Rising Ashes * Excerpt Reveal * Annie Anderson

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✦ ✦ ✦ Available for PreOrder ✦ ✦ ✦

 

RISING ASHES
by Annie Anderson
Ashes to Ashes; Book 3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2016
Cover Design by: MadHat Books

 

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Synopsis:
West Carmichael is not my real name.

 

It is the name I pulled from thin air over five hundred years ago. I don’t come from royalty—I come from the dregs of the ethereal. As the King’s assassin, I have more blood on my hands than most. I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve anyone.
But I will keep her safe.
Even if I die trying.

 

Evangeline Black.

 

My name sounds like the heroine of a historical romance novel – not that I read those or anything. My life so far: Dead parents? Check. Broken heart? Check. Evil mistress of darkness, hell-bent on power and thirsty for my death? Big. Honking. Check. But this mess won’t get cleaned up by itself.
I’ve got a job to do.

 

As these two reluctant hearts fight their pull, they must decide if they want to fall apart in the midst of the chaos swarming around them or yield to their hearts…
and rise.

 

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Excerpt:

 

EVAN – 1928 – Los Angeles, CA
The first time I met West Carmichael, I was singing at a speakeasy in Los Angeles. My parents didn’t know where I was, and for the first time in a long time, neither did Aurelia. Hiding from a Seer is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but a special cloaking amulet from a witch friend seemed to have worked wonders.
It was pretty. A sapphire the size of my thumbnail set in a silver filigree setting hanging from a thin chain that rests just below my collarbone. It wasn’t the nicest piece of jewelry I owned, but it was my favorite.
Maybe because it granted my freedom.
Or maybe because it matched my royal blue silk charmeuse gown to perfection. I used to hate dressing up, but this dress made me feel like a woman. It was an off the shoulder number with a daring sweetheart neckline – far ahead of its time. It fit like a second skin until it hit my thighs and then flared out like a calla lily into a delicate but short train. It may not have been the most comfortable dress I owned, but it made me feel like a sexy siren. Something that with my diminutive height, I rarely felt.
I was alone – finally alone even in this sea of people– after so much time with the ones I loved breathing down my neck. It was like a vacation. I needed something of my own. A secret, a life, something to break away from my family. Something that didn’t say princess or royalty.
Something that let me just be me. Singing was it for me.
I was ending my five-song set with a favorite of mine, an old Jane Greene song when I saw him. I’d seen him around town a few times, when I was shopping by myself or when I watched a boxing match at the Olympic Auditorium, a scandalous activity for an unchaperoned young lady.
But we’d never met.
He was handsome. I even daresay beautiful, if you can call a man like that beautiful. He was tall – taller than anyone in the room by nearly a whole head –and built so powerfully he made the other men look like pitiful adolescents dressed up in their daddy’s clothes. It was difficult to tell if his hair was as dark as it seemed in the low light of the secret club, but it appeared black in the dim. Dressed to the nines in a brilliant black suit, he moved with grace through the crowd until he found his seat at the only open table in the joint, folding his huge frame into the chair with the grace of a jaguar.
Papa had taken me to Brazil when I was just a little girl, and we saw the big cats roam the rainforests. He moved just like those jungle cats, scanning the room for prey and threats, watching everything with disinterest, as if he could take or leave the sights and sounds and people. As if he were bored in this raucous party that seemed to never end.
© Copyright 2016 Annie Anderson

 

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Also Available in the Ashes to Ashes Series

 

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SCATTERED ASHES (Ashes to Ashes, #1)
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK  

 

FALLING ASHES (Ashes to Ashes, #2)
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK  
**Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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About the Author:
 
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad.
 
As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, and old man of a dog.
 
 
Connect with Annie:
Website : Facebook : Twitter : Pinterest : Google+ : Amazon Author Page : Goodreads Author Page
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~Trouble Walks In * Excerpt Reveal * Author Sara Humphreys~

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Trouble Walks In (The McGuire Brothers, #2)
Trouble Walks In by Sara Humphreys
McGuire Brothers Series; Book 2
Pages
Published August 2, 2016
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Blurb:
Big city K-9 cop Ronan McGuire loves women, loves his dog, loves his job – but when old flame Maddy Morgan moves into his jurisdiction, he can’t think about anyone else.
Ronan knows she’s way out of his league, but he’s determined to help Maddy live life to the fullest.

 

Maddy has immersed herself in work and swiftly made a name for herself in the hot New York City real estate market. She’s looking for safety, not love, but Ronan McGuire is as persistent as he is sexy, and his crooked smile is hard to resist. But all other concerns are wiped away when Maddy goes missing and Ronan and his bloodhound K-9 partner are tasked with finding her and bringing her home.

 

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Excerpt:

 

PROLOGUE

 

The boy had been missing for twelve hours, and Ronan McGuire knew better than anyone that if they didn’t find the kid soon, the search could end in the worst possible way. It had been an unusually cold November, and when little David Newhart wandered away from his parents this morning in the park, he hadn’t been wearing a coat. The sun had gone down hours ago, and the temperature was close to freezing.
Ronan’s partner grew increasingly agitated as they climbed the steep incline of the hill near Turtle Pond, and hope fired brightly in Ronan’s chest. He knew the dog’s signals and could read him better than he could most people.
The boy was close.
Bowser whined loudly and tugged harder on the long leash, and Ronan swore under his breath. The enormous bloodhound had the best nose in the tristate area. Once he detected a scent, he rarely—if ever—failed to find what he was looking for. He tilted his snout to the air before spearing it back to the ground and turning left. Bowser’s lanky brown-and-black-furred body quivered with excitement, the way it did whenever the trail grew stronger.
The scent article they’d given Bowser, the missing boy’s hat, had given him a solid lead to follow, but this was more an art than a science. David had been missing for hours, and the gusty winds of late November had been blowing hard, making the search-and-rescue job that much more difficult. Well, for Ronan, it was a job. For Bowser, it was more like playing a big game of hide-and-seek. And there was nothing his dog loved more than finding what he was looking for.
Bowser kept his nose to the ground and trotted to the left toward a long stone wall. He followed the scent through the brush and dried leaves in an almost sideways direction along a wooded section of Central Park. Bowser was one of the most talented bloodhounds on the force and could detect scents up to a week old if he had to.
Tension settled in Ronan’s shoulders, and his muscles bunched as he wrapped the leather lead tighter around his hand. He scanned the area ahead, and a tickle of panic glimmered in his chest as it sometimes did when he was searching for a missing kid. Faint memories from years ago bubbled to the surface. He knew exactly how this little boy was feeling. Alone. Terrified. Cold.
“David?” Ronan shouted. “I’m Officer Ronan McGuire with the NYPD. Your mom and dad are worried about you. David, can you hear me?”
The wind whistling by his ears was the only answer. The glimmer of hope began to fade right before Bowser whimpered and made a sudden turn to the right, his long, sword-like tail bouncing wildly as he picked up the pace. A bitter gust of wind whisked through the woods, sending a chill up Ronan’s spine. Shit. Please let the kid be okay. Bowser dodged around a massive elm tree, and Ronan ran around behind him.
“David!”
That was when he spotted a dark lump…and it moved. Ronan’s heart thundered in his chest. He shone his flashlight over the area, and the breath rushed from his lungs. Got him. David was curled up in a ball in a pile of leaves at the base of the tree. Bowser barked and went right over, sniffing and licking at the boy before sitting down beside him protectively.
“I wanna go home,” David whimpered as he placed one quivering hand onto Bowser’s paw. “I want my mommy.”
“I gotcha, David.” Ronan squatted down and took off his coat before quickly wrapping it around the kid. “Bowser and I are gonna get you back to your mom and dad. They’re worried sick about you.”
“I’m cold.”
“I know, pal, but you’re safe now. Everything’s gonna be okay.”
He started rubbing the boy’s arms, but Bowser moved in and lay down right next to the kid, practically on top of him. David giggled through his sniffles and swiped at his eyes before snuggling up to the dog. Bowser was panting heavily, his long, pink tongue dangling from the side of his open mouth. The damn dog looked like he was smiling.
“Good boy.” Ronan repeated the phrase a few times, scratched Bowser’s ears, and gave him the praise he expected. “Nice job, buddy.”
Bowser licked his hand quickly, as though returning the kudos. Ronan crouched next to his panting K-9 and radioed for the other officers in the area.
Ronan loved his job, especially when it had a happy ending.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

