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I'm a bad, bad girl.  I reviewed her book, originally Time's Twisted Arrow, quite a while back and absolutely loved it.  So, when she told me she was one of five finalists for a book contract, the top prize being a $50,000 advance, I really wanted her to win it.  She totally deserves it.

Unfortunately, I got a little distracted over the long weekend...  Still, I highly encourage you to check out my review of the book, read the excerpt below and hop over and vote!!!!  She totally deserves it and I hope she wins.  Today, May 29th will be the last day for voting.  I plan to try to encourage people to hop over there (if I'm not further distracted).

Excerpt

He spoke in a low whisper.  "Give me the backpack and you can walk away.  I don't want trouble.  Just pull it off your shoulders and give it to me."

I would normally have just given it over, no questions, no hesitation.  Lesson one of self-defense is that you don't argue with the man holding the gun.  But the diary was in there. 

Pudgy's face was suddenly inches from mine and I felt a crushing pain in my toes as his heel ground into them. He whispered into my ear, "I can shoot you and be gone before anyone knows what happened."

"Doors closing.  Doors closing," the automated voice chimed, as Pudgy pulled me with him toward the door.  The foot that had just mangled my toes slipped into the opening to prevent the subway doors from sliding shut.  I glared at him, then slid the backpack from my shoulders and handed it to him. As he squeezed his chubby frame through the door, he pushed me backward into the train, hard.

I fell against two other passengers.  One had on earphones and had missed the entire exchange.  He just looked annoyed at my clumsiness, but the woman had clearly been watching. She held a large paper sack in her lap, and my right hand was crumpled into the side of it.  "Are you alright?" she asked. "Should I call security?"

"Kate!" The voice from behind me was deep and the slight accent unfamiliar, but I knew who it was before I turned. My first instinct was to run—not that there was really anywhere to go in a closed subway car—but as he moved closer, I glimpsed a familiar blue light shining through the fabric of his shirt.   He reached out to take my arm and pulled me toward a seat a few aisles away, out of earshot of the woman who had offered to help.

I sat, but then whirled to face him.  "Who the hell are you?  Why are you following me and why did your friend take my pack?  And how did you get that from my grandmother?"  I poked the spot on his shirt where the light of the medallion showed through.

He paused for a second, processing the barrage of questions, and then gave me a small, slightly crooked smile. "Okay—I'll answer them in order. I am Kiernan Dunne," he said.  "I was not following you. I was following Simon.  I'm not supposed to be here. Simon—the guy who took your bag—is not my friend, Kate.  And this key," he finished, pointing at the medallion on his chest, "is not from your grandmother's collection.  It was my father's." 

He raised his hand and I flinched instinctively.  His eyes grew sad and his smile twisted ruefully, as he moved his hand, more slowly now, to brush the right side of my face with his fingertips.    "I've never seen you this young."  He reached around and pulled the band loose from my hair, so that it fell to my shoulders.  "Now you look more like my Kate."

I opened my mouth to protest, but he held up his hand and continued, speaking more quickly now.  "We are close to your exit.  Go straight to your grandmother's house and tell her what has happened.  At least you still have this." He touched the black cord around my neck. "Keep the CHRONOS key on you at all times."

"CHRONOS key?  I don't have…"

"The medallion," Kiernan said, again touching the cord.

"I don't have a medallion."  I pulled the cord out of my blouse—at the end was the clear plastic holder that contained my school ID, a Metro pass, a few pictures and two keys, one for Dad's cottage and one for the townhouse.  I flipped the holder around so that he could see the plain silver keys through the back. "And these are the only keys I have.  Could you stop talking in riddles?"

The color drained from Kiernan's face and panic filled his eyes.  "Was it in the bag?  You should keep it on you…"

"No," I repeated.  "I don't have a medallion.  Until now, I thought there was only one and to the best of my knowledge it is at my grandmother's house."

"Why?" he asked. "Why in bloody hell would she send you out with no protection?"

"I don't know how to use it!  Yesterday, I nearly…" I blushed, thinking back to the scene in the kitchen.  "I saw you when I held it. Why? Who are you?"

The train began to slow.  Kiernan closed his eyes and rubbed his first two fingers against his temples for a few seconds before looking up and shaking his head. "I didn't plan for this, Kate.  You are going to have to run.  Take a cab. Steal a car. Whatever you do, get to her house as quickly as you can and do not leave." 

He moved us both toward the doors and then turned, pulling me toward him.  "I will try to stall them—but I don't know exactly what they are planning, so I have no idea how long you have." 

"How long before wha—"  My question was silenced as his lips met mine, gentle, but urgent.  My body was swept with the same sensations I had felt earlier when I held the medallion—heart pounding, unable to breathe, unable to move, unable to think. 

After a moment, he pulled away, a small smile lifting the corners of his mouth. "This was not supposed to be our first kiss, Kate.  But if you do not hurry, it will almost certainly be our last.  Run.  Run, NOW."  As the train decelerated, Kiernan reached into his shirt and closed his hand around the medallion. The dark green band that he had pulled from my hair was now on his wrist.  And then he vanished.

The woman with the paper bag was staring, her mouth shaped in a large, comical "O," but no one else seemed to have noticed that Kiernan had simply disappeared. 

The subway doors chimed open and I ran.
 

blurb

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‘Well, what do all mysteries have?' said Aunt Isobel. 'Money, mistresses, and murder.’

1783 – and Lichfield society is enthralled by the arrival of dashing ex-officer Orville; he charms his way into the salons, grand houses and even a great inheritance from extrovert Sir Morton. 

1927 – and detective writer Julia Warren returns to her home in Lichfield to work on her next novel. Initially she hopes to find plot material from the past and set it in the present. Aunt Isobel, while making preparations for the annual midsummer ball, has managed to root out an old journal from 1783 which might prove a source of inspiration. Once Julia starts reading her ancestor’s journal she becomes absorbed in solving the mystery surrounding officer Orville. Detective fever takes over, and she moves from reality to legend as events from the past seem set to re-enact themselves in the present, and she finds herself unravelling more than just the one mystery. Who was Orville? Who was the agent, Oddman, set to spy on him? And who is helpful Mr Grenall ? 

Pagan gods don’t walk away just because you stop looking at them. The Gronny Patch sleeps. Perhaps it dreams. Or perhaps not …

A complex, multi-layered story unlike any other, full of whimsy, horror, and mystery, shifting between the centuries and from source to source, until all the threads are finally drawn together by the imperturbable Miss Warren.

Amazon UK (pre-order) (hardcover) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Greenwood-Tree-B-Lloyd/dp/1909374563

(paperback) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Greenwood-Tree-B-Lloyd/dp/1909374571/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Amazon US (pre-order) paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Greenwood-Tree-B-Lloyd/dp/1909374571/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

http://www.amazon.com/Greenwood-Tree-B-Lloyd/dp/1909374563/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

Waterstones: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/b-+lloyd/greenwood+tree/9610637/

Pre-order page on the publisher’s website : http://www.greycellspress.co.uk/pre-order-our-titles/


Excerpt

1927

London

‘A country murder? In a big old mansion, plenty of house-guests and servants? Better set it before the War, then. How many bodies? Four? Five? Have you the odd family ghost you could throw in for good measure?’

