to all of us—no matter who her father is.

This is the family I’ve always wanted.

This is the family I deserve.

And I will do whatever it takes to keep them.

McKAY

I have a secret that could ruin everything.

But I’m not keeping that secret to hurt her.

Nathan St. James needed to go.

ADAM

I made plan that could ruin everything.

But I did it to save us in the end.

The Company needed to come back.

DONOVAN

I told a lie that could ruin everything.

But I didn’t tell the lie to them—I told it to myself.

Carter is closer than we think.

There is something truly wrong at Boucher House on the Old Pearl River.

Some hidden evil lurking deep inside the woods.

Nothing about their blissful life is what it seems.

Because just when they think they have it all—he shows up to take it back.

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Author Bio:

JA Huss is the New York Times Bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today Bestseller’s list 21 times in the past five years. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings.

Her new sexy sci-fi romance and paranormal romance pen name is KC Cross and she writes novels and teleplays collaboratively with actor and screenwriter, Johnathan McClain.

Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017. Her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018. Five of her book were optioned for a TV series by MGM television in 2018. And her book, Total Exposure, was nominated for a RITA Award in 2019.

She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.

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The Silent Daughter Reveal

The Silent Daughter
Claire Amarti
Publication date: May 7th 2020
Genres: Adult, Psychological, Suspense

Schoolgirl missing, the ticker reads, and the camera cuts to a girl’s face. Blonde hair waterfalling over her shoulders, serious eyes, lips a little parted like she’s about to speak. That’s when I realize I’ve been holding my breath, because the gasp when I inhale almost chokes me.

Sadie Kelly has lost her job. Until last month, she was a teacher at Horton College – the same high school she went to ten years ago along with her best friend, Fiona. But Fiona died in an accident on their graduation night, in circumstances Sadie’s spent the last ten years trying to forget, and since then nothing’s been the same.

Now Sadie’s back where she grew up, jobless, and living temporarily with Fiona’s mother. But when she hears that Devon Hundley, a Horton schoolgirl, has gone missing, everything changes. Devon’s the daughter of Philip Hundley, a man Sadie knows all too well, and Sadie can’t stop thinking about the last time she saw Devon. It was the day Sadie left Horton for good, and heard Devon murmur four little words as she walked away. Four words Sadie prayed she had misheard:

I know your secret.

A gripping page-turner for fans of Kerry Lonsdale, Diane Chamberlain, and Liane Moriarty.

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Author Bio:

I’m an author who writes suspense stories about ordinary women – women like the ones we all know and love – who find out that their ordinary lives may not be quite so ordinary after all! My hope is that you will root for them, fear for them, and find yourself holding your breath when the action starts to get a little hairy!

When I’m not doing writing, I can be found strolling the streets of Brooklyn, New York City, my adopted home, dodging pigeons and traffic. I moved here a little over eight years ago – I hail from Ireland originally – and never looked back. To me there’s nothing more wonderful than that feeling of finding – or making! – a new home, that mixture of excitement at finding a place in the world, and the comfort of being able to come back to it time and again. That’s what reading feels like for me… and for you too I suspect! It’s also the same joy I get from writing. I hope my books can become a kind of home for you too: a place where you can trust that you’ll find a wonderful adventure, and then land safe and sound at the end of it all, ready to do it all again another day!

Website


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Someone To Kiss My Scars Blitz

Someone To Kiss My Scars: A Teen Thriller
Brooke Skipstone
Publication date: October 17th 2019
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

First Place Pencraft Award in Young Adult Abuse
Readers’ Favorite International Contest: Silver Medal in Young Adult Thriller

“Powerful. Original. Deeply felt and convincing.” — Kirkus Reviews

Hunter needs to remember. Jazz needs to forget. They need each other to heal in this teen thriller of survivor love.

Hunter’s past is a mystery to him, erased by a doctor at the direction of his father. But memories of the secret trauma begin to surface when Hunter sees other people’s memories–visions invading his mind with stories of abuse, teen self-mutilation, rape, and forbidden sex.

His best friend Jazz has dark and disturbing memories of her own that she hides behind her sass and wit. Hunter discovers he can rescue the victims, even though he risks adding their suffering to his own.

Hunter and Jazz kiss each other’s scars and form a bond of empathy no two teens should ever need.

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EXCERPT:

Jazz waited for Hunter inside the front doors of the K – 12 school, home to 150 students from the small town of Clear Creek and ten miles in either direction on the nearby highway. Her big boots stomped on the metal grating just inside the door as she paced, wondering what was keeping him. Her flatworms had regenerated their heads and tails and still remembered what she had taught them prior to decapitation. Memory can exist outside the brain! How cool was that? She couldn’t wait to tell him.

“Girl, you need to get to class,” said Patty, the secretary, in her loud, thick drawl. She was a large woman with a big smile, born in Texas, who lined her eyes in dark blue, wore big hoop earrings and gaudy silver necklaces. Today she wore jeans, boots, and a bright yellow top with white fringe and turquoise pieces sewn into the fabric. She loved the kids, and most loved her back, including Jazz.

“I need to show something to Hunter. It’s so cool!”
“Mr. Roberts approved you being out of his class?”
“He knows. He said it was OK.”
She had advanced to the state science fair a month ago and now wanted desperately to go to the international fair next year, her last chance before graduation. Maybe she could win a scholarship or some money for college. Mr. Roberts, her science teacher, had given her a corner of the school lab to run her experiments even through the summer. She’d been hired as extra maintenance help at the school, so she would have access to the building through August.

Jazz straightened up and put her hands on the glass door as she saw his truck roll into the parking lot.