“I told you that I’d be there, and I meant it.” Maddy Morgan pressed the iPhone harder against her ear. She was attempting to block out the sounds beyond her office door while her best friend pestered her to within an inch of her life. “I’m your maid of honor, for heaven’s sake. What? You think I’m gonna bail after everything you and Gavin have been through? Hell no!”
“Okay, well, you can’t blame me for double-checking, can you?” Jordan hesitated, her voice concerned. “We’ve hardly spoken. I mean, you haven’t been home since… It’s been over a year and…”
Maddy stared out the window that overlooked the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and sucked in a deep breath, her friend’s unfinished thought hanging in the air. She nibbled her lower lip and fought the sudden, unexpected swell of emotion. It had been fifteen months since Rick died and a full year since she had been back to the town she’d always called home.
At least, she had until recently.
“I know,” Maddy said quietly.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and refused to cry. She’d cried enough at Rick’s funeral and during the weeks following. No more tears. If Rick were here, he would tell her to put on her big girl panties and get on with life.
“I’m not missing your wedding,” she said firmly. “Jeez, Jordan. You and Gavin have waited sixteen years to finally get hitched. Hell, you two would have gotten married last Christmas if it weren’t for me.”
“That’s not true,” Jordan said firmly.
“Bull.” Maddy laughed.
“Okay, well, it wasn’t the only reason.” Jordan replied. “Gavin’s parents wanted to throw us a huge Christmas wedding, and four months wouldn’t have been enough time to pull it all together. Deciding to wait a year has been a win-win. My future mother-in-law had plenty of time to do her thing, and we all had time to properly grieve for Rick. But I’m still worried about you…”
“I’m fine, Jordan, and I promise… I’m gonna be there to witness your dream coming true.”
“Okay, but—”
“No buts.”
“Yo, Maddy.” The increasingly irritating voice of Chris Drummond shot into the room as he barged in. “That blond, the Brenda chick—are you gonna to take her out to an open house this weekend, or should I? And what about those newlyweds? I know you’ve been slammed. I could take them out to see the new listings, if you want.”
“Hang on, Jordan,” Maddy said tightly.
She covered the phone with her hand and leveled an irritated gaze at her colleague. She knew that Terrence, the owner of the realty agency, had hired Drummond because he had an amazing reputation for selling and one of the best portfolios in the business, but he was a letch. A letch that thought anyone with boobs wanted him. Maddy had learned a long time ago that big talent usually meant even bigger egos.
Unfortunately, this talent was also turning out to be an asshole. She had already reported him once to Terrence for inappropriate advances on the young women in the office. Big talent or not, he was making her tired of him and his misogynistic bullshit. And lately, there had been attempts to steal her clients.
“Did you happen to notice that my door was closed?”
“Yeah.” He leaned in the doorway with his usual casual arrogance. Tall, slim, well dressed, and always perfectly coiffed, he was considered good-looking by most. But the air of entitlement he wore like a cloak was a turnoff as far as Maddy was concerned. Besides, she would never date a colleague.
“I’m on a call.”
“Right.” He jutted his thumb over his shoulder. “Anyway, should I take that Brenda chick out and, uh, show her the ropes? We could take the newlyweds, the, uh…”
“The Bartholomews,” Maddy finished for him. “No, I can handle my client list. Thank you.”
“Fine, then let me take Brenda out.”
The smarmy smile on his face gave Maddy pause. He’d been hitting on the assistants, who were savvy New Yorkers and more than capable of handling themselves, but now he was moving on to the young real estate agent. Brenda was a recent college grad from the Midwest. She was pretty, smart, and naive.
A prime target for a guy like Drummond.
“No,” Maddy said firmly. “Terrence asked me to handle her training. Thank you, and please close the door on your way out.”
His smile faded, and a hard, cold look settled in his eyes. Maddy had moved up the ranks quickly since joining Cosmopolitan Realty House, and her rise hadn’t gone unnoticed by Drummond. He hated not being number one, but she suspected that being second to a woman was a bigger insult.
“Sure thing,” he murmured.
Drummond left but neglected to shut the door. Maddy crossed the room, pausing only to tell Sharon, her assistant, to hold her other calls before she closed her door once more.
“Sorry about that, Jordan.” She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window and grimaced before running one hand through her unruly brown curls. “I’m coming into town a week before the wedding so I can help you with whatever you need. Y’know, all that bridesmaid stuff. I mean, I’m not a real girlie girl, but it’ll be fun to hang out. And tell Gavin he better not try to horn in on our girls’ night out. It might only be the two of us, but there’s a no-boys-allowed rule in effect for that event.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Jordan said through a chuckle. “All four of his brothers are coming in early as well. From what I hear, Ronan has quite the bachelor party planned. Speaking of Ronan, why don’t you two ride back to Old Brookfield together? I mean, you’re both in the city, and he is the best man.”
“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I’ll take my own car, thank you very much. I’m staying at the Old Brookfield Inn, and Ronan will be at his parents’ house, obviously.” Maddy’s eyes narrowed, and the smile on her face grew. “Your matchmaking scheme hasn’t worked, Jordan. But I’ll give you and Gavin an A for effort.”
“What are you talking about?” Jordan asked with feigned innocence. “When you moved to the city last year, Gavin merely suggested that Ronan should look out for you. He’s been a cop there for over a decade. Besides, I heard through the McGuire brother grapevine that you two have been going running on the weekends, so Ronan can’t be all bad.”
Nope. –That was half the problem. He was exactly the right kind of bad.
They had gone jogging in Central Park almost every weekend for the past several months, but Maddy had made it clear from the start: she wasn’t interested in dating. Not him, nor anyone else. Friends? Sure. Romance? No way.
Her heart couldn’t take another turn through the shredder. Dating a cop, just because he also happened to be one of the sexiest men God ever put on this earth, would not be a smart move.
Besides, Ronan had a reputation as a total ladies’ man.
Not that she could blame any woman for taking a ride on that handsome train. When he flashed that lopsided grin and his bluish-green eyes crinkled at the corners, it took superwoman strength for Maddy not to drop her panties. He was a combination of mischievous little boy and irresistible alpha male—a deadly pairing.
Ronan McGuire was wickedly sexy. The worst part was that he knew it.
“Well, yeah,” Maddy said quickly. She sat at her desk and spun the chair to face the window so she could see the rest of the world. Living and working in this city made her feel like a rat in a cage sometimes. “Running around, getting sweaty, and panting in the cold is not exactly dating, Jordan.”
“Sweaty and panting sounds promising,” Jordan teased.
Maddy’s face flushed. “That’s not what I meant.” She quickly added, “I was talking about Bowser.”
“Sure,” her friend said slowly. “Sure you were.”
“You know Ronan doesn’t go anywhere without that dog. Speaking of which, are you prepared to have a drooling animal at your wedding?”
“Oh fine, change the subject.” Jordan sighed. “Any chance I can talk you into coming for Thanksgiving?”
“Sorry, babe. I’m slammed.”
“Then how about staying for Christmas? The wedding is on the twenty-third. Come on. Please? The girls would love it,” she said, referring to her two adorable daughters. “You’re going to be here for a week, so what’s a couple more days? You said they were closing your office between Christmas and New Year’s anyway.”
Maddy had never been part of big family holidays, and that had been fine with her, but the pleading tone in Jordan’s voice was starting to make her rethink her decision.
“You know the holidays were never a big deal for me, Jordan. My mom hated celebrating them after my dad died, and then once she was gone, I didn’t really want to. And besides,” she added quickly, “Rick and I never even got a tree or anything. He was always working, and so was I.”
“I know, but I hate to think of you alone in that big city on Christmas. Again. It’s bad enough you wouldn’t come last year. Please think about it?”
“I’m hosting a huge New Year’s Eve party for my clients—it’s at my apartment.”
“You could leave on the twenty-sixth and still be back in plenty of time to be party ready,” Jordan persisted. “I’m sorry, but I’ll have to call bullshit on that excuse. You and I both know your assistant already has the whole shindig tied up and ready to go.”
Jordan was right. The party was a lame reason not to spend the holiday with them. Besides, it was all being catered, and the invitations had been sent. What did Maddy really have to do other than show up and schmooze? And what was here for her on Christmas? She didn’t even have a cat or a fish to feed.
Ugh. She felt more pathetic by the second.
“Okay,” Maddy said with a dramatic sigh. “I’ll think about it. Jeez, when did you become such a nudge?”
“Since I had two children and learned that being a nudge can sometimes be quite effective.”
A knock on Maddy’s door sent a flicker of irritation up her back. But when she spun around, Sharon’s tearstained face stopped her cold.
“Girl, I have to go.” A knot of dread curled in her gut. “I’ll see you in a few weeks. Give Gracie and Lilly a kiss from Aunt Maddy.”
Maddy hit End and set the phone on her desk. Her legs felt like Jell-O as she rose to her feet. Sharon was still weeping while she closed the door behind her, and before it shut, Maddy saw two of the other agents in the office crying.
“Sharon, what is it?”
“Th-they found her.”
“Who?” Maddy asked shakily, her fingertips pressing into the mahogany desk. But she knew the answer before Sharon said it.
“Lucille Bowman.” The young woman swiped at her eyes and let out a shuddering sob. “She’s dead.”

