Thursday, 31 January 2019

Remote by Lisa Acerbo Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Remote
Lisa Acerbo
Publication date: December 24th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult



When technology fulfills every dream, reality is a nightmare.
Below the streets of New State, the Grounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. When dusk falls, Wren risks her life by entering the capital city as a raider to secure resources for the rebellion. Each step further inside puts her life in jeopardy from New State’s deadliest weapons – Phantoms. More machine than human, tortured until devoid of emotion and caring, Phantoms have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.
Wren is good at her job as a raider and committed to the cause until she meets Codex, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Wren feels for Codex is very real. And it’s punishable by death.
As she and Codex grow closer, Wren convinces him to leave New State for the underground. But unrest between New State and the Grounders escalates, and Phantoms move in to destroy her world. Nothing goes as Wren planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Wren’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…



EXCERPT:

“We should stop.” Part of her didn’t want to.
Codey ignored her words, pulling her closer.
Wren should draw back, take a breath, but her body betrayed her and she wrapped her arms around him tightly, tangling her fingers in his hair when their lips met. She kissed him back.
She felt his hand run over her thigh and then move up. He slid his fingers under the fabric of her worn sweater so he could caress her abdomen, tracing the lines of her ribs. In the next second, he whipped off his shirt and pulled her close, continuing to kiss her. She felt his skin, smooth and hot, and thought she would scream if she couldn’t get closer to him. She pushed herself against him, and Codey responded with another passionate kiss as he pressed gently against her on the bed.
The watch on Wren’s arm belched an alarm. Her mouth dropped open in a silent ‘ooh.’ How could so much time have passed? “This is bad.” She sprang off the bed. “I’m late.” Gaze intense she said, “You’re so not what I expected.”
“I’m not what a lot of people expect. But you can’t leave me like this. Hook ups never end like this.”
“Welcome to reality.” She smiled at him.
“I’m not sure I like it.” He adjusted his clothes.
“You have to help me. I had another reason for coming here but got distracted.” Wren didn’t have time to blush. “I need a tablet, smartphone, or portable computer and a change of clothes.”
“Why?”
“No time to explain.”
He acquiesced, grabbing an old six-inch tablet. She shoved it into her pack as Codey began to lead her out the door.
“We can get some of my mom’s clothes in the automatic laundry, but they might be big for you.”
“They’ll do.”
Codey stopped her in the doorframe of his room.
“What? We need to go.”
“Not until I get a“We should stop.” Part of her didn’t want to.
Codey ignored her words, pulling her closer.
She should draw back, take a breath, but her body betrayed her and she wrapped her arms around him tightly, tangling her fingers in his hair when their lips met. She kissed him back.
She felt his hand run over her thigh and then move up. He slid his fingers under the fabric of her worn sweater so he could caress her abdomen, tracing the lines of her ribs. In the next second, he whipped off his shirt and pulled her close, continuing to kiss her. She felt his skin, smooth and hot and thought she would scream if she couldn’t get closer to him. She pushed herself against him, and Codey responded with another passionate kiss as he pressed gently against her on the bed.
The watch on Wren’s arm belched an alarm. Her mouth dropped open in a silent oh. How could so much time have passed? “This is bad.” She sprang off the bed. “I’m late.” Gaze intense she said, “You’re so not what I expected.”
“I’m not what a lot of people expect. But you can’t leave me like this. Hook ups never end like this.”
“Welcome to reality.” She smiled at him.
“I’m not sure I like it.” He adjusted his clothes.
“You have to help me. I had another reason for coming here but got distracted.” Wren didn’t have time to blush. “I need a tablet, smartphone, or portable computer and a change of clothes.”
“Why?”
“No time to explain.”
He acquiesced, grabbing an old six-inch tablet. She shoved it into her pack as Codey began to lead her out the door.
“We can get some of my mom’s clothes in the automatic laundry, but they might be big for you.”
“They’ll do.”
Codey stopped her in the doorframe of his room.
“What? We need to go.”
“Not until I get another kiss.” His voice was husky and human, his smile unabashed.
Wren acquiesced.
Once downstairs in the laundry room, Codey shoved some of his mom’s clothes into a small duffle and handed it to Wren.
“What do you need these for?” he asked.
“I came here to get your opinion on the archives and tell you about something the Grounders are attempting, but never got the chance.”
“What are the clothes for?”
Wren didn’t know how much to reveal. She had to leave and return to the rest of the raiders soon or they’d trigger the alarm to search for her. She lacked the time to explain properly and hated to leave Codey guessing about the Grounders and the archive raid.
“It’s part of the plan being developed,” she said.
“What plan? Is it dangerous? Will you be risking your life?” Codey’s voice crept up an octave. “Nobody knows about us, right? My family wouldn’t get in trouble?”
“I’m so sorry, but I have to go. You’ll understand soon.” Wren hoped she survived so she could come back and explain.