Julia mentally heaved a sigh of relief. The ‘talk over tea’ was progressing better than she had expected, with her editor lapping up the storyline she had cobbled together at the last minute. She had set it in her aunt’s house on an impulse, reasoning to herself that she would at least have an excuse to retreat there on the pretexts of research and peace and quiet. She found she had an increasing desire to return, in fact. The mild excitement of earning enough to live on the edge of a crowded metropolis was beginning to pall; the traffic and endless round of theatres and clubs held little attraction for her after all, whereas one more cocktail party with the effete and affected of the literary elite might result in her committing violence.

As if reading her mind, Mr Williams leaned forward confidentially to say: ‘Do you remember that last do at Ashton’s? Miss Vane was there too.’

‘Yes, I do remember.’ Julia had found Harriet Vane somewhat intimidating. As for that beau of hers, thrashing out articles on free love and anarchy—yet always with his hair brilliantined in a singularly unappealing fashion. Somehow brilliantine and speeches on a new world order did not quite go together, at least not for Julia.

‘Well, she’s written an essay lamenting the dearth of good crime fiction, and suggests the crime novelists get together to form a club of sorts; she intends to start a magazine or such-like. Ashton is right behind her, they’ve managed to rope old Chesterton in, and Ashton was wondering if you might be able to contribute?’ Ashton was Chief Editor at Petrel Books and held frequent gatherings at his home in Kensington for writers and editors alike. His influence was such that one did not refuse his requests lightly.

‘Sounds perfectly terrifying. What do they want from me? Not another essay, I hope.’

‘I think it might be more interesting than that--why don’t I arrange a get-together, see what is in the air, so to speak? It’s quite true, after all, hardly a soul out there to write mysteries—even Mrs Christie’s “Big Four” only received very mixed reviews . . . so it’s up to us to make a difference, eh?’

Julia did her best to respond with conviction and enthusiasm. She managed to divert the conversation: ‘And what of Miss Vane’s latest?’

‘Haven’t read it. Haven’t even heard much about it--which makes me wonder whether she might not be taking refuge in this magazine idea. We all know what the Muse does to writers at times, don’t we?’ Julia felt a quiet pinching at the stomach, a reminder of her own fallibility. Had he in fact swallowed whole her excuse for a plot? She tried not to think about that.

 ‘I can at least say you are interested in knowing more?’ Williams looked almost pleadingly at her. Julia dutifully undertook to write something and made her exit gratefully. If only she could escape London now with equal ease.

She was about to cross the street when she felt a friendly pat on her shoulder and turned to find somebody in the same sort of anonymous cloche hat and long straight coat as she was wearing.

‘Hello, May,’ she said, still in chirpy frame of mind from her meeting. ‘They’ve let you out for half an hour, then?’

May chuckled. ‘Oh it’s not that bad. Listen, why don’t we catch up—are you free for tea at Lyons’?’

The teahouse was a little full, but they managed to squeeze in between the crowded, clinking, murmuring tables, and caught up with each other’s news while they waited to be served. May was sympathetic about the editor’s meeting, even if she had little experience of the process. She was a dispenser and in her spare time an avid reader of crime fiction. Julia often had recourse to her when a visit to the Poison Section in the Library proved too far. They had met at a house party, where a case of petty pilfering within the household had caused them to apply their wits—successfully, as it turned out—and they had become close friends. When not engaged in deciphering motive and means, they often exchanged occasionally biting comments on the latest detective novel.

‘So, are you brimming with ideas?’

‘In a sort of a way, I think I am. But it’s not awfully clear yet—I need more material. Sounds dull, I know. But I have been feeling a trifle dull recently.’

‘You are looking a trifle peaky. Sounds to me like going to the country would do you good.’

Tea arrived and talk turned to reminiscence: ‘Do you remember that business about Mrs Clyssum’s necklace? I was just reminded of it the other day at Gracie’s; she had one just like it, very convincing. Why did she do it, really?’

‘Panic. She’d pawned the originals, remember.’

‘I do. But even so . . . poor thing. Still, it was fun, working it out, and I am glad we stopped the maid losing her job.’

‘That must have been the first time we actually put our heads together. Wonder what they’ve got up to since then . . .’

 ‘What have you been reading lately?’ Julia asked. May pulled a wry face and rummaged in her bag, producing a slim volume depicting on its cover a man peering out from under the lid of a wooden crate or box, with another man’s shadow falling across it. Emblazoned across the top half of the cover was the title ‘The Red House Mystery.’

‘I read it ages ago. Think I enjoyed it more the first time round. Wish you’d hurry up and get your next one finished. I’m running out of favourite authors.’

‘We were just talking about that. Apparently Miss Vane considers it a distinctly uninspiring time for crime fiction in general.’

‘I’m not surprised. Even Mrs Christie’s last one fell a bit flat.’

‘Yes, my editor mentioned her too. I wonder if there is some contagious detective ‘flu going around, which reduces the creative flow to pulp. I certainly think I have been infected.’

‘That doesn’t sound like you. Definitely in need of a change of scene, I should say. We both could do with something to wake us up a bit. Wish we had another mystery of our own to work out, like the Clyssum business.’

Julia looked at her. ‘So do I. Easier than writing the wretched things. We could set up an agency: Warren and Downe—Domestic Panic and Hysteria our speciality.’

‘Yes—likewise, Purloined Pearls and Pawnbrokers.’

‘Purses and Pusillanimity.’

‘Peripatetic Parrots and Peevish Pomeranians.’

The banter was briefly interrupted just as it threatened to become hysterical by the arrival of the waitress with laden tray.

They both tried to pick up where they had left off, but somehow today their usual flow of conversation slowed to a halt. Julia briefly allowed herself to be swamped by the voices from the surrounding tables instead—and soon wished she hadn’t:

‘I thought those emeralds were paste, I still do. As for her taste in art . . .’

‘More Art Nasty than Art Nouveau! Mind you, I suspect they would be worth something at auction . . .’

‘Did you read about her niece in the Tatler? Hardly surprising though, the poor girl must have been only too glad to escape, even if it was with the son of a greengrocer.’

‘A very wealthy greengrocer. It’s all money, after all . . .’

Julia enjoyed May’s company, and gossip did often supply a lot of material. But, stuck in the middle of the crowded room with its jarring sounds and cheap chatter, she now felt the tawdriness of smoky, grimy London.

There were gladioli in Aunt Izzy’s garden, and they would be coming into bloom soon: she could picture the late afternoon sun falling across them, turning them a soft apricot gold, and she wanted to be transported back to it at that moment, that very second. She was pulled back from her brief reverie by a squawk from May.

‘Look at the time! I must dash—now don’t forget, I want to know the minute you have decided who the villain is, and if there is poison involved . . . well, you know where I am !’

There was a hurried dispute over the bill, which Julia insisted on paying, then May scuttled off, leaving Julia on the pavement outside with promises of another get-together before long.