 

***

 

A haunting rendition of “Amazing Grace” spilled from the organ filling the small church, and Maddy wiped the tears from her eyes. The last time she’d heard this song had been at Rick’s funeral. A new surge of sadness and grief welled up inside as the pallbearers carried Lucille’s casket silently toward the open double doors.
The sounds of the city spilled in, buzzing beneath the mournful melody—a bitter reminder of how cruel life was. The world outside went on as though nothing had happened. While Lucille’s death had barely been noted on the evening news, it was far more personal for Maddy and her coworkers. According to police, the last call Lucille had made was to her husband, saying she was going to meet a client at an open house. The client had called the office later that day to say Lucille had never arrived.
Lucille’s husband kept his vacant gaze fixed to the ground. He lumbered silently behind his late wife’s casket, seemingly unaware of anyone or anything around him. Grief and shock clung to him like an invisible shroud. Maddy knew that feeling all too well.
He and Lucille didn’t have any children and, according to a few of the other realtors, had been married only a couple of years. People said that as though it would somehow make his loss less horrible. Did the amount of time he and Lucille had been together even matter? One year or ten, a loss was a loss.
The remaining mourners filed out, all of them in various states of grief, but Maddy remained quietly in the back row. She had spoken with Lucille only a few times, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to pay her respects—but without overstepping her bounds. The little church in Old Brookfield had been full for Rick’s funeral. Even though she couldn’t possibly have said who was there and who wasn’t, the presence of every individual was a comfort to her. The least she could do was offer the same to Lucille’s husband.
After everyone had left, Maddy rose to her feet and slipped out of the pew. She could still go to the burial and reception afterward. The invitation had been extended to everyone at the end of the service. But those events felt like they were for close friends and family, and Maddy didn’t qualify for either role. No, it was probably best if she dragged her butt back to work. After all, it wasn’t like she had anyone waiting for her back at her apartment.
Maddy tugged her black wool coat closed and tied the sash, bracing herself for the brisk air that awaited her outside. As she passed, she gave a polite smile and nod to one of the ministers rearranging some pamphlets in the vestibule.
Life went on, it would seem, even for the clergy.
When Maddy pushed open the heavy wooden door, a gust of brisk November wind rushed over her, making her suck in a sharp breath. Why did this city seem cruel and cold at every turn? The stubborn wind had pulled several strands of her curly hair free from her lame attempt at an updo. She pushed her unruly locks from her eyes and started down the stone steps, prepared to go back to her desk and stare at the computer. She had cleared her calendar today, but returning to an empty apartment was simply too depressing an option. At least at the office, she’d have the illusion of not being alone.
Maddy had made up her mind to hail a cab by the time she reached the sidewalk, but when she saw who was waiting for her, she stopped short.
Not much surprised her in Manhattan anymore—she’d seen just about everything in her year living here, including a woman walking a ferret on a leash, a naked homeless guy streaking down Park Avenue, and an old man strolling through Central Park with a squawking parrot on his shoulder.
But she never expected to find this.
Standing beside a lamppost, brimming with confidence and with his K-9 partner by his side, was Ronan McGuire. Dressed in his dark-blue NYPD uniform, he looked every bit the ruggedly handsome hero that he was. His cap obscured her view of his thick ebony hair, but those pale bluish-green eyes peered at her from beneath a furrowed brow. His tall, broad-shouldered frame was covered from head to toe against the bitter air, and the bulletproof vest he wore only served to accentuate his size.
How did Ronan manage to look devastatingly gorgeous in a standard-issue uniform? She’d seen plenty of other cops in this city, but not one of them hummed with masculine sexuality the way Ronan did. He reeked of calm control and steely strength. On the surface, he was cool and steady, but beneath was a distinctly powerful energy. She knew, without a doubt, that he could burst into action in a split second.
The guys brushing past her on Park Avenue, the ones dressed in thousand-dollar suits, didn’t look half as sexy as Ronan did in his uniform.
I bet he looks pretty good out of it too.
Bowser, an enormous bloodhound who seemed to delight in startling Maddy whenever possible, barked loudly. She flinched as Ronan’s constant companion interrupted her naughty train of thought, and her face heated. How long had she been standing there staring at him? Based on the slight smirk curving Ronan’s lips, it was longer than she’d like to admit.
“Hey,” Maddy said, trying to collect herself. She crossed the sidewalk to greet Ronan but kept a healthy distance from the two of them. “What are you doing here? Did you just happen to be in the neighborhood? Because if I’m not mistaken, this isn’t your usual haunting ground.”
“This is most definitely not my neighborhood. Too rich for my blood,” Ronan scoffed. He gathered Bowser’s leash, wrapping it around his hand, before he pushed himself off the post and inched closer. “Our shift starts in a couple of hours. We came to check on you.”
Her gaze flicked briefly to Bowser. He was staring at her as usual. She had never met an animal as tuned in to people as he was. But then, he was a search-and-rescue K-9, so tuning in was part of his job.
“Me?” Maddy stilled. “I’m fine, really,” she said in a shakier voice than she expected.
Even she didn’t believe it. Nope. Not okay.
“Your friend was murdered, and you just attended her funeral.” Ronan leaned in and lowered his voice. “Don’t give me that. There’s not a damn fine thing about this whole crappy situation.”
Something in Maddy’s chest crumbled a little at the tenderness in his voice. How long had it been since someone had expressed concern for her well-being? It felt like forever. Still, she suspected there was more to it than that.
“You’ve seen things like this before,” Maddy whispered. “Does it ever get any easier?”
“No,” he said quietly. Bowser whined and licked Ronan’s hand in a sweet, almost reassuring gesture. “Sucks every time. Nothing easy about it.”
Ronan and Bowser had been part of searches that ended badly. He’d obviously been affected by those experiences, and knowing that he’d remained unjaded by the cruelty of his job somehow made him even more attractive.
Bowser, who was sitting dutifully at Ronan’s feet, let out a low whine and snuffled loudly. Sometimes Maddy was convinced that dog was more human than half the people in this city.
“No…I don’t imagine there would be.” Maddy adjusted the purse slung over her shoulder, trying to squash a fresh swell of emotion. She pulled her leather gloves from her pocket and tugged them on while avoiding Ronan’s inquisitive stare. “I mean, it’s sad. It’s beyond sad, the whole situation is horrible, but—”