Author Bio:
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • 5 eBook copies of Remote
  • 5 eBook copies of Twelve Months of Awkward Moments
  • $10 Amazon gift card

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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf by Sarah Mäkelä Book Blitz and Giveaway!


The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf
Sarah Mäkelä
(Cry Wolf #6)
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance



When a wolf loves a leopard…
He’s her protector…
Caitlyn Fraser, a wereleopard who has always hated cruel werewolves, is the former prisoner turned mate of Dougal Sterling, Alpha of the Scottish pack. She’s courting jeopardy with her determination to attend the funeral of her brother’s father, since the Pack blames her for Alistair’s death. But still Dougal protects her from his wolves.
Her defender…
Short of allies, Dougal struggles to balance loyalty and attention between the Pack and Caitlyn. When the Pack’s stability crumbles, he’s faced with the return of his older brother, the rightful Alpha, who shirked his duty after their father’s death. However, Ewan’s challenge will be a battle to the death. Sheltering Caitlyn can only lose Dougal more friends, but he knows she’s the mate he’s longed for.
But survival takes two…
Menace lurks in every corner of the Highlands; Alistair and Ewan’s supporters and haters of shapeshifters abound. Caitlyn and Dougal must stick together, pushing back fiercely when they are attacked. Even if that puts them in mortal danger…



EXCERPT:

Caitlyn

The driveway leading up to the Scottish Pack’s massive headquarters stretched almost half a mile. I rested my chin on my arms and stared out of the Alpha’s window on the second story, overlooking the circular section of the drive. The Pack’s castle came complete with its very own dungeon, but at least they weren’t keeping me in there anymore. The memory of Alistair’s craggy face haunted my dreams each time I closed my eyes. His brutal fists hammered away against my face, ribs, and stomach, until I could no longer sleep.
Tension radiated through my shoulders, and I balled my hands into fists. No, Alistair—Colin’s father—was dead. Dougal had protected me, and my brother, from that monster when I didn’t have the strength to fight back.
Not that it mattered.
Two days had passed since my brother’s sudden departure. Now Colin was on his own with no one to watch his back. How could he leave without saying anything to me? I flexed my fists again, welcoming the anger as it bubbled up in my chest and replaced my sadness.
The heavy weight of a man’s hand descended on my back. I twisted around, my knuckles connecting with a solid jaw lined with dark, coarse stubble. A familiar jaw. Shite.
Dougal stumbled back half a step, but then he planted his feet like a tree with strong roots, not budging any further. Sharp power flared outward from him before he squelched it, stretching the muscles in his jaw. A frown tugged at his lips, and the corners of his eyes creased, either in pain or displeasure.
“Dougal! I’m so sorry.” The sudden movement of punching him had shot a searing ache through my battered ribs again. The pain stole my breath away, but I tried to force it down. How could I have been so careless? If he’d been anyone else in the Pack, I would’ve caused World War III.
“Dinnae fash. The punch bloody well hurt, though. I didn’t realize you were so strong.” Dougal’s frown melted away as he pulled me closer and pressed a kiss to my forehead. “Seems like you’re recovering your strength.” His gaze drifted past me to the long gravel driveway of the estate. “How are you doing, love?”
The emotions I’d been stomping down now bubbled to the surface again. “I cannae believe Colin left me. He left before I even regained consciousness. How could he?” With anyone else, I wouldn’t show weakness, but I rested my forehead against Dougal’s chest, needing his touch and savoring his warmth. “I barely had time to talk with him, and when I did, it wasn’t a good time to ask how he was doing after the months he’d spent in that bloody research facility—or even to ask where he would go to heal…”
Tears welled in my eyes, but I held them back, refusing to cry. “I gave up so much—my job, my flat, my life—while trying to track him and bring him home. What if my sacrifices were all for naught?”
“Nae, they weren’t for naught, love.” Dougal kissed the top of my head. “I know you’re hurting. You have plenty of reasons to be, but the man who came back wasn’t the same one who left for the United States.” He lifted my chin, forcing me to see the sincerity in his clear blue eyes. “Whatever those scientists did affected him in ways neither of us will probably ever know. Waiting at the window won’t make him return any sooner.” He wrapped his arms around me and gently pulled me against his chest again. “Let me draw you a bath. Remember, I’m here if you need to talk.”
He was right, even if I didn’t want to admit it. Waiting for Colin’s return wouldn’t help, but what else could I do? “I know, but that doesn’t make this any easier for me. He’s my younger brother. I feel helpless that I cannae be there for him…again.” A heavy ache settled on my heart, and I pulled away hating the awkward emotions crushing me. “Sorry.”
Dougal turned away from me and stared out of the window again. His jaw clenched and unclenched, as if he were trying hard to hold in his words. A lot was going on in his life too, and yet he was making a strong effort to support me through my problems. Things had become increasingly strained between him and his Pack since my arrival and Duncan and Alistair’s subsequent deaths. He didn’t talk about what he faced, and I didn’t want to pressure him.
After a few moments of silence, he released a sigh and turned back toward me. “You’ve done what you could for him, lass.” The ghost of a grin spread across his lips. “Do you still want the bath?”