The brilliant blue sky prompted her to return home by tram. She climbed to the upper deck just so she could sit away from crowds and enjoy the trees lining the avenue. She craned her neck up and gazed at the leafy branches, and for a moment imagined herself back at home. Finally all those little scraps of dreams that had been hiding away all day returned tenfold to delight her, butterfly-like, with colours and warmth—the walks, the glades, the running hare and cheeky sparrow, the slow-witted blackbirds, sunning themselves in the middle of the lanes; all the whirling memories of the past crowded into her mind and she decided she had stayed away too long. What had seemed a pretext now became necessity. London was stifling her with its relentless gaiety, misery and recklessness.

about the author

A Bustle attached to a keyboard, occasionally to be seen floating on a canal ...

After studying Early Music in Italy followed by a brief career in concert performance, the Bustle exchanged vocal parts for less vocal arts i.e. a Diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.
Her inky mess, both graphic and verbal, can be found in various regions of the Web, and appendaged to good people's works (for no visible reason that she can understand).

At present exploring the mysteries of Northumberland, although if there is a place she could call true home, it would be Venice…while the fields of Waterloo hold a certain resonance for her as well…

More here :
http://about.me/B.Lloyd

& here :
http://lloydanon.wordpress.com

For those who enjoy Twittery:
Do drop by @AuthorsAnon
as she enjoys a chat
(Warning: Please expect occasional bouts of nonsense).
 

Blurb

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She’s entered a world where blood, sex, and cash rules everything around her. 

What do a four hundred-year-old vampire and a mid-level necromancer have in common? Money. Jeliyah needs it to pay off the people who trained her and Teaghan enjoys killing to get it. Together they hunt rogue vampires—assuming Teaghan can focus on something other than getting her in bed and Jeliyah doesn’t put a bullet in him first. 

The uneasy partnership promises to be lucrative until Teaghan and Jeliyah get on the wrong side of a feud. Jeliyah is forced to use forbidden magic and finds herself bound to a man she should hate—but whom she can’t stop fantasizing about. 

Every second they stay alive fuels a growing desire Jeliyah is unwilling to deny. Is it the magic? The danger? The only way to get the answers she craves is to outrun the enemy or kill them. She knows Teaghan’s preference but it’s Jeliyah who must put their mind-blowing sex aside and make the choice that will decide both their fates. 

Ellora’s Cave | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | ARe (coming 03 May)



Excerpt

Teaghan knew it. A coup was about to happen. He didn’t know the players and didn’t care. So long as the bills got paid, the person in power didn’t matter. From one leader to the next, nothing ever changed.

He said, “Fine. You want me. I get that. Leave the necromancer out of it. No one would miss me but take her out and you’ll have the higher-ups gunning for you and your boss.”

“You’re right, the higher-ups would be quite upset if we killed the necromancer, and that wasn’t my intention. The others wanted to have some fun with her before handing her over but that was all.”

Jeliyah gripped the door handle and her eyes widened.

Teaghan said, “The higher-ups won’t overlook you molesting one of their own.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. They’ve given us permission to do with her as we please so long we return her to them intact.”

Jeliyah yelled, “They would never do that.”

Fredrick chuckled. “Well, hello, Jeliyah. Ephraim tells me you smell of vampire seed and blood. Recent seed. Old blood. I had thought you would hold out against Teaghan much longer given your initial reaction to him. Either I overestimated you or underestimated him.” He made the vocal equivalent of a shrug. “Doesn’t matter since I felt the need to pass on the news of your little indiscretion to Hirsch, who then relayed it to the higher-ups. They are very displeased that a high-middle class such as yourself would give a vampire permission to invade her body. That displeasure graduated to anger when I informed them of the blood sharing as well.”

Oh please, no. No. No.

Teaghan grabbed Jeliyah’s hand in a firm grip to anchor her to the here and now. She clutched at him and stared at his profile. Tears rimmed her eyes. He knew she was holding it together by a thin thread of will. Images of the bleeding chamber raced through her mind. She was imagining herself in the place of the person she’d seen when she was young.

He told her through their link, I’ve got you, Jeliyah. Nothing’s going to happen.

Fredrick said, “Stop the car and give up. Make this easier for all of us.”

“Denied.” Teaghan released Jeliyah’s hand so he could snatch the phone off the dash and hit the end button.

Jeliyah asked, “What do we do? They want you dead and me—” Her words choked to a halt and she pulled in a shuddering breath. A single tear slipped down her cheek.

He retrieved her hand and squeezed it. “Easy there, necromancer. Don’t fall apart on me now.”

“Why? All you did was kill a rogue.”

“That’s why. It’s a changing of the guard. It happens every few centuries. Family infighting. They involve people from neighboring families who have been promised some little tidbit or other to help the wannabe head take power. It’s a story as old as the vampires. Seems you and I got in the way.”

Teaghan changed his destination. The enforcers probably knew which hotel they’d used by now and might be lying in wait. He steered the car back on the highway. If one family wanted him dead then his only protection was to seek refuge in another family’s territory.

While a risky proposition without petitioning for entrance first, the destination Teaghan had in mind came with a sponsor. He released Jeliyah’s hand once more to bring up a number he hadn’t called in years. He hoped it still worked.

About the Author

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Renee is a military brat turned military wife who is currently stationed in Hawaii with her husband and two cats.

Whether writing as D. Renee Bagby or Zenobia Renquist, she is a world-builder. She loves inventing new cultures and shaping their histories and laws because it beats researching the existing ones.

Her stories span the fantasy gamut but she dabbles in sci-fi and contemporary from time to time. While her main characters tend to be of different races, she doesn't let skin color rule or limit her stories. For her, it's all about how much she can torture her characters so they earn their happily-ever-after ending.

The rules are all new and pre-conceived notions will only slow you down, so when reading Renee's stories, she asks only one thing -- Leave Your Reality Behind.




 

Review

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I like the dynamic between mother and daughter.  But then, I've always been fond of a little bit of crazy.  Their relationship is open (a little too open, some might say), off the wall, loving and infuriating.  Actually, take out the paranormal, and it kind of reminds me of the relationship with my own mom.  Sort of a love/hate thing.
The relationship between her and her friends Zoe and Diego are fun and flirty, making me laugh throughout the book.  I liked Boulder, even if he was a bit overbearing for my taste and Torch's stubbornness pissed me off, which I suspect is exactly what it was supposed to do.

That being said, I really enjoyed the first 75% of the book, even if it had quite a few patches that made me make a double take because I couldn't rap my head around the logic.

But what bugged me the most about the book is how badly it left you hanging.  There's no end to the conflict, no relief for the romantic ties, and the book ends with all these what ifs hanging over your head.  I wanted to know what was going to happen next and yet was thoroughly pissed off at the author for leaving me hanging like that.  I'm okay with a cliffhanger on occasion, but this was like racing toward a finish line and dropping off a cliff.  I kept seeing the progress advance.  80%, 90%, 95% and knowing there was no way the book could possibly come to a satisfactory conclusion in that time.