“What are you doing now?” he asked abruptly. “Everyone else is gone. Since you’re still here, I’m figuring that you opted not to go on to the burial. And knowing you, that means you’re going back to work.”
Maddy opened her mouth to argue with him but snapped it shut. He’d hit the nail on the head. Ronan’s lopsided grin widened.
“I-I have work to do,” she sputtered.
“Really?” He tilted his head and narrowed those beautiful eyes. They looked more blue today than green.
“Yes, really.”
“Because if I had to guess, I’d say you were gonna go back to that fancy office of yours and stare at your computer or surf the Internet. Maybe play some solitaire or ?”
Why, oh why, does he have to be so damn observant?
Maddy wasn’t sure if it was comforting or irritating to have someone see her so clearly. Maybe it was both? She had started to get used to the anonymity of this city, the sense of disconnection from other people. She’d left Old Brookfield to give herself distance from Rick’s memory and the well-meaning but meddlesome members of her small community.
No one here knew her past, or even cared enough to ask. Her life in Manhattan was strictly business, which made her feel safely cocooned, sheltered from painful memories. She remained insulated from having to dig past surface pleasantries. Ronan wasn’t like that. He was a cop, and his desire to find the truth was evident in everything he did.
“Well, smarty-pants.” Maddy folded her arms over her breasts, suddenly feeling exposed. “For your information, I don’t play Candy Crush.”
“Farm Heroes ?” he asked playfully.
“No,” Maddy said through a bubble of laughter. She swatted him on the arm and tried not to smile while avoiding his gaze. “I don’t do any of that stuff.”
“How about coffee?” He offered his arm and jutted his head toward the corner. “You do that, don’t you?”
“Yes,” Maddy said slowly. She flicked her gaze to his elbow and sighed dramatically. “You aren’t gonna quit until I agree to go, are you?”
“Nope.” His grin widened. “After all these years, you should know how persistent we McGuire boys are. Carolyn and Charles didn’t raise any quitters.”
“I can see that.”
“C’mon, and I won’t even try to pretend it’s a date,” Ronan prodded. He wobbled his elbow at her. “Don’t make me look bad in front of Bowser.”
“Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to be responsible for that,” she said dramatically. “Coffee it is.”
Maddy slipped her arm through his and shivered, the warmth of his body seeping through the layers of wool. Her gut reaction was to snuggle deeper against him and his rock-hard body, but she resisted, straightening her back. She couldn’t afford to dip beneath the surface and touch the raw emotions lingering there. That would get her nowhere, and she refused to be reduced to a weepy woman in the middle of the street. If Ronan noticed her subtle shift away from him, he didn’t comment on it.
They walked in silence, arm in arm, with the bloodhound trotting dutifully at Ronan’s side. They approached a Starbucks, but instead of crossing Fifty-Sixth Street, Ronan led her straight toward one of the street vendors.
“It’ll have to be coffee and a walk.” He jutted a thumb at his partner. “Starbucks isn’t big on having dogs in their establishments. Besides, our squad car is parked around the corner. How about coffee and a ride home?”
“That’s fine by me.” Maddy sucked in a deep breath of cold air. “Sitting in a crowded coffee shop with half the population on their laptops doesn’t sound appealing. But a walk sounds great.”
“I thought you’d say that.” He nudged her gently and smirked. “But don’t worry, I know you’re not a cheap date.”
“It’s not a date. It’s coffee.” Maddy kept her tone light. “We’ve already been through this, McGuire. I’m not dating anyone, so don’t take it personally.”
“Can’t blame a guy for trying.”
They stopped at the truck, and she slipped her arm from his before quickly shoving her hands in the pockets of her coat. The cold air slithered under her clothes with surprising speed as the warmth of his body against hers became a memory. Ronan made quick work of ordering their coffee and, to her surprise, knew exactly how she took it.
“I know it’s not that fancy French stuff you like, but it’ll do in a pinch.”
“Impressive,” Maddy said, taking the steaming cup from his hand. “You nailed it.”
“I pay attention.” Ronan slid a sidelong glance at her while he handed money to the guy in the truck. “We’ve been going for a run followed by coffee almost every week for months. What kind of a cop would I be if I couldn’t even remember how you take your coffee?”
“You love being right, don’t you?” She tilted her chin, daring him to deny it.
“Yes.” Ronan inched closer, cradling his cup in one hand and holding Bowser’s leash in the other. Confident and in total control as always. “But especially when it comes to you.”
She was about to ask him what exactly he meant by that, but Bowser started walking toward the corner. They strolled side by side, but she kept her eyes on the pedestrians ahead of them. If she looked at Ronan, he might get a peek at the conflicting swirl of emotions currently running through her.
“Okay, explain, please.” Maddy shivered again, but not from the cold. “Why do you want to be right when it comes to me?”
“Because you’re this big, bad businesswoman who acts like she’s got it all under control.”
“And I don’t?” She let out a short laugh. “Gee, thanks.”
“That’s not what I said, and definitely not what I meant.”
They stopped at the corner. Maddy was about to cross, but Ronan grabbed her arm, pulling her back just as a car blew through the light. If it hadn’t been for him, she would have gotten hit.
“Shit,” Maddy hissed. “Damn taxi drivers.”
She turned her eyes to his, and his grip on her tightened, almost imperceptibly. Maddy’s heart thundered in her chest. Was it from the near miss with the cab, or the feel of Ronan’s fingers curled around her bicep?
“I like surprising you,” he said quietly. Bowser made a snuffling sound and sat between them, but Ronan didn’t take his eyes off hers. “How am I doing so far?”
“Today?” Maddy asked quietly. “Well, to be honest, you shocked the hell out of me by showing up at the church. Why did you come?”
“Are you serious?” His brows furrowed. “I thought that would be obvious.”
“Not to me.” Maddy shook her head slowly and studied him, clutching the cardboard coffee cup with both hands.
“I figured it would be a tough day for you.” His mouth set in a tight line before he completed the thought she could practically see floating over his head. “Going to the funeral couldn’t have been easy, and I thought you could use a friend. I didn’t think you’d want to be alone.”
“I didn’t,” she whispered. “Thank you.”
The wind blew over them, sending her hair flying into her eyes. It was perfect timing, making the tears that welled up easy enough to explain away. Maddy tugged the strands of hair aside and nodded before turning her attention to the passing cars.
“See, Bowser?” Ronan scratched the bloodhound’s head, which elicited a loud bark from the dog. “Right again.”
Maddy burst out laughing in spite of the surge of emotion and wiped discreetly at her eyes. “No one likes a know-it-all, McGuire.”
“Maybe not,” he said with a wide grin. “But I still surprised you. Come on, the light changed. Let’s cross before another taxi tries to run you over.”
As they made their way to the safety of the other side, Maddy had a feeling that there would be more surprises where Ronan was concerned.
That was the part that frightened her.