Author Bio:
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author and a life-long paranormal fan who still sleeps with a night light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies, and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.
Want to learn about new releases? Sign up for my newsletter! http://bitly.com/SarahMakelaNewsletter

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway
  • $10 Amazon gift card (INT)
  • 2 signed copies of The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf (US only)

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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Piggybacker by Mikki Noble Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Piggybacker
Mikki Noble
(Vessel of Lost Souls, #1)
Publication date: January 28th 2019
Genres: Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult


TOO LATE TO SAVE HIS LIFE. NOT TOO LATE TO BRING HIM BACK.
Everyone thinks Marley tried to take her own life, that is, except Marley. After her mother sends her to a youth center for troubled teens, she starts hearing the voice of a boy who claims he was murdered and begins questioning her own sanity. The voice is Gavin, a seventeen-year-old boy who promises Marley he can help her find the truth about what happened the day she supposedly tried to kill herself—if she completes a resurrection spell in the next four days.
Upon discovering Gavin’s death in the newspaper, Marley realizes she’s not hallucinating, and that she has a chance to save Gavin’s soul and clear her name. The task seems simple: complete the spell, then she and Gavin are free, right? But a powerful, unseen force is determined to stop her, and soon Marley finds herself following clues from the universe to find ingredients for the ritual to save herself and her newfound friend, and most of all, to find the truth about what really happened that day.
Piggybacker is the first in Mikki Noble’s spell-binding Vessel of Lost Souls trilogy, and promises a thrilling mystery with powerful enemies, broken relationships, captivating magic, and two souls both caught up in a plot beyond any they could ever imagine.

Are you a book reviewer?
Request a review copy here!


SNEAK PEEKS:

“I didn’t mean to shoot you,” Taylor says, pointing toward the arm he’s holding. That’s when I see the gun is still in her hand. “Besides, it’s only a graze. Don’t be such a baby.” Taylor demands, “Just let her go and we can forget this all happened.”
That’s when the second man jumps in the driver’s seat and the engine turns over. “It’s too late for that. You two are coming with us now.”
“What do I have to do?”
Follow the signs, he tells me. I see his lips move in the mirror, though I still hear his voice echo in my head.
Gavin’s reflection disappears and somehow, I know he’s gone. This magic thing is extremely annoying.
Abruptly, I plummet through the air. Panic sets in and my already racing heart begins pumping like a steam engine about to explode as I slash through heavy fog and closer to the ground. Dead people can’t die, I remind myself. The fall cannot kill me.
Knowing this, I still flinch as the ground closes in. I shudder to think about what’s going to happen and close my eyes tight.
Splat.



Author Bio:
As far back as she can remember, Mikki was creating characters and stories in her head. It wasn't until fate brushed the tip of its wings over her eyes that she began to see that writing was what she was born to do. She loves animals, reading, everything supernatural related, and enjoys spending her free time on social media whenever she can.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • 3x copies of Piggybacker

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Monday, 28 January 2019

Cronin’s Key IV by N.R. Walker Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Cronin’s Key IV
N.R. Walker
(Cronin’s Key #4)
Publication date: January 28th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy



Kennard and Stas have been enjoying being newly bonded mates, hidden away for the last six months in Stas’ cabin, deep in the forests of Northern Russia. When they get a visit from Alec, Cronin, Eiji, and Jodis, Kennard and Stas decide to return to London where they get news of a supernatural disturbance in India.
Excited for a new adventure, the band of friends embark on a journey like they’ve never seen before. Following a trail of snakes and serpents, they slip through gates into timeless dimensions all over the world, leaving them without their vampire powers. Even Alec is powerless as they follow a trail of gates and doorways to their final destination.
But the bad guy isn’t who they think it is, and Kennard will need to draw on his past to save their future. Because history is never what it seems…



EXCERPT:

Chapter One

“Do you think we should try and get out of bed today?” Kennard asked.
“No.” Stas’ voice was gruff, warm and delicious in his ear.
Kennard smiled into the mattress and tried to pull himself toward his pillow, a feigned escape attempt, but Stas’ huge hand gripped his hip and slid him back into place. Then Stas rolled on top of him, his erection pressing against Kennard’s ass. Kennard lifted his hips and spread his legs, giving Stas all the permission he needed as he laughed into the sheet. “It’s been six months. I guess one more day won’t hurt.”
Stas pushed inside him and both men groaned. “We never leave,” Stas whispered, his fangs at Kennard’s shoulder. “Stay here forever.”
Kennard had always doubted the mating bond between vampires. Well, not doubted. He’d never understood it. He’d spent most of his six hundred years alone. He’d had acquaintances and friends and a lot of lovers. Yet his heart had never been moved by anyone. He almost thought it had frozen in his chest when he was changed from human to vampire, because the way he’d seen mated pairs behave was so foreign to him.
But then there was Stas.
As soon as he’d seen him, he knew. The melancholy that had settled over him in the months before, like a mist, had dissolved the moment his eyes fell upon him. His purpose was now clear. This huge, hulking Russian vampire was his.
They’d been holed up in Stas’ cabin in Lithuania at first, barely leaving each other’s embrace for a minute. Then they’d driven Stas’ truck to one of his cabins in some far-off Russian forest and hadn’t left each other’s side, or their bed. Except to feed, which hadn’t been anywhere near as often as it probably should’ve been, because they seemed to feed off each other. Energy, blood, love. Sex. So much sex, yet nowhere near enough. They’d barely stopped long enough for important conversations. Stas had managed to give some of his history, Kennard even less so.
The desire, the bone-deep need to be with Stas, to have him inside him, to be one with him was so profound it was dizzying. Kennard used to roll his eyes at newly fated mates. They used to make him sick. Now he wanted nothing more.
“You are everything,” Stas whispered. He ran his hand through Kennard’s hair, messing it up even further, kissing his head. “My everything.”
Kennard rolled his hips and pressed his forehead into the mattress, arching his back. “I ty moy,” Kennard murmured.
And you are mine.
Stas always reacted when Kennard spoke Russian. Especially in bed. He growled into the back of Kennard’s neck and sunk his fangs into Kennard’s shoulder while he thrust deeper inside him, and Kennard’s whole body sang.
Every cell, every fiber of his being.
And afterwards, when Stas had wrung Kennard of every ounce of pleasure, they lay in bed in each other’s arms.
“I might even try turning on that old radio set today,” Kennard said. “If the batteries work.”
Stas laughed. “You said yesterday. And last week.”
Kennard laughed into his chest, Stas’ chest hair tickling his face, but lovely and soft and warm. “I’ve lost all track of days.”
“I think is March,” Stas said with a chuckle.
Kennard found his broken English adorable, and he hummed happily. “Sounds about right.”
Stas ran his wide hands over Kennard’s slender form, over his pointed hip, up his spine. He was literally twice Kennard’s size. Stas had a masculine build, short, dark-brown hair, blue eyes, and a square jaw. Broad shoulders, huge hands. Everything about him screamed man. Whereas Kennard was fine-featured with pretty, boyish looks and white-blond hair. Stas was a loner, his home in the Russian wilds, in a basic cabin with no electricity or running water, and Kennard was a social guy who lived in an expensive apartment with every conceivable technology and thrived in the London nightlife. Opposites in every way, yet one perfectly complemented the other. “Do you wish to feed?” Stas asked.
Kennard considered it and took stock of his body, his baser need to feed. “No,” he said simply. “I don’t need anything but you right now. What about you?”
But Stas didn’t answer. He cocked his head and he frowned. “Hear that?”
It took Kennard a second to shake his mind of his post-coital haze, but then, yes, he could. “Someone is coming? In this weather?” It was snowing. The entire forest was under a blanket of white.
Stas sat up on the bed and pulled on some jeans. “Is human.”
“Can you read their mind? Do you know who they are?”
Stas froze and turned back to Kennard, who was still sprawled naked on the bed. “No. I not hear them.” He frowned. “How can I not hear them?”
Kennard sat up then. “I don’t know.”
Stas’ cabin was isolated, deep in some Northern Russian forest. It was old, built a few hundred years ago. A simple A-frame log cabin with a bedroom loft on the mezzanine and a small living room on the ground floor, an unused kitchen, and an old-fashioned bathtub they needed to heat water for. It was positively prehistoric compared to Kennard’s apartment in London, but it was all Stas had ever needed. He’d relished in the isolation, a reprieve from his vampiric ability to hear the minds of those around him.
The driveway to the cabin was long and overgrown; the cabin couldn’t be seen from the road, especially in winter. And most human drivers who passed by—of which there were few—didn’t know it was a driveway at all.
Stas had told Kennard he knew humans ignored his driveway because Stas could hear their thoughts. Except he hadn’t heard a thing since Alec had blocked Stas’ mind when they were in the pits under Moscow and…
“Have you heard anything since Moscow and Pennsylvania?” Kennard asked.
Stas seemed confused. “I don’t know. I think no. The campers at lake we found were sleeping, and I focus on you so much, I not notice.”
That was true. They’d only fed once, when some foolish hunters camped out by the lake and drank far too much homemade vodka. It was the first time he and Stas had fed together, and well… it had been a feed and fuck fest. Kennard wasn’t surprised Stas was so distracted. The memory made him flush. “Well,” Kennard said, slipping on a robe. It belonged to Stas, and it swam on Kennard—it was far from his usual stylish garb—but he didn’t care. “Let’s deal with this human first. See if you can hear anything when you speak to him.”
Kennard wasn’t sure of the science behind mind reading or how any vampire talent worked, for that matter, but he gave Stas a smile he hoped was a comfort.
A black van came into view, driving slowly, clearly very unsure or lost. It was getting dark and the van’s headlights cast a yellow light across the snow. It pulled to a stop, and after a moment, a man exited the vehicle. He slid back the side door and pulled out a large bouquet of flowers. Not just any flowers, but white stargazer lilies.
Funeral lilies.
Kennard burst out laughing, dashed down the stairs, and opened the door. The porch cover was deep enough so no sunlight could reach the front door—not that Northern Russia saw much sunshine—and the delivery man smiled at first. Then upon closer inspection, as though realizing Kennard wasn’t exactly human, or perhaps he felt the danger, that cold shiver of fear from being so close to evil, the man’s smile disappeared and he stumbled closer to the door. He mumbled something in Russian that Kennard couldn’t quite work out—huge payment, middle of nowhere?—but he handed over the large bouquet and staggered back, waving as he climbed into his van before he sped back down the driveway.
Kennard spun inside, twirling like a dancer, and laughed as he held out the flowers. “Well, at least we know what day it is.”
Stas was clearly confused. “What?”
“It’s March twenty-fourth.”
“What is the significance of this date to you?” Stas asked. “And who sent you flowers? Who even knows where we are?”
Kennard flitted over to his big protective lump of a mate, leaned up on his toes, and kissed him. “March twenty-fourth is a dark, dark day in England’s history. A day of mourning, really.”
Stas was immediately concerned and angry, even. “What is it? What happened to hurt you like this? I will find them!”
Kennard chuckled. “Nothing like that, my love. Cronin sends me flowers on March twenty-fourth, every year, to commemorate the union of the crowns.” Kennard frowned and sighed loudly. “A dark, dark day indeed.”
Stas cupped Kennard’s face. “What is this union of crowns? I not understand.”
Kennard shook his head sadly. “It was when a damn Scot became King of England.”