In summing, the book was good and entertaining.  It was engaging and I found myself invested in the characters.  Just don't expect to leave feeling fulfilled or with a sense of completion.  So, I guess, my question becomes, when the hell is the next book coming out?!? 


blurb

Infinity discovers a dark secret from her past that rocks everything she knows to be true.

A troubled 22-year-old superstar singer, Infinity has a bad reputation for drugs and hard partying. Now, she is on the road to a comeback with her controversial tour. But everything about doing the concert feels wrong from missing employees, to anonymous threats about ruining her career. She is dealing with a powerful corporation that is determined to kill her and everyone she loves.  She is also battling for control of her life and career from a relationship that crossed the fine line between love and obsession. Infinity knows too much, even though she doesn't realize it.  Secrets have been kept and these secrets are powerful enough to destroy her and everyone she loves.

Now she must put her safety and trust in the hands of sexy, tattooed and delicious Torch Channing and Boulder Vigari, hired to keep her from getting killed. Boulder wants to make her his. He won't stop until he claims her. Torch struggles with his primal need to possess her and his hatred of everything she represents.

Infinity is determined to protect her heart while dealing with the pressure of pulling off another successful tour without spiraling into another mental meltdown.

Add it to your Goodreads To-Read List
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore


excerpt

He stepped closer, brushing my jet-black hair away from my cheek, his finger wrapping around a curl before trailing down my neck. “Do you really think I give a shit about her? Or any human, for that matter? I’m here for you. You’re mine and nothing you can do or say will change that now.”

He stroked my cheek. “You’ve been reckless, Infinity. Did you really think you could thumb your nose at the Collective and live? You disregarded all of my warnings. You are naive and reckless. I did all that I could to prevent this exact moment.”

I tilted my head, looking at him through my eyelashes, whispering, “What moment?”

He pulled me against his chest, digging his hand into my shoulder painfully. “This fucking moment, Infinity. The moment of me standing here before you, not as your consort, but as the man sent here to kill you.” He sighed. “You pushed them too far, and the decision has been made to destroy you for the betterment of the Vampire Collective.”

“No, I… You can’t.” I rasped and swallowed. “She said you wouldn’t.”

His hands gripped my body as he leaned his forehead against mine. “I don’t know who she is, but she can’t save your ass right now. Only I can. You’re mine. Come with me and all will be forgiven. As my consort you will be untouchable, but on your own you are dead.”

My lust started to slowly cool and logic finally started to kick in. Fuck, what was I doing? I was standing in a bathroom, panting over a vampire who may or may not be some crazy ass stalker assassin for a corporation of vampires. This was some crazy shit.

“No!” He held me tight as I tried to back away. “I won’t. I will never choose to be with a monster like you. You might as well kill me now.”

“You’re already with a monster.” He leaned down, scrapping his incisors against my throat. “You just haven’t accepted it.”

Burning coursed down my neck. The panic set in, causing me to kick with futility against his brute strength. I was going to die. The strange woman lied.

“Please, Alik. Don’t do this.” Anger and fear fought within me. Fear was winning by a landslide.

about the author

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Sedona Venez writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance, and science fiction romance. She lives in the North East in the city that never sleeps.






Sedona can be found online in all the usual haunts:  

Her Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads



 

Excerpt

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Aphrodite Calling was my favorite of the three so I chose an excerpt from that novella...

Desire. He could sense it. Wafting up from below to his current vantage point on the landing. His shoulders wanted to slump, but he couldn't allow it. No matter how weary he was of this calling, he was a god. Their god. It was his duty to respond.

Perhaps his brother had the better idea. Reside with the gods, not the mortals, and come out to play only when the mood took him. That had been at the changing of the seasons, for Pothos. It was when Aphrodite's power was at its strongest and when they all felt the mating urge most intensely.

Himeros suspected that the seasonal visitation schedule was likely to change a little for Pothos, now that his brother had found his pair. A smile curved his lips as he recalled his brother's astonishment and joy, but then the smile faded.

There was no joy here, for him. No pair of lovers such as Pothos had found. No one to tantalize and entice him out of his lethargy. But he stayed anyway, hoping, searching. Answering the endless calls to Aphrodite from those seeking sexual gratification.

So. He squared his shoulders and looked down at the sea of mortals stretched out before him on the ground floor below. Which of them was the seeker this time?

He sampled the air, testing, and his fingers tightened on the handrail. There was something different about this one. Desire, yes. Stronger than any he had felt in years. For that alone, he knew he would answer this call. But the sexual nature of the desire was edged with more. So much more. A desire for... He frowned, slanted his head to the right, and focused his gaze on the person in need.

Well, well. This was one call he had never experienced. And he thought he'd seen it all.

Excitement rippled through his body, replacing the ennui to which he'd grown accustomed.

Sweet mother.

Aphrodite, could this possibly be the one?


Reviews

I like what I like most about these stories so far is how completely accepting they are of people or ideas that are outside the norm.  These stories are short, not allowing a lot of time for character development or much plot.

The first novella, Platinum Passion, read a lot like any other MMF erotica.  Though, I did like how the menage was portrayed as sort of an extension of a loving marriage, rather than major kink (even though there was plenty of that!).  She is completely unwilling to go further without her husband.

I really loved the female lead, Gina, in the second novella, Aphrodite Calling.  There was a lot of depth into her neuroses, fears and insecurities and I think the author did a fairly good job of portraying a transgender individual, even if I've never met one (that I know of).  The story got me curious about a subject I'd never really taken much interest in before.  Sure, I've known homosexuals, and transgenders have always been a curiosity to me, but I never really tried to understand it.  Out of sight, out of mind.  This story was about emotional renewal.  Loneliness and isolation that is so often the case when you're a little bit different, not quite the norm.  Everyone tries to shove you in a box, expecting you to fit, frequently not realizing how much they hurt you in the process.

The third novella, Sex Club Secrets, was an interesting take on a bisexual individual, but I think what I liked most about the story was not that, but the emotional progress of the god, Anteros, which wasn't delved into that much during the story.  I was so happy when they accepted him and wanted more from him. 

Blurbs

The Greek gods of desire are skilled at satisfying the erotic needs of mortals who cross their path. But where do the gorgeous erotes turn for sexual healing when loneliness strikes at each eternal yet world-weary heart?

Together for the first time in one anthology collection, these three critically acclaimed novellas show that even the gods themselves are not immune from the influence of love.

Platinum Passion

A night of ménage a trois passion will change three lives forever. Jeannie and Jake's platinum anniversary becomes an unforgettable experience when Pothos, god of sexual yearning, steps in to save their twenty-year marriage.

Aphrodite Calling

A god of sexual desire on the edge of burnout meets a woman with a unique and secret past…In the arms of transsexual woman Gina, has Himeros finally discovered the one with whom even a god of love could find fulfillment?

Sex Club Secrets

Sometimes love can flourish in the most unexpected places. Ella and her bisexual best friend Kade meet the erotic god Anteros in a celebrated sex club—but the challenges facing these potential friends-to-lovers could prove too much for the god of requited and unrequited love.

Content suitable for adult readers only.