Jazz watched Hunter park his truck and run toward the front door. As usual he looked flustered and a little clumsy when he ran, but God was he cute! She loved his long, floppy hair, his thick eyebrows over his dark brown eyes. And his mouth was gorgeous—so full and soft. He was the only guy in school who didn’t think she was weird for loving science and who smiled at her like he meant it. He was her only real friend. Before he came in August, the only people who cared about her were the teachers and Patty.

Just as he reached for the entry bell, Jazz pushed the front door open.

“Hey, Hunter!” She knew from the heat she felt in her cheeks she was blushing behind her big smile.

“Hey, Jazz. Sorry I’m late. I know you wanted me here early.”
“It’s OK. I have something to show you.” She grabbed his arm.
“I’ve got to get to class,” he said, panting.
“Patty said she’d give you a pass. C’mon!” Jazz pulled him down the hallway. “I said no such thing!” yelled Patty as the two kids ran past her.

“You know you will!” shouted Jazz over her shoulder.

Jazz dragged him down the hall to the science wing, opened the lab door, and walked to the far side of the room near the fume hood and a short lab table against the wall—her domain. One of the fluorescent tubes flickered on the ceiling. She looked up and shook her head. “That won’t do. Can’t have another variable in here. I’ll talk to Mr. Roberts later to have this fixed.”

She carefully removed a cover from a small shelving unit to reveal a series of petri dishes containing small brown worms. “Ta da!” said Jazz.
Each dish lay inside colored tape strips, labeled with names and dates. A clipboard with the color-code key hung from a hook.

Hunter bent closer. “Worms? Did you make them?” He wrinkled his nose. “Kinda. I trained them with food and bright lights until they remembered what to do in different environments to find their food. So if those memories were stored in their brain, which is similar to ours, you would think that if their heads were amputated, the new regenerated brain wouldn’t remember their training. But they did!” She threw out her hands in excitement.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah! As a group they didn’t do quite as well as the trained, uncut controls, which were not decapitated, but the ones that regrew their heads did as well as those which regrew their tails. And both groups of regenerated worms found their food faster than an untrained group. ”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning memory is not confined to their brains!” She lifted up onto her toes and felt warmth radiating throughout her body. “If it were, the ones that grew new brains wouldn’t remember the training. Don’t you see? So many people think memories are stored in the brain, but they may be stored in other parts of the body or outside it.”

“At least in worms. What about in humans?”

“Could be the same. I haven’t figured out an experiment for them yet.” She moved closer and straightened the collar on his shirt. “But I’m looking for volunteers to help me.” She touched his nose with her finger. “How about you?”

“Sure. Unless you plan to chop something off me.”

She moved closer, enjoying the tease, locking her eyes onto his. “First, I train you, then I chop.” She picked up a ruler off a table next to her and slapped it into her hand. “Do you respond better to punishment or reward?” She walked toward him, shaking the ruler. “I used bright lights and raw liver on the worms.”

He backed away, chuckling. “So which one of those is the reward?”

“The liver, obviously. But for you . . .” She thought of so many things she wouldn’t dare say to him. “How about fresh chocolate chip cookies after school? I could come by your place.”

“Cool. I’d like that.”

He was so much fun. “When are you going to show me more stories about the Tremarians? I haven’t read any for a while.”

A pained look crossed his face. “I had to start writing something else.” “You had to? Why?”
“I’ll explain later. How about when you bring the cookies?”
“OK.” She noticed his frown and felt a chill. “Are you all right?” “Sure. Well, not really.”

“What’s wrong?” She almost reached out for his hand, but pulled back and clasped her hands against her chest.

“I realized this morning I never asked you about the things you didn’t want to remember. When we first talked. In the gym months ago. I told you I wanted to remember my past, and you said there were things you wanted to forget. What are they? And I’m sorry for not asking you before now.”

She felt her eyes widen and her heart race. How could you remember that? “So many things, Hunter, but none of them involve you.”

His shoulders slumped.

Jazz felt a rush of fear. Had she offended him? “What made you think of that now? I mean, I love that you care enough to ask, but what brought that up?”

Hunter bit his lip and frowned. “I haven’t had much sleep. I tried to find something from my past in my dad’s room, but the few things I found meant nothing to me. And I think he’s lying to me about . . . why we came here.” His chin quivered.

She moved closer to him, unable this time to resist, and reached for his hands. He tensed, causing her to pause. “Do you mind?”

“No.”

She held both of his hands and felt them quivering within her own. “I’m your friend, Hunter. Something’s going on with you, and I want to help.” She looked into his brown eyes and saw them twitch. “Why don’t you come to my house for lunch today? I’ve got some leftover spaghetti and meatballs.”

He looked at their hands touching and smiled slightly. “That would be great. I forgot to bring anything to eat today. Lucky this school allows us to go home for lunch.”

“Good.” She squeezed his hands then let them go. “You better get to class.”

“Yeah, thanks.” He turned to leave and opened the door then looked back. “So what’s the brain for if not to store memories?”

“It’s a receiver and transmitter, like a TV set. A signal comes in, and a movie memory plays in your head.”

His eyes widened as he just stared at her with his mouth open.
“Are you OK?”
“Yeah. Gotta go.” He left the room.
She thought he would be excited or awed about her conclusion, but he seemed

terrified. Why did he have to write something else? Something was going on inside Hunter’s head. She’d sensed it since they first met. He said he couldn’t remember his past, yet he often seemed haunted.

She knew what nightmares the past could bring.

Author Bio:

Brooke Skipstone lives in Alaska, where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.

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