Author Bio:
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.
She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…


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Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • $50 Amazon gift card

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Sunday, 27 January 2019

EVO by Diane May Book Blitz and Giveaway!


EVO
Diane May
Publication date: July 23rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Thriller


A covert CIA operation that involves genetic engineering.
A serial killer nicknamed “The Hypnotist”.
And the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.

What if someone could take complete control over your mind?
And what if that someone was a serial killer?

Discover EVO, a gripping crime thriller that reviewers and readers describe as “spellbinding”, “high-energy” and “impossible to put down”.
Langley, Virginia, twenty years earlier:
John Blake, a CIA special agent, stumbles upon an illegal genetic experiment within the agency, conducted on unborn babies and officially presented as a fertility program designed to help couples get pregnant. When he realizes that his very own daughter is a product of this sinister plot and that she is in grave danger, he vows to do everything it takes to make sure Maya will be safe and the people behind the experiment will all pay. With their lives.

Verona, Italy, present time:
Livio Marchiori, a homicide detective with the highest rate of solved cases in Verona, is faced with The Hypnotist, a serial killer the likes of which he’s never seen before. He never touches his victims and he leaves no evidence behind, except for the detailed videos of his murders. And what Marchiori and his team see on those videos is more disturbing than all their other cases combined. Because this one is different. This one defies all rational thinking and borders the impossible.

Then The Hypnotist gets personal and threatens to kill Dr. Abby Jones, the chief medical examiner and the woman Marchiori is in love with. Caught in a cat-and-mouse game with the elusive killer, Marchiori knows he is quickly running out of time.
So when Captain Victor Miller from Interpol walks into town, Marchiori is more than happy to partner again with the man who two years ago helped him put an entire mafia clan behind bars. But Miller has his own agenda, and Marchiori soon discovers that there is more to these crimes than meets the eye, an entire thread of things way beyond his pay grade – illegal experiments, secret agencies, and the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.
A gripping serial killer thriller with a “hit-the-brakes-with-both-feet plot twist that may leave even the most jaded among us feeling good about humanity.”
“He stripped down, threw his clothes in the blue hamper behind the door, and got in the shower. He turned his body away from the faucet and placed his hands on the wall, letting the hot water beat down his back. Doing this usually relaxed him, but now it somehow amplified this weird restlessness, this foreboding feeling he couldn’t shake off. Annoyed at himself, he quickly washed his body, turned off the faucet and reached for the brown towel on the hook.
A heavy silence filled his apartment. A few drops of water from the shower head splashed onto the ceramic tiles below, the sound deafening to his ears. His heart started beating faster. All of a sudden he wanted to hear human voices, his neighbours yelling at each other, their baby crying, anything but this dead silence and the rhythmic tapping of the water drops.
An icy shiver rippled down his spine and his body started shaking. Unseen walls were sliding down around him, trapping him. Suffocating him.”


Guest Post

Vulnerability is an act of courage

I have recently watched a very popular TED Talk, called The Power of Vulnerability, given by Dr. Brené Brown, and it resonated with me deeply. We all know that having a social life greatly benefits our mental and physical health. Spending quality time with our friends and loved ones reduces stress, makes us feel happier, more optimistic about life in general, and, on a physical level, it strengthens our immune system, which in turn leads to better health.