About the author

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Jennifer Lynne is multi-published in sensual and erotic romance and writes from her home in Melbourne, Australia. She has a degree in literature and media studies and has worked as a business writer and journalist for companies both large and small. She has even worked in an optical store! She lives in hope that readers will continue to enjoy her novella-length tales of love and lust.

Website/blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


P.S. The author will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly selected commenter on her book tour, so feel free to hit up the other tour stops...

April 15:  Books to Light Your Fire
April 16:  Rachel Leigh
April 17:  Bitchesbewritin
April 18:  The SkylarVerse
April 19:  The Eternal Scribe
April 22:  Harlie's Books
April 23:  Wicked Readings by Tawania
April 24:  We Love Kink
April 25:  Francesca's Mindstream
April 26:  Long and Short Reviews
April 29:  You Gotta Read Reviews
April 30:  Unabridged Andra
May 1:  Sharing Links and Wisdom
May 2:  From Me to You ... Video, Photography, and Book Reviews
May 3:  All I Want and More
 

blurb

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The darkness is still, silent. Jackee Maren's heart pounds reverberating through her body as fear sears her veins. Someone's coming. No way out. This time they will kill me. Her breath is short, her chest burns. Must run. Faster. Faster! Her eyes fly open, her heart still racing with blinding fear. Jackee breathes deeply with relief and stares at the ceiling desperately trying to calm herself. The same dream. Something, someone is watching . . . and waiting.

A tragic car accident leaves beautiful, vibrant Jackee Maren completely paralyzed, able to move only her eyes. Jackee's husband, Phil, is devastated and her two young boys left with nothing but a shell for a mother, but still, Jackee senses the foreboding of an evil presence and knows time is short. Slowly, Jackee learns to communicate with her physical therapist, Kevin, by blinking her eyes. As evidence comes to light that her car accident was no accident, Jackee knows she must expose the person who wants her dead before they get a second chance. While Jackee works to put all the clues together, she discovers she has the ability to sense the thoughts of others, but she hides this talent from everyone but her sons, not knowing who she can trust. By actively exercising her new psychic ability, Jackee finally learns who masterminded the accident but feels helpless to stop them from trying to kill her again. Slowly a plan forms to not only ensure her boys are safe forever, but to exact revenge on her would-be murderer. Jackee vows not to rest until this killer understands what it is to be TRAPPED!

BUY LINKS: 

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-ebook/dp/B00A6Z59ZU/

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-George-A-Bernstein/dp/1599304090/



Excerpt

PROLOGUE

Turn signal flashing, she eases into the right lane in front of a large, battered pick-up, with less than a half-mile to the Old Orchard Exit Ramp. Jackee Maren rarely drives so aggressively, but first delayed by her two sons’ late departure from school, and then navigating around a minor fender bender on Dundee road, she is already ten minutes behind, and she’s never late. The Northern Illinois Chapter of the United Way won’t start their planning session without their chairwoman, and Jackee hates the idea of keeping so many busy people waiting.

Peeling onto the ramp, her attention is drawn to her two boys, bickering and shoving in the back seat. Glancing back at the road, a ridge of goose bumps cascades down her spine. They’re hurtled toward a string of glaring taillights… cars unexpectedly stopped by a red light at the first intersection off the expressway.

Jamming a foot on the brakes, she’s stunned when the big Mercedes slews sharply right, smack into the path of the huge pickup truck, which had exited behind her. It slams into the rear fender of the sedan, sending it careening off the road, the seatbelts gouging her shoulder, crushing the breath from her lungs.

“Hang on boys,” she gasps. Oh God! My sons! They can’t die here.

They spin down the embankment like an eccentric top, ricocheting off a bridge column. The wheel torn from her grip, the air filled with the screech of rending metal and the stench of burning rubber, the car rears like a great angry beast, its rear legs hamstrung. Slamming down, it hurtles backward into the culvert, bucking and skipping along the steep embankment.

Despite seatbelts, Jackee is flung around like a rag doll in the jaws of some huge terrier. The air bag erupts in the midst of their tumultuous downward plunge, rushing out at 200 MPH, just as frontal impact slings her forward.

Her face catches the brunt of the blow, skewering lips on her teeth, smashing her nose. A searing bolt of pain fires across her brain, igniting a burst of red heat behind her tearing eyes. A sharp pitch right crushes her left cheek against the window, knocking her momentarily senseless. The sedan teeters, enveloped in a cloud of dust, hunkering precariously on its haunches before crashing down on its wheels, coming to a thunderous, grinding stop.

She awakens to wailing and blubbering from the two small boys in the rear seat.

“Mommy!” The call gasped through ragged breathing.

“Mommy!” Now a frantic screech.

“I’m…I’m here.” We’re alive! Thank God, we’re all still alive.

She sags against the seatbelt, every joint singed with agony, unable to will herself into action.

Help should be coming. She moans.  Gotta hang on… She slips out of consciousness.

The continued bawling and moaning of her sons stir her, drawing her out of the fog of semi-consciousness. One of her eyes is swollen shut, but the other flickers open, glazed with shock.

Where the Hell’s Fire/Rescue.

She winces, her whole body racked by pain.

Seems like we’ve been trapped down here for…

The warble of a fast arriving rescue vehicle answers that question. She closes her eye, struggling to control the thunder in her head and the molten bands of fire across her chest.

“Lady? You with me?” A hatchet-faced EMT materializes at the shattered passenger-side window. She strives to focus on the man, who is futilely struggling with the door.

“Malcolm, Bryan,” the words slurred through blood stained lips. “Sons…back seat…”

“Yeah, they’re still strapped in. We’re gonna take care of everybody, but it’s you I’m focused on.”

Jackee’s head lolls forward, her emerald eye fluttering closed as she struggles to remain conscious. The swell and ebb of her breast confirms that, while battered, she still lives. Her sons in the back continue their chorus of terror, though it’s winding down to a pattern of whimpers as their surge of adrenaline burns out.

 “Can’t budge this damned door,” the EMT, grunts. He’s joined by his thick-shouldered partner, hefting a crowbar.

“Move over and give me room to work.” forcing one end of the steel into the jamb, struggling to lever it open, he glances at his partner. “Those kids look okay?”

“Probably. All that loud wailing is a good sign, but we’ll check ‘em out once we get everyone free. The woman’s obviously suffered some airbag trauma and…Oh, oh, she’s coming around.”

Jackee’s eye blinks, her head inches up, and she tastes the blood oozing from her nose and lips.

“Oohhh. What…what…” She makes a feeble effort to turn her head.

Oh! My sons. The brakes…bad crash…are they…?”

“Mommy.” Malcolm’s voice a hoarse squeak. “Are you hurt? We’re okay, I think.” His voice and Bryan’s whimpering through ragged breathing is reassuring.

Thank God. So close. Don’t know how I could…” She sags, her thoughts fading again.

“We’re gettin’ nowhere with this bar.” He looks back.

“We need the hydraulics down here, and in a fuckin’ hurry,” he screams up at the road.

“On the way. How ‘bout a power saw now?”