 

~~ Other Books in this Series ~~

 

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Purchase Links:
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~Meet Sara Humphreys~

 

Sara Humphreys is the award-winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, UNTAMED, won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

 

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook. 

 

For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website.  www.sarahumphreys.com

 

~ Connect with Sara ~
Facebook : Goodreads Author Page : Instagram : Pinterest : Twitter : YouTube : Amazon Author Page

 

 

~~ Giveaway ~~

 

 

Pre-order TROUBLE WALKS IN by 8/2/16 and you can get a FREE ebook of YOUR choice!

 

PLUS you’ll be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE – Signed copies of my entire backlist PLUS signed copies of EVERY book I publish for the rest of my life. YES. A LIFETIME OF SIGNED BOOKS!

 

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🐉 Straight from the Dragons Mouth…DRACONES revelations Excerpt Release 🐲

 

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Dracones Revelations
Dracones Revelations by Sheri-Lynn Marean
Dracones Series; Book 2
232 Pages
Proposed Publish Date: June 21, 2016
Published by: Sheri-Lynn Marean

 

Blurb:
At the young age of only seven, the Ilyium swept through Samarias’s village in a brutal massacre. Sami, his brother, his best friend, and her father fled their world for Earth, making a new home in Washington State. At nine, Sami’s father arrived and yanked his boys away from the security of their new home. At ten, they returned—broken, and silent.

 

Now at twenty-one, Sami continues to hide the secrets of the past, pretending everything is fine. But it’s all a lie. With his dragon powers awakening, Sami longs for freedom from the pain and guilt, along with a soul mate of his own.

 

When Sami recently infiltrated an enemy compound and witnessed the Ilyium send a woman to a fiery death, it hit him hard, but he can no longer pretend anymore.

 

Everything is not as it seems. After learning the woman is alive, and somehow connected to Sami, his world is turned upside down. Confused, angry, and with his emotions unraveling, Sami loses control. When he is called on to fly to Calgary to rescue someone else in trouble, strange things happen, and now he comes face to face with the demons of his past. Sami has some brutal decisions to make, possibly sacrificing what he desires most in order to do the right thing.

 

Dracones Revelations is the second book in the Dracones series for readers age 17+.
If you are a fan of dark, steamy paranormal romance, get Sami’s story today and be swept into the world of Dragons, Phoenix shifters, Night and Day Walkers, Magic, sensual heat and the revelations of Sami’s past.   
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Purchase Links:
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Excerpt:

 

Who is Samarias?
Sami is a sexy gentle giant.  He’s sweet, kind, smart and hides a huge secret. A secret that has been tearing him apart and as the mysterious actions of the last few weeks start to reveal themselves, will Sami be able to survive all he learns?