The problem, however, is that as adults we have “emotional baggage”. We fall in love, we experience hurt and betrayal, and as a result, a core belief is born: love hurts; or men are cheaters; or women lie. And this becomes our truth. But the hurt can come even earlier in life. Imagine a mother who neglects her child and doesn’t give him the love and support he needs, and a violent father who is too busy getting drunk to care. That is bound to leave deep scars, and after experiencing something like this most of us would undoubtedly become experts at closing ourselves off and keeping people at an arm’s length. 

When I was a child we moved around quite a bit because my dad was in the army. The first time it happened I was eight years old, and I cried and cried because I didn’t want to leave my friends. The second time it happened I was eleven and I promised myself I would never make friends again. And so I started reading more – I was already in love with reading – and never left the house, except when I had to go to school or my mum told me to take out the garbage. My parents got worried because I would read between one and three books a day, depending on the length of the book, and completely refuse to go out and make friends. The message I took home from those two painful experiences? There’s no point in making friends or letting people in your heart because, sooner or later, you’re going to lose them; but books will never leave you. And this became one of my core beliefs. How does it affect my relationships with people? Well, I either reveal too much about myself in a forced attempt to create a connection, or I reveal nothing and I push people away because keeping my guard up comes natural to me.

Now imagine if someone like me met someone like the child who didn’t receive love and support from his parents. What thoughts could go through their minds? “Don’t show her what you really feel, who you really are; she will never love you.” “Don’t fall in love with him; you know he’ll leave you.” Two people who are bound to hurt each other, who would never have a nurturing relationship unless they opened up, showed their feelings and talked about their fears. But that would mean revealing the vulnerable side of ourselves, usually hidden behind masks and walls, and in our society being vulnerable is often seen as being weak. In the military, vulnerability is a measurement for how likely it is for damage to be inflicted, and most people think that opening up will only expose us to pain and humiliations we could easily avoid by staying strong and self-contained.

But here’s what Dr. Brené Brown says about this. In the course of her research she discovered two types of people: the ones who felt whole and had a strong sense of love and belonging; and the ones who struggled with this. So she wanted to see what the first group had in common, and what she discovered is this: “They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn't talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating (…) They just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say, "I love you" first ... the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees... They're willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. They thought this was fundamental.”

Some people say “I’m blasé” and by this they mean “nothing moves me anymore.” Because maybe they got hurt one too many times or they saw so much ugliness in this world that they can’t cope with it anymore. So they numb those hard feelings. But as Dr. Brown says, “when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then, we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.”

How do we get out of this vicious circle? We “let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen.” We love deeply and from the bottom of our hearts, in spite of the fact that there are no guarantees the other person will love us back. We love ourselves and feel grateful for all the good things in our lives, but also for the lessons learnt the hard way. And we believe that we’re good enough. You know why? Because we are.



Author Bio:
Diane May is a crime thriller writer and she lives in Verona, Italy, with her husband. When she's not in her office writing, she can usually be found curled up on the sofa with a good book in her lap and a cup of green tea next to her.
The only daughter of an army colonel, she grew up on military bases where she learnt about weapons, discipline and the sacrifices of military life. She also worked for many years as a translator and interpreter for the Court of Law on mostly criminal cases.
EVO is her debut novel and she is currently working on her second crime thriller, Till Death Do Us Part, scheduled to be released in 2019.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway (US/UK)
  • Paperback copy of EVO

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Wicked Obsession by Patti O’Shea Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Wicked Obsession
Patti O’Shea
(The Paladin League, #1)
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense


Blue-blooded woman
As an ambassador’s daughter, Langley Canfield has lived all over the world, but she’s never fit in—not abroad and not at home. She thought she found a man who loved her for who she is, but when it becomes obvious that she’s the only one with deep feelings, Langley breaks up with him and heads across the country for a friend’s wedding.
Blue-collar guy
Special Forces Sergeant Ryder Pienkowski knew that he’d never be able to hold on to Langley Canfield, that she was completely out of his league, but it still stuns him when she ends things between them. He’s trying to get her out of his head when her father arrives and tells Ryder there’s a death threat directed at her. Without hesitation, Ryder hops on a plane and flies out to protect Langley. She might not want him anymore, but he’s not letting anyone hurt her.