“No way. Too dangerous.”

Ten minutes later, a hydraulic pry bar dispense with the door. Frantic minutes drag by as they disentangle Jackee from the air bags, and her two sobbing, shaken sons, from their seatbelts.

Jackee smells the fuel that continues to seep from the ruptured tank, pooling beneath the wreckage.

Fire…or worse…is an eminent threat.

She floats to full awareness. Her body is festooned with welts, and her face feels like she’d gone ten rounds with Joe Frazier. Strapped to a gurney, her head and neck immobilized, one medic checks her vitals, which, despite her tattered façade, are surprisingly robust.

“Looks like you’re gonna be okay, lady. Got someone you want me to call?” he asks.

“Husband. Phil Maren.” Mumbled with a thick lisp over a swollen tongue and lacerated lips.

“North Chicago Printing. In city. My sons?”

“They’re shaken and bruised, but don’t seem to have any major problems. We’re checking ‘em out now. They’ll come to the hospital as a precaution, and your husband can pick ‘em up there.

Moments later the ambulance races toward Skokie Valley Hospital.

A freak thing. Was it the brakes? Phil just serviced the car.

She sighs.

How did it…?” She slips off into a sedative induced slumber.

Jackee Maren had no idea that this terrifying accident was but a small taste of the true horror soon awaiting her. 


 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Where am I?

Intense, deep-cave blackness envelops her…smothering, almost thick enough to touch. She seems adrift, suspended a pool of dark, still water.

A bath? That doesn’t make sense.

Despite a shroud of absolute darkness, she senses herself rising, finally breaching the inky surface, floating weightlessly.

And she is awake.

What was that? A dream? It seemed so real!

Jackee Maren lay very still, confused by the eerie perception of bobbing gently on tepid, calm waters.  Despite a sense of warmth lapping at her, she shudders.

 What’s happened to…Oh… how stupid of me.

My surgery! It’s finally over. Five months since the accident, and breathing hadn’t gotten any easier. But why is it so... so dark in… where? A recovery room?

Why have they left me alone?

A pungency unique to hospitals floods her with unpleasant memories: momma, daddy, and her own last visit. Not a happy moment in the bunch.

Icy tentacles caress her spine, kindling a mountain range of goose bumps.

What’s going on? Why... oh...

Voices murmuring, bare whispers, apparently close by. What are they saying?

Spooky, laying here in this... this black place. Why haven’t they taken me to my room?  Phil’ll be worried.

Won’t he? He promised to take time from work to care for their sons… to be supportive for a change… while she recovers from this reconstructive facial surgery he seemed so eager for her to have. She shivers, momentarily reliving that scary car accident.

Spinning, lurching, crashing down that embankment. The shriek of rending steel.

God, it was terrifying.

The boys tussling in back, and I was distracted, worried at being late… and wondering about Phil’s frequent late nights. He was seldom home evenings before then. But that changed after I spun the Mercedes into that ditch.

Whatever. That was then. Gotta figure out the now… why I’m still in Recovery. Get someone’s attention. If she moves, will stitches tear? The undercurrent of voices pulls at her.

Why are they whispering?

She shivers again, her skin peppered by an icy sleet of uncertainty.

Has something happened... something bad? No one’s here... no one to check on me. Did something go wrong?

Oh God, it must be terrible!

Her heart tumbles, skipping into high gear. This crushing darkness robs her of any sense of place.

Maybe I’m dead, locked away in the Morgue, lying on a slab, waiting to be cut up? It’s so black, and they.... Oh, shut up!

Jeez, it was only reconstructive surgery after the accident. Dead people don’t lie around, thinking. Always ready to worry if there’s a little hitch somewhere. Nothing bad happened. Still, I’ve gotta get someone's attention.

Hey! Why didn’t I see that before?

How had she missed what was right in front of her… two shaded windows, a bare sliver of light glimmering at their lower edges. Dare she move, seeking aid? Still stymied by the strange aura of weightless floating on a glassy film of water, she tentatively stretches out a hand.

Am I actually moving? Eerie! I can’t really tell in this utter darkness. Her unseen fingers trip lightly across the base of the shades.

Success! Both spool noiselessly upward.

Finally! She winces, blinking at the sudden light, before her vision clears.

There, three men, standing in a small white room, two wearing blue surgeon’s scrubs, the other, the tallest, a dark suit. No second bed, no moveable tables, no guest chairs anywhere. No outside windows, either. Stark illumination from flickering fluorescent fixtures cast demonic shadows across their faces. She shivers, unassured by the sight of the trio of apparent doctors.

What is this place? A recovery room? Suddenly their voices are clear.

"I spoke to her husband," says the one in the dark suit, fingering the stethoscope looped around his neck. "He said she occasionally took both amphetamines and tranquilizers."

He said that? It was just this one time, and he said…

"Damn," from the taller of the two, "that wasn’t on the admitting form. We could’ve rescheduled. Drugs and anesthetics always cause problems."

Problems? God, I knew it. Damned hospitals! Damn, damn, damn!

"We’re checking,” the third man says. “I’m not convinced tests will tell us anything that will do us much good in court, if it comes to that."

What are they talking about?

She is suddenly struggling to breathe, her heart pummeling her breast.

Oh Jesus, something did happen! Something bad!

Head spinning, her world lurches surreally askew. She shudders.

I’m so cold!  Her little lagoon churns from comfortable warmth into a bed of ice.

Something’s terribly wrong! Hospitals are supposed to fix things, but I had the same scary feeling while waiting for Daddy’s test results... and I was right!

Gotta find out what’s happened. Sucking in a ragged breath... worried about damaging her facial surgery... she grits her teeth before calling out.

"Hey!"

Don’t panic. They'll see me in a minute.

But they don't. Are they deaf?

"Over here!” Louder now, willing them to look at her.

"You, out there! Please help me."

The taller surgeon cocks his head and turns.

Thank God! He'll see me now.

He pauses, still as stone. Then his eyes flare wide, his jaw dropping. Snatching at the other doctor’s sleeve, he thrusts an almost accusing finger at her.

"Look," he shouts. "Look!”

“Her eyes! Her eyes! “They're open!"

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AUTHOR BIO

I was born and raised in Chicago and its suburbs, living there until the age of 39. I'm now a retired corporate President, life-long fishing enthusiast, and a dedicated author. As is my nature, I've worked hard to improve my writing craft, and have produced 3 award-winnning novels, as finalist and/or winners of several large writing contests. I've also become a world-class fly-fisherman and am an expert in fly-fishing for pike & musky, and wrote a book on that, as well.

I now live in sunny Florida, and split my time between writing, fishing & fine cabinet making, but my greatest love is creating riviting fiction. TRAPPED is my first novel.


 
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Book Description:

An erotic paranormal romance…


Charismatic and powerful Lyceum Wolves’ Alpha, Tristan Livingston, is out for revenge after a devastating attack on his pack. Not only did he survive a building collapse, he orchestrated the rebuild of his chic, state-of-the-art nightclub within a week. Determined to mete out justice, he rescues a beautiful witness who may be the key to helping him find the perpetrators.