 

“What are you doing here, Sami?” she whispered the question, gazing up at him.
“Brimstone…uh, needed a ride and I’m trying to help find your sister.” Sami gazed down at her, noticing that her lips were just inches from his. Her scent surrounded him, making it hard to concentrate on anything except how close she was to him, and the wondrous feelings racing through him.
“No, that’s not it, is it?” Her eyes narrowed angrily on him.
“I don’t understand…why do you hate me?”
“Who says I hate you?” Her eyes widened in surprise and her voice grew husky as she spoke. Cocking her head to the side just a bit, Hellfire ran her smoky eyes up and down him, making his blood boil under her gaze. Sami fought to stay calm. It sure seemed like she hated him, although now…
“I know what you want…” Her eyes continued to look him over as her hands reached out to touch him again.
“What?” Sami shivered. Her hands slowly ran up the muscles of his chest to his pecs beneath his T-shirt, before moving on to squeeze the muscles in his upper arms. He didn’t dare take his eyes off her.
“Mmm…nice…” She bit her lip as she surveyed him, silver eyes glittering with mischief. Sami’s blood ran hot and his cock strained against his jeans. He held his breath as her gaze slid down to his waistband. Her tongue darted out and wet her lower lip before worrying it between her teeth. Then silver eyes met his, shocking him at the fire he saw in them. “This is what you want…isn’t it?” she asked, wrapping her fingers in his hair, she pulled his head down.
The second Sami’s lips touched Hellfire’s, his blood rushed furiously in his veins and his cock throbbed with a desire to be buried deep inside of her. She tasted better than he could have ever imagined.
“This! This is what you want, isn’t it?” She breathed and pulled away, making him groan. He was on fire, and all his pain and darkness had gone. He wanted her so badly, his pulse was racing, and his dragon was roaring like a gorilla beating its chest for more.

 

What others are saying…

 

Sheri-Lynn Marean did it again! She captured my attention within the first few pages, leaving me feeling satisfied about reading her latest addition and craving more. This author is different from most when it comes to her series. I find others are very repetitive in their writings,constant use of same words or sentences, no real individuality for each book, just different characters. Revelations focuses on Sami and his inner demons past and present.
Just like any war there are many battles and obstacles to overcome. Can he find happiness after Hellfire, his destined soulmate? Can he ever make peace with his traumatic childhood and stop blaming himself? Can he learn to be honest about his feelings and stop hiding his pain from his closest loved ones? Only one way to find out and that is by reading the newest addition in the series, I promise you won’t be disappointed. ~ Samaria ~ Goodreads Reviewer

 

***

 

Sheri-Lynn Marean and her stories just want to make me squeal with excitement. Dracones is such a different type of Dragon story. The perspective of the children growing up and not fully understanding what a Dragon is capable of makes these so interesting. And this is only the 2nd book. Wow.
    Dracones Awakening is the first book and explains their journey to Earth and Jax and Tierney part.
    Dracones Revelations is the 2nd book and it centers on Jax’s brother Sami. His inner struggle with his Dragon and not being able to get the girl Hellfire out of his mind. Hellfire in my opinion will tee you off more than once here, she sure did me lol.
    I loved the creativity of the characters. I felt their pain and suffering, their hopes and dreams, everything!! That is when you know it’s a wonderful book to read, one you can get lost in. Sweet. ~ Sharon ~ Goodreads Reviewer
Other works from Sheri-Lynn Marean…
Dracones Awakening (Dracones, #1)
Dracones Awakening by Sheri-Lynn Marean
Dracones Series; Book 1
327 Pages
Published: March 8, 2016
Published by: Sheri-Lynn Marean
Goodreads  
Purchase Links:
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK
Barnes & Noble : Kobo
~Meet Sheri-Lynn Marean~

 

Sheri-Lynn Marean, Author of Dracones Awakening, the first book in the Dracones series, resides in western Canada with her husband, three kids, one dog, one cat, and two fish. Sheri did not grow up thinking she would one day be an author. Instead, she grew up riding and working with racehorses, drawing and selling her animal artwork, and of course reading.

 

Sheri fell in love with reading at age twelve when she read The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. She has not stopped reading. With a wide variety of reading interests, Sheri’s passion presently is the paranormal romance genre.

 

One day, after reading an unsatisfying book, she decided she would write her own book, with her own characters, doing what she wanted them to do. She began to type and the characters came to life in her head. She has never looked back.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Forbidden Series * New Cover Reveal * Author Christy Dilg

COVER REVEAL

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Book Title: Forbidden Forever and Forbidden No More
Author: Christy Dilg
Genre: Erotica
Release Date: Sept 2013
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

book blurb

 

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               Forbidden Forever

Laney Collins has been the wife to Michael for years and even when after his love turned into pure cruelty toward her weight gain she has remained his faithful loving wife. Her love for her daughter Callie and son Kaleb gives her faith that in the end it will all be worth it.

After years of not working Laney gets hired on as the assistant for Dr. Chance Turner. The chemistry between them is electric but their marriages keep them apart until one painful evening Laney has had enough and all she can think of is Chance.

A steamy affair hidden with lies and secrets turns into a love no longer forbidden. A love that loves her for everything she is and sees the beauty beyond the weight. A love that lasts forever.


 

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                Forbidden No More

Two dissatisfied marriages sparked an affair between Laney Collins, and Dr. Chance Turner. The connection they had was instant and powerful. Now, one year later they are ready to embark on the journey of husband and wife together. Will they be able to be faithful to each other, with others desperately waiting in the wings for their relationship to fall apart?

Laney plans the wedding to the love of her life, while her world is turned upside down and fears take over her mind. The insecurities with her body changing leads for a strained relationship with Chance causing her to close him out. There is only so much a man can take before he loses his ability to be supportive.

Chance branches out on his own, by opening his own clinic. Stacy Nickelson is the beautiful architect that is working on the plans for the new building. She has an eye for the handsome unmarried doctor. Will he return the feelings to Stacy?

Will Laney and Chance find their way back to each other, or will they go in different directions before they walk down the aisle?

excerpt

Here we go again. He is on a rampage about how I look. I have yet to figure out the reason why he stays with me if I disgust him so much. I look in the mirror and see the same person I have always been: sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, high cheekbones, and just a few more curves than fifteen years ago. His cold, hard words are like daggers jabbed into my side. Not enough to kill, but just enough to leave massive scars.

As I make my way to my car for my first day on a new job, he follows behind me and yells, “I don’t know why you even bother putting makeup on. You look like a piece of lard no matter what you do.”

Holding back the tears, I get into the car and turn on some “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert before driving to Flagler Memorial Hospital for my first day as the Director’s assistant.