Behind the Scenes of Wicked Obsession

Some books don’t have much of a behind-the-scenes story, but that isn’t the case with Wicked Obsession. Here are some things that went on with this book.
Ryder and Langley weren’t supposed to be first in The Paladin League series. One of Ryder’s friends and that guy’s heroine were slated for that spot, but when my long-time writing buddy, Trish McCallan, asked if I was interested in doing connected stories, Ryder arrived.
Originally, Trish and I planned to write novellas, but both our stories expanded until they were novels. Oops! We decided to go with full books and forged onward.
As I wrote, Straight Up by Paula Abdul continually played in my head and it became the theme for this book. I’ll never be able to hear it again without thinking of Ryder and Langley.
In the first draft of Wicked Obsession, chapter 6 was the opening chapter. I needed to back up because too much happened before that point. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where to begin writing, and this was the first story I’ve tackled since I lost my mom to breast cancer. It was hard to get back in the swing of things.
My characters tell me their names—I don’t get to pick them. Ryder was straightforward and gave me his full name right away. Langley provided her first name immediately, but her last name changed multiple times over the first few chapters.
I always find pictures of my hero and heroine early in the writing process. By then I know them well enough to find a person who looks like them and that image also helps reveal things about my characters that I didn’t know at the start. With Ryder, I knew he was Polish from his surname, but I didn’t realize he was also half Italian until I found his picture.
In the series arc for The Paladin League, the hero from book 3 showed me a whole lot of attitude. I didn’t know what his problem was, and since I wasn’t working on his story yet, I didn’t try to find out. Wicked Obsession showed me why he acted the way he did.
No two books ever seem to write the same, and this one blazed its own trail. Sometimes it frustrated, but I enjoyed Ryder and Langley and I’m glad I was able to tell their story.


Author Bio:
Nationally bestselling author Patti O'Shea has won many awards for her writing and been nominated for even more. Her books have appeared on the Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, and Borders bestseller lists and have earned starred reviews in prestigious publications such as Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
At various points in her life, Patti O'Shea wanted to be a doctor, a pilot, an archeologist, an astronomer, a figure skater, a ballerina, an oceanographer, a marine biologist, and a photographer before she discovered writing at the age of fourteen. That's when she knew what she really wanted to be when she grew up.
By the time she entered the University of Minnesota, she realized she'd need a practical career. She chose the School of Journalism and took classes in nearly every discipline the college offered. After graduating with a degree in Advertising Copywriting (and far more credits than she needed), she promptly went to work for Northwest Airlines—in accounting. Since then she's moved throughout the company, working in departments like Technical Records, Tech Publications, and 757 Engineering. After the merger with Delta, her job was moved to Atlanta and Patti followed it. She works in TechOps in Maintenance Programs.
Born with a need to see everything, Patti has traveled to far off and exotic places like Papua New Guinea, Fanning Island, and the Yukon Territory in Canada. Along the way, she's had the opportunity to experience a lot of cool things. In Alaska, she saw a humpback whale breach near the catamaran on which she sailed; she's visited a salt mine in Austria and traveled to a lower level by sliding down a wooden rail; and she's seen a shark fin break the water in Australia right next to the small boat she was on. She's visited just about every one of King Ludwig's castles in Germany; watched the cliff divers of Acapulco; and was nearly mugged in a parking lot in Los Angeles.
With her wanderlust sated, Patti finally decided to get serious about writing. She quickly discovered that her travel and her eclectic education were all training to become an author. It's helped her to know a little bit about a lot of things since she's had characters that have been computer geeks, army officers, private investigators, demons, thieves, and other assorted careers. She's even managed to incorporate pieces of some of the places she's visited into her stories.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • $20 Amazon gift card

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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

GIVE ME FEVER by Jasmine & Arielle Lockhart Book Blitz and Giveaway!


I am so excited that GIVE ME FEVER by Jasmine & Arielle Lockhart is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Authors Jasmine & Arielle Lockhart, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $500 Amazon GC prize and an ARC of GIVE ME FEVER, courtesy of Jasmine & Arielle. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.




Title: GIVE ME FEVER 
Author: Jasmine & Arielle Lockhart
Pub. Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Somewhere On A Beach Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 278

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N

Hotter than a fever…Jackson Noveau left behind his Cajun roots to make a better life for him and his new bride in New York City. But his drive for success drove the love of his life away. Six years later, Jackson has the opportunity to take his hot sauce company global. All he has to do is buy back the family farm. Unfortunately, the new owner isn’t impressed by his handsome offer.
From first love to fiery business rival…Jessa fled home to the little bayou town of Fever, Louisiana six years ago, expecting Jackson to chase after her. He never did. Now he’s back and she has something he wants—the farm she secretly bought. She has no intentions of letting go of the home she loves, or the one-of-a-kind peppers necessary for the production of Jackson’s hot sauce. At least not until she learns Jackson holds the key to something she wants—the divorce she believed they finalized years ago.What’s yours is mine…The two strike a deal where winner takes all. If Jessa can go a week without succumbing to the spark clearly still between them, Jackson will sign the divorce papers. If not, Jackson gets the farm. As the ex-flames spend the week together, things smolder hotter than a fever, but with only one winner, someone is sure to get burnt.

Excerpt:
The primal part of him argued that things weren’t complicated. That Jessa was still his. And that realization struck deep. “If you want my touch so badly, I’d be happy to grant your wish. I’m thinking a nice start would be my tongue between your—”

Her reflexes were no joke. Before he could finish his sentence, Jackson found himself covered in wine. Again.