Dr. Kalli Williams, dedicated veterinarian, is hiding a secret that endangers not only her own life but the lives of wolves across the country. After being tortured by a savage vampire, she’s reluctantly agrees to help the sexy Alpha in his quest to identify suspects; ones who’d kill her on the spot if they knew she existed. As Kalli places herself in the hands of the dominant wolf, she soon finds she wants nothing more than to submit.

Tristan, committed to ruling his pack as a lone wolf, is inexplicably drawn to the mysterious and enticing woman, who seems more than human, but not quite supernatural. As he discovers her secret, he teaches her the meaning of trust, helping her learn how to be true to her nature. After living a lifetime alone, will he succumb to the visceral need to claim her, acknowledging the soul binding connection between an Alpha and his mate? And will he prevail against the menacing enemy who threatens to destroy Lyceum Wolves?




excerpt

She wasn’t sure where Tristan had gone when she exited the bathroom, but she was hungry and wasn’t waiting for him.  Within a few minutes, she quickly found the kitchen and the ever-important coffee machine.  She turned it on, popped in the coffee pod and started opening cabinets looking for mugs.  Setting two cups on the counter, she opened the door to the refrigerator and pulled out creamer then continued looking through the clutter for the eggs.  She felt ravenous, and needed protein.  “Come on, where are you, little eggies?  Tristan has to have eggs.  Everyone has eggs,” she mumbled, talking to herself.

“Tristan does,” he told her with a grin, surprised to find Kalli rummaging around in search of food.  Despite taking a cold shower, he was instantly hard again at the sight of her lovely bare ass which peeked at him from underneath his shirt.  He wanted nothing more in that moment than to take her from behind and slide deep into her warm heat.  The temptation was great, but he restrained his desires.

Kalli jumped at his voice, quickly turning around.  “Hi, um, I was just going to make us something to eat,” she said nervously.

“By all means,” he agreed confidently, walking by her wearing only a towel around his hips.  His erection tented the fabric, and he made no attempt to conceal it. 

It was nearly impossible to ignore both the charisma and raw sexuality Tristan exuded.  Slowly, Kalli’s eyes roamed up and down his lean torso, astonished at the audaciousness he exhibited while wearing practically nothing.  His hair, dampened from the shower, fell shaggy over his eyes.  Hardened abs rippled down toward his low slung towel.  Struggling for the words that never came, she couldn’t help her natural reaction, which was to look him over one last time.  Embarrassed, she just knew that he knew that she’d just looked at his groin area, which appeared to be growing.  Oh God.  She rubbed her hand over her eyes and smiled to herself.   What was it about this man? Get it together, Kalli.  Say something. 

“Um, okay then, so the eggs.” She opened the refrigerator, careful to hold on to the shirt so it didn’t ride up again.

“Like what you see?” he asked seductively as he set a coffee mug next to her hand, proceeding to wait for the next cup to fill.

“What did you just say?”  Shocked, she grabbed the egg carton and quickly stood up, banging her head.  She turned around holding the package in one hand, rubbing the sore spot on her head with the other.

He set his eyes on hers, taking the eggs and putting them on the ledge.  She backed into the counter as he caged her, pushing her body flush against his.  “I said…Do. You. Like. What. You. See?” he whispered into her ear, accentuating every word.

She sucked a breath as a million pithy responses filled her head.  But the hard bulge pressed against her body and her dangerously hard nipples made it impossible for her to speak coherently.

“Um.” God, she felt like a complete idiot.  Eight years of college and all she had was ‘um’?

“I’ll take that as a yes,” he replied playfully, kissing her ear softly.  He reached over to grab his coffee cup, which made him press against her even harder.

She sucked a breath at the welcome intrusion.  There was a part of her that thought he might kiss her.  Immobilized against his hard torso, he had her exactly where he wanted her, or rather, where she wanted to be.

Instead of kissing her, however, he wrapped his fingers around the clay handle and walked away with a broad smile across his face, without saying another word.  He proceeded to sit down at the island, and switched on his i-Pad, checking his email as he pretended to ignore her.  When Kalli turned around again to make the eggs, he let his eyes drift to her soft supple cheeks that strained to stay covered by his shirt.  The hem teased higher as she bent over slightly to turn on the stove.  Damn, this woman was killing him.

Tristan could not remember the last time he’d slept naked with a woman.  Sure he’d fucked many, but not truly just slept with one.  He’d stayed wolf as long as he could, treasuring her trust, teaching her that he wouldn’t hurt her.  But now that she was healing and walking around his home like she belonged here, he felt the pressure in his chest along with the ache between his legs.

They’d forged a bond last night, and he didn’t want to rush forward and scare her off.  At the same time, he knew she was withholding information.  Something small, perhaps, but it was there.  Bringing his full attention back to his tablet, he tapped out a quick email to Logan asking him to run a full security clearance on one “Kalli Williams”.  


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About the Author:

Kym Grosso is the author of the erotic paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans. Both of her novels, Kade's Dark Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 1) and Luca's Magic Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 2), are currently available via Amazon, digitally and in print. Tristan's Lyceum Wolves is scheduled for release on April 1, 2013.

In addition to romance, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy. She writes autism articles on PsychologyToday.com and AutismInRealLife.com. She also is a contributing essay author in the new book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum.

Kym lives with her husband, two children, dog, cat and guinea pig. Her hobbies include autism advocacy, reading, tennis, zumba, traveling and spending time with her husband and children. New Orleans, with its rich culture, history and unique cuisine, is one of her favorite places to visit. Also, she loves traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow covered mountains. On any given night, Kym can be found reading her Kindle, which is filled with hundreds of romances.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KymGrossoBooks

Twitter: @KymGrosso

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5785692.Kym_Grosso

My Autism Website: http://www.AutismInRealLife.com


 
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As soon as Hailey Parrish discovered her husband was cheating with her co-worker, she swore off men. She had to find another job when her boss went to prison for being a pimp in his spare time. Three years later, Hailey still hadn’t gone on a date and she milks chinchilla for a living. Her life is about to get weirder. 

While in pursuit of inter-dimensional miscreants who use their arcane powers to prey upon humans, Sebastian Kess was ambushed and mortally wounded. To save his life, he used his own magic to convert his soul to binary code and transfer it into Hailey’s soon-to-be shipped Kindle eBook reader. When Hailey inadvertently releases him and he inhabits her body, she finally has a man inside her, just not in the way she imagined.

Hailey must come to grips with the existence of the parallel dimension of Coursodon and the realization that magically inclined non-humans walk the world while dealing with Sebastian’s arrogant banter in her head.  Her predicament also introduces her to another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams Alex Sunderland.  The action moves from Hailey’s hometown of Tucson, Arizona to New England and across Europe as she and Alex try to return Sebastian to his own body while staying one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is.  

Excerpt

FYI, I kind of loved this excerpt.  I think this book just might have been bumped up on my reading list because of this...
As I lay in the darkness, it occurred to me that I must be the most boring, single 30 year-old ever. I didn’t go out much, I ate crappy food. I couldn’t even remember the score of the games I just watched.