Happily ever after! What is that supposed to feel like? The thoughts pour through my head, questioning myself over and over. After being married to him for fourteen years you would think that all the hard times would be behind us and we would only feel love toward one another. Instead, I feel hate and sadness. Hate for this man who hurts me every day, breaking a piece of my soul little by little. Sadness for the person I used to be before I married him and lost my true self. How many more days will I be able to put up with the pain and stay? Will I ever get the strength to leave and find me again?

I have very energetic butterflies in my stomach, along with feeling less than perfect after Michael’s harsh words before I left this morning. I shake it off and plaster on a fake smile as I walk into the human resource office. The lady behind the desk has long platinum blonde hair and she is wearing a dark navy blue skirt and matching jacket with a white collared shirt opened about three buttons down. She looks like she should be on the cover of Vogue or maybe even Playboy. I am feeling less than acceptable in my black knee-length pencil skirt, white ruffled blouse, and red heels with my thick curves, none of which are a match for her slim body. I’m pretty sure hers are fake anyway; smiling to myself, I start feel a little better. I introduce myself as Laney Collins and let her know I am here to work as the assistant to Dr. Chance Turner.

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book trailer

playlistDear Diamond- Miranda Lambert
Gun Powder & Lead- Miranda Lambert
One Like That- Gwen Sebastian
Distance- Christiana Perri
Everything I wanna do- Nickelback
I Cross My Heart- George Strait
I’m Slave For You- Britney Spears
I can’t do that anymore- Faith Hill
It Matters To Me- Faith Hill
I feel a sin comin on- Pistol Annies
I see the want to in your eyes- Conway Twitty
Wanted- Hunter Hayes
Let’s don’t call it a night- Casey James
Love the way you lie- Eminem
Stay- Sugarland
Treasure- Bruno Mars
Warrior- Demi Lovato
The way- Ariana Grande
When I look at you- Miley Cyrus
When I was your man- Bruno Mars
You make me wanna- Usher
Hero- Mariah Carey
I honestly love you- Oliva Newton John
Stronger- Kelly Clarkson

meet the author

Christy Dilg is a Erotica Romance/NA/Erotica Paranormal author. She has released her first novel in 2013. When she’s not writing she loves enjoying life with her daughter from trips to watching Vampire Diaries and jamming out to the 80’s. Christy had thyroid cancer back in 2011 which inspired her to begin writing again and start Mouth Rocks for the Cause which is becoming bigger every year releasing its second anthology this March featuring 25 authors.

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Presenting…. JD Lexx – Author in ✯MALEDICTION✯ !!

¸.•*´✯MALEDICTION✯`*•.¸

Rise of the Crimson Confessions

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Genre: Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March, 20th

Author:  JD LEXX

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Some devote a lifetime to the endless pursuit of love. Others spend even longer trying to outrun it. Between the shimmering lights of Paris and New Orleans’ commercialized sin, author J.D. Lexx embarks on his latest hunt. Once content to walk blindly in the light, these days he prowls a different world, one of shadow and sensuality where flesh yields to the probing hungers of fantasy. Driven by painful reminders of opportunity left unseized, he roams, tirelessly seeking the next in a growing collection of Crimson Confessions.

Yet these tales of conquest and seduction which have brought such notoriety are merely bait for a more transcendent prey. The one he truly stalks is infinitely more elusive, and lethal in her charms. To win her over, and write the happy ending to this unfinished story, an infamous collector of secrets must now lay his own bare for all to see. Chasing a trail of enticing exploits stretching from Sin City to Prague, every stop leads him back to the beginning…and one step closer to her.

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Determined to retake control, I feathered a caress over the sloping muscle of her abdomen while fighting to my last breath the urge to explore her body further. As I took one step back to unsteady her balance, she instantly countered, throwing her palms against the wall behind her and launching the both of us backward. On the far side of the hall, we slammed with a crash so violent that it dislodged a pair of antique mirrors from their mounts.

Moments later, I finished the job. As I shook off the impact of not one, but two bodies, she dropped to the ground, ripping my belt away and heaving it down the staircase. For a passing second, I humored the desire to leave her there on her knees, at the mercy of the beast she seemed determined to unleash. Any longer, however, and she risked getting herself into real trouble. With a grunt of reluctance, I lifted her to her feet and spun her hard against the wall. This time, both mirrors collapsed under the force of the blow, unleashing a deafening roar to each side as bronze frames hit the floor and rained shards of glass over ancient oak.

Looking to one side and then the other while helplessly bound by my grasp, she shook her head and spoke softly, “Fourteen years of bad luck. I hope I’m worth it.”

“You better be.”

I pressed her firmly to the paneling with an added shove for emphasis, and then raked slowly up her sides. Keeping her shoulders glued to the wall, her lower body began to buck as the random whimper escaped her lips. Eventually, every inch struggled to break free and lurch forward for my lips but I allowed nothing on her terms.

With a punishing tug of her hair, I held her still and licked a trail up the warm pulse of her neck. Near enough to taste her lips, I leaned in to stake my claim with that first deep kiss, mangling her blouse in desperation I could no longer control. With a starved tug of fabric, the top two buttons flew free to bounce across the floor, just as the resurrected power grid kindled a soft amber glow.

While my eyes adjusted, I caught a first glimpse of the crucifix revealed by my assault. I can’t tell you how long it kept me at bay as the receding darkness left me once again accountable for my craving. For the first time that evening, I looked into her eyes, squarely and honestly, and reaped all the shame that she had sown. In the rekindled lamp light, I saw only a young girl, and the trust I had so long refused to break.

“I have to get back,” I said, dropping my guilt-laden gaze to the floor.

To this day, those words stand among the most difficult I’ve ever uttered. I knew perfectly well the repercussions they would echo, if not for how long they would do so. No longer had I sacrificed my opportunity for her unwitting benefit. I had now formally rejected it. Fourteen years of bad luck, indeed…

As I turned to leave her trembling in the hallway, I feared the curse may have already taken hold. The moment I stepped again into solitude, that fear gave way to certainty. With a broken breath, I stepped to the bedside to take an icy hand in my own, realizing immediately that I’d returned just minutes too late. I collapsed back into my seat and buried a roar of resignation deep between my palms, grudgingly accepting the unpalatable truth that I had failed not one, but two vows that evening.

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International attorney, award-winning journalist and last of a modest raconteur bloodline, J.D. Lexx has been a storyteller for most of his life and a student of humanity for even longer. Perhaps it’s no wonder that he takes such pleasure in the subtle tease of the written word, in kindling curiosity with every shared tale, then daring the imagination to continue on beyond The End.

A traveler by nature, Lexx spends most of his time between the frenzied streets of New York and the slower pace of New Orleans’ Vieux Carré. When not exploring the sensual psyche through his writing, he can usually be found honing his skills in the kitchen or working alongside charitable organizations to promote literacy and tolerance— two causes not only reflected in his work, but forever dear to his heart.  

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JD Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLexx

JD Goodreads page – http://bit.ly/1OZvlMU

JD Website – http://www.jdlexx.com/

JD Twitter (@JDLexx) – https://twitter.com/JDLexx

JD Amazon page – http://www.amazon.com/J.D.-Lexx/e/B010XROTOC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1447410965&sr=8-1

Malediction Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZHAp0z1j3w

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**Reveal Blitz** Filthy Foreign Exchange Excerpt by SE Hall and Angela Graham!

FFE EXCERPT

Excerpt

On Monday morning, I find myself ripping off my clothes and jumping in the shower like I’m going for the gold at an Olympic race. I crank the nozzle as far right as it’ll go—the hotter the better, for the steam to build quickly.

A prelude.

More than I want a cleansing, I want the hidden message—our secret exchange of thoughts, belonging to only us—to appear.

But as the shower glass fogs, no words emerge. And the depth of my disappointment is irrational; there should not be the sting of tears in my eyes right now.

Kingston is forbidden fruit in so many ways: he’s our exchange student, my father has already warned him against me…and his departure date is set and inevitable. So my anticipation of these messages is not only foolish, but self-destructive. Because the more attached I get, the worse it will hurt when they’re no longer even a possibility.

I hurry through my now-mundane shower with a heavy lump of disenchanted sensibility in my gut.

But when I turn off the water and step out, every thought I’d just told myself made sense is replaced with a swell of immeasurable bliss.

Guess what else fogs up in a steamy bathroom?

The mirror.

And on it is his message to me—the best one yet.

There was something in her movements that made you think she never walked but always danced.

I’m instantly aware—this is bad, because once you think something’s gone and it comes back better than ever, your craving for it reaches a whole new, dangerous level.

You only fully realize the depth of want and need immediately after experiencing loss.

Too many emotions to name surge inside of me, my head a good kind of hazy while the muscles around my heart cinch tighter. I know Kingston and I are merely friends, albeit becoming better ones with every effortless interaction. We’re just housemates who’ve found a clever, entertaining way to match wits.

But if it was, if it could be, more…he’d be damn good at it.

I now understand how he’s able to bewitch girls by the droves. It’s not just his strikingly good looks, or enticing accent…it’s him. Those girls are such simpletons, so spellbound by the outside package that they don’t even realize the entirety of his allure.

But I do. I see his invisible, inherent charm; the sheer seductiveness that emits from his every smile and move; and his keen mind.

Shaking off the silly, romantic musings that have no place in my life, I hustle to get ready for school.

But once I’m in the parking lot, ignoring the bell warning me I’m about to be late, I throw caution—and my better judgment—to the wind, and type out a text.

Me: You’ve read Anne of Green Gables?

The second bell rings as I wait for a response, but for some inexplicable reason, I simply don’t care. Then a different ding sounds—and with it, my heart thrums an anxious beat.

Kingston: No, should I have?

Me: Yes, great books. But I asked bc the quote you left me this morning, which I really liked btw… it’s from one of the books.

Kingston: Ah, well they stole your story then, Love.

I’ve definitely unfairly judged the girls caught under his spell. The choice was never theirs. He’s that good.

Me: How do you figure?

Kingston: I searched “quotes for Echo Kelly” and that came up. As it should. Said it perfectly.

This—he—could get addictive. And lines clearly drawn in my head and heart could easily become blurry, if not completely obliterated, should I sit here any longer.

So I force myself back into friend mode and reply accordingly.

Me: You’re on a roll this morning. Better save some of those savvy lines for the tarts.

I hesitate before sending one last message.

Me: I’m late. Have a good day playboy!

I run into school, out of breath for two reasons but satisfied with myself for taking back control of the situation that was headed in a direction I dare not explore.

First, you don’t leap from shy introvert who doesn’t date to Kingston Hawthorne: a smooth-talker with a face made for dreams, a body of unworldly men, and the entourage of a celebrity. He’s not the type of guy to get your feet wet with, or you’re sure to drown on your first swim. And secondly, the detour I threw worked, because the texts that continue the rest of the day are back on the track they need to be.

FFE COMING SOON

Temptation is ONLY a room away….

Filthy Foreign Exchange Releases April 24th!

Pre-order Exclusively on iBooks here: http://apple.co/1R8c0wM

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/223U4VV

filthy Foreign exchange

Blurb

New York Times bestselling authors Angela Graham and S.E. Hall have teamed up again to bring you a full-length, steamy new romance.

Echo Kelly is loyal to her studies, family, and aerial artistry. She has no time for or interest in anything else, and is heartbroken when her oldest brother, Sebastian, gets accepted to a study-abroad program— exchanging places with cocky, not-at-all-shy foreign exchange student Kingston Hawthorne.

Kingston Hawthorne had the life every twenty-year-old guy dreams of— endless cash, easy women, and fast cars— until his father ripped it all away, shipping him off to the States and placing him temptingly close to the underage virgin who fascinates him in the most challenging of ways.

With Kingston’s bedroom just a connecting bathroom away from Echo’s, the chemistry between them is even more enticing than the notes he leaves for her on the shower door.

How long can you pretend you’re just friends?

An attractive young couple in a loving embrace kissing one another in bed.

About the Authors:

S.E. Hall

se hall bio

S.E.Hall, lover of all things anticipation and romance, is the author of The Evolve Series: Emerge, Embrace, Entangled, Entice, Endure and companion novellas Baby Mama Drama and Guide for Tools Looking to Date My Daughter by character Sawyer Beckett. S.E. also wrote the stand-alone Finally Found novels Pretty Instinct and Pretty Remedy. Her co-written works include The Provocative Professions Collection: Stirred Up, Packaged and Handled 1&2, One Naughty Night and full-length, standalone novel Matched with Angela Graham as well as Conspire, a romantic suspense, written with Erin Noelle.

S.E. resides in Arkansas with her husband of 18 years and 3 daughters of the home. When not writing or reading, she can be found “enthusiastically cheering” on one of her girls’ softball games.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

angela graham bio

Angela Graham is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of the Harmony Series. She spent a lot of her childhood hidden away in the aisles at her local public library where she fell in love with reading. It was a home away from home through her youth to her adulthood.

In 2012 she knew she found her calling in the world of fiction the moment she began pounding away at the keys for her first short story. With a baby on her shoulder, she wrote about a year before deciding to try her hand at a novel. It was the best decision she ever made and one that changed her life in ways she never imagined.

Together with S.E. Hall, she has released five novels and one short story together.

Angela resides in Northwest Arkansas with her three beautiful children and a rowdy dog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

filthy foreign exchance teaser

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