He grabbed his napkin and did his best to blot up the red liquid coursing down his face. “If you actually finished a glass of that stuff without throwing it on me, you might enjoy my company a little more.”

“Even piss-ass drunk, I wouldn’t let you do what you were about to suggest.” She sounded truly appalled by his comment. Like he hadn’t done that on this very table once upon a time. “Don’t act like you don’t still want me, Jessalynn.”

“Ha! You are so full of yourself. No, I don’t still want you, Jackson. As you can see, I want nothing more than you to be out of my house and out of my life.”

His jaw twitched. “Feelings aren’t a light switch, Jessalynn. You can’t just turn them off. Did you forget how you used to respond to my touch? To me? How I could light you on fire? Should I remind you?”

“The only feeling I have for you now is disgust.”

“Did you also forget how well I know you? I can tell when you’re lying.”

She put her hands on her hips and stuck her chest out. “I’m not lying, Jackson.”

“Prove it.”

“I don’t have to prove anything to you. There’s nothing in it for me.”

An idea hit him. “What if there was?”

Jessa looked at him sideways. “What?”

“Since you’re so sure that you don’t have feelings for me anymore, then prove it. If you can resist me for a week, I will sign the divorce papers, leave you the farm, and be out of your life.” A week was pushing his deadline, but he’d make it work.

“You think I can’t go a week without tearing off my clothes and throwing myself at you?” She laughed so hard she began holding her stomach and wiping her eyes.

“If you think it’s that easy, you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Her face sobered. “I’m not crazy enough to sign on for spending a week with you.”

“I’m not going anywhere, chéri. This way, no matter what, I’ll be gone in a week. Otherwise, I’ll leave when I’m good and ready.”

Jessalynn grumbled and her eyes narrowed. “So, if I can make it a week without sleeping with you, you’ll sign the papers and give up on this nonsense about buying the farm?”

He nodded, trying not to smile too wide.

“There must be rules.” She twirled the stem of her empty wine glass between her fingers. “No getting me drunk. I have to be sober for it to count.”

“That’s fair. I don’t need you impaired to get you turned on.”

She rolled her eyes. “And you can’t go around shirtless. Fully clothed, all week.”

“No dice. I’ll keep my pants on, since you don’t trust yourself not to jump my bones if I don’t, but it’s damn near 100 degrees in the daytime around here. You’re not going to force me to wear a shirt the whole time.”

“Fine.”

“I have some conditions of my own.”

“Like what?”

“You agree to let me stay here. All week. I don’t expect

you to let me sleep in your bed, but for me to have a fighting chance, proximity is a must.”

“No.”

He threw his head back and wiped his hand down his face. “Come on, Jessalynn. Bend a little.”

With any luck at all, he’d have her bending all kinds of ways before week’s end.

“Whatever. You stay out of my bedroom, though.”

“Alright, but you have to promise not to avoid me during the daytime.”

“I have work to do, Jackson. This farm doesn’t run itself.”

“I think I know a thing or two about farm work. I’ll pitch in.”

Jessalynn grabbed the wine and drank from the bottle. Then she took a long breath. “Anything else?”

“No getting off without me.”

“Excuse me?”

“I don’t want you taking the edge off. You’re going to be

begging me to put my mouth and hands on you in no time. Can’t let you cheat by getting off on your own.”

She pushed her chair back and stood. “It’s only a week. I’m not a guy. I’ll survive. Especially if it means getting rid of you once and for all.”

After making her way around the table, she stuck her hand out. “We have a deal.”

He stared at her hand for a beat, then glanced up at her. “Don’t you want to know what happens if you lose?”

“I’m not going to lose.”



About Jasmine and Arielle:
Jasmine and Arielle Lockhart were born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a house overflowing with books, art, and poetry scrawled on scraps of paper by the hands of their father and mother. The sisters spent their childhood summers setting crawdad traps and picking peaches from the three-hundred-year-old tree on their family's plantation. On stormy nights when the power would go out in the Antebellum home, Arielle would distract her younger sister by telling her stories. It never took long before Jasmine's fear of the dark was forgotten and she was butting in with her own ideas of how the story should go.
In 2017, over mint julep's on the plantation's ivy-laden porch, Jasmine and Arielle came up with the crazy idea to co-write a romance novel. A year and many heated debates later, the first book in the Fever series was complete.

 When she's not nagging her sister to add more kissing scenes to their books, Jasmine is a world-traveler, living between New Orleans and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.

Arielle currently resides on the plantation, where she spends her days writing and convincing Grammy Dee that Annabelle, the housekeeper she hired three years ago, is not the reincarnation of the young woman who hung herself in the peach tree after her fiancé failed to return from war.

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Giveaway Details:

$500 Amazon GC prize and ARC of “Give Me Fever”


https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/df5a8d961/

 
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