This was not how I had imagined myself at this point in my life. Had my marriage not crashed and burned, we probably would have a baby by now. Yeah, and I would still be married to an asstard. He probably would have spawned asstardlets. I just wanted to feel like my life was going somewhere, like I was accomplishing something. I rolled over on my side and vowed to try to get myself together and move forward.

When I finally fell asleep, I dreamt I went on my first post-divorce date. The guy took me to a fancy restaurant, ordered lots of food and expensive wine and then ditched me for the voluptuous hostess. I was presented with the check but lacked any means of paying it. After negotiating a payment plan with the restaurant owner, which involved allowing him to indulge his foot fetish with my pinkie toes and some flavored whipped cream, I left the place and got into my car, which was really weird, because my date drove.

There in the parking lot were dine-and-dash and the hostess, groping each other with utter abandon. I revved up the engine, threw the car into drive and peeled out towards them. The headlights illuminated their stunned faces as I spun the car sharply, rolled down the window and chucked a lit Molotov cocktail - made from the empty wine bottle from dinner - at them and sped off humming the theme to “The Lion King.”

I woke up thinking I must be making progress. Usually in my dreams I ran them over after I set them on fire.

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About the Author:

M.L. Ryan is a profes­sional woman — not that she gave up her amateur status, but rather that she is over-educated with a job in which she spends a lot of time writing dry science non-Fiction. In an effort to strength­en the less logi­cal side of her brain, she decided to write some of the many stories rolling around in her head.  She lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband, son, four cats, two dogs and two adopt­ed desert tortoises.

Blog: http://CoursodonDimension.blogspot.com

Website: http://www.CoursodonDimension.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CoursodonDimension

Twitter: @MLRyan1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3384189.M_L_Ryan


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I pull my com out of my back pocket and fiddle with it until my dad’s face appears on screen.  I tap him and the connection starts. It buzzes a few times and then he’s there.

“Hi, Snowbird.”

I smile so big it makes my cheeks stretch. “Hi, Dad.”

“You OK?”

I sigh. “Yeah, I’m OK. Just tired. How about you? Where are you?”

“Polar Friendlies.”

“Is everyone there?”

“Yes, everyone is here now.  Your mom’s here too.”

“Oh,” is all I have to say to that.  I’m not interested in her.

“Tier called a few hours ago, he left a message.  Said you’d be calling.”

“Did he now?” Must be nice to see the future. That’s like the Powerball of superpowers.  “Was he mad?”

“No, should he have been?”

“Ummmm…no. I guess not.”

“You just call to say hi? Or do you need help?”

“Dad,” I begin. “Do you think Lucan is the Devil?”

“Yes.”

Oh, crap!  That was not the answer I was looking for. “Do you think he’s evil?”

“Do you think I’m evil, Junco?”

Well, sorta, I want to say.  I mean, he did nuke Peak City and Council 3.

“You don’t have to answer that. It was rhetorical. I’m just saying that everyone has the potential, right?”

“Do you think I’m evil?”

I hear the long draw of breath before he speaks and I know he’s gonna lie. “Junco, evil is not as black and white as you were taught. Evil isn’t an action, Snowbird. It’s an intention.”

I’m not so sure of this, that road to hell is paved with stuff that sounds very similar.



BLURB:

Two years have passed since Inanna stole Junco away from Lucan. Two years of unimaginable pain.  Two years of isolation, mutilation and torture. Two years of fear and loneliness in a morph tank. And that’s not something you just get over, even if you are psycho-assassin, Junco Coot.

Now Junco has to learn to live with the consequences.  Her Siblings are suspicious and angry, half her team is dead, Tier is wreaking death and destruction, Lucan is holding his secrets close, and she is spiraling out of control.

There is only one partnership that matters anymore – only one person she will trust and take direction from – and only one way out of the Hell she’s been sentenced to.

Junco is tired fighting and death. She’s had enough and this time she means to end it – once and for all.

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AUTHOR Bio:

J.A. Huss writes new adult speculative fiction, contemporary romances, and an entire line of science non-fiction textbooks that cater to home learners. She also runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads book Blogs. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a graduate degree in forensic toxicology. She adores everything science and considers herself a major geek! Her first series is called I Am Just Junco.


Book One: Clutch
Amazon | Goodreads | Book trailer


Book Two: Fledge
Amazon | Goodreads | Book trailer


Book Three: Flight
Amazon | Goodreads | Book trailer
 
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excerpt

Mari didn’t know who was in more of a hurry to get to the suite, Graham or herself. She'd never walked so fast in her life and by the time he pulled the key card out of his wallet, she was out of breath. Graham on the other hand wasn’t even breathing hard.

“Why aren’t you out of breath too? We practically ran all the way here.” she asked between deep breaths.

“I have to keep in shape for my job, you know that sweetheart.”

A sinful smile spread across her face and she laughed. She was about to find out exactly what shape he was in. Had she ever seen him naked before? Only once in the pool house when they were teens, and he'd been perfect then. She couldn’t even fathom what he would look like now with all of the Coast Guard, Firefighter and Search and Rescue training. And of course, his daily workouts at the gym. The visions of Graham naked did nothing to help regulate her breathing or calm her down.

“Hey are you okay? The trek up the stairs wasn’t that bad was it?” he had the slightest look of amusement on his face.

“I’m not so sure it was coming up the stairs that’s driving me wild Graham.” she smiled shyly. “I think it has more to do with the fact that I was imagining you naked,” she whispered.

“Damn! What the hell are we still doing standing around out here for?” he ground out as he slid the key card in the door. He picked her up and carried her into the room. “Time to get naked, you know, so eventually you can breathe again.”

Book synopsis

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"I've waited a lifetime to touch you like this"


Mari Mannon and Graham Blake always loved each other, but life kept getting in the way. An Alaskan cruise vacation might be just the place to overcome their demons and rebuild the love they once had--to discover a passion they've never known. But first, Mari must cast aside her inhibitions to become the independent, carefree woman she once was. And Graham must learn to believe in love again. Can they find their way, or will everything fall apart for good.

An Adult Romance with family, drama, comedy, sex, tragedy and most of all love. (May not be suitable for all readers - adult content)



about the author

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JJ Ellis is first and foremost a mom to five kids, four girls and one boy, ranging in age from 2-17. After that, she is a physically limited wife, blogger and now an author. She holds a degree in Communication Studies (Public Relations) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas but never thought she would chose writing as a career, especially at the age of 42. She once wanted to be a publicist in the entertainment industry, but never a writer. Then one day when she was in her mid thirties she was going through what can only be described as an early 'midlife crisis' and ideas just started to come to her and she felt compelled to write them down. She finished her first book relatively quickly, but life got in the way and it took her eight years to revisit it and then publish her first novel. She can honestly say that now she is finally right where she wants to be. 

JJ has been married to her college sweetheart (and romance novel hero) for eighteen and a half years and they reside in Casper, WY with their kids and one crazy mutt named Kreuger. She enjoys reading, writing, blogging, computing, and graphic design. She will try anything that will allow her creativity to be released